CarsDirect.com is the current leader in the direct online car sales market. Essentially, CarsDirect is a large nationwide car broker. It contracts directly with various car dealerships across the country to sell cars at certain pre-negotiated and usually discounted prices. It now has access to more than 400,000 new cars of just about every make and model and also provides access to financing, leasing and extended warranty programs. More importantly, CarsDirect allows you to research, compare car prices and features, and ultimately buy a car without any sales pressure.|
The prospect of being able to buy a car without having to talk to ANY car salesman should be extremely attractive to most people. Gone are the dreaded days going to the car dealership and enduring an afternoon with a pushy car salesman trying his best to "put you in a car today!" Well, those days are almost gone anyway. Until virtual test drives are just as good as live test drives, most people will still have to go down to the dealers to test drive cars to determine which one is the right model for them. However, once you have decided on a car model that you want, CarsDirect can help make the buying portion as painless as possible.
To get a new car price quote from CarsDirect, you will need to first select a vehicle make and model that you are interested in and enter your zip code. Once this information is submitted, you are asked to pick a car style for the model you selected. You can choose one style or choose 2 to 4 styles and compare each style. Once you have selected the preferred style(s), CarsDirect immediately provides you with the CarsDirect.com price (see below for what this price includes), the MSRP and the Invoice price for that particular vehicle. The CarsDirect price usually falls between the MSRP and the Invoice price. Sometimes, on a lucky day, you may find that the CarsDirect price is even lower than the Invoice price (mostly due to the availability of great manufacturer incentive programs). As anyone who has shopped for a car before can relate, the fact that you are able to get a realistic car sales price without any haggling and without any salesman asking you to sign something is a thing of wonder.
CarsDirect also allows you to customize your desired vehicle with a range of manufacturer-installed options. The cost for each option is indicated next to its description. CarsDirect's option prices are for manufacturer-installed options; thus, prices may vary for options that are custom installed at the dealership. Your vehicle price quote will automatically increase with each option you select. Once you have decided on the options, you are requested to select a first and a second choice for the car's exterior and interior colors. Extended Service Contracts are also available for purchase if you wish to extend the factory warranty period. Once you have completed all of the selections, Carsdirect will show a confirmation page listing the standard features and the options you have selected. If you have any other special requirements for the car, you can input those requirements when you get to this "Confirmation" page. A CarsDirect service advisor will contact you later concerning these requirements.
Once you have confirmed the information about your vehicle selections, you can begin the order for your new car. CarsDirect will give you a call within 48 hours after you submit your order to confirm the specifications of the vehicle you selected. You can also request that the Service Advisor contacts you only by e-mail or fax.
It is important to note that the CarsDirect.com price includes the following:
- Base vehicle price
- Base destination charges
- Manufacturers' advertising fees (when applicable)
- Rebates, in lieu of any applicable manufacturer financing
- All options you select, if any
Since most taxes and fees are assessed locally, they are not included in the CarsDirect.com price, the dealer invoice or the MSRP quotes. If you wish to participate in special manufacturing finance programs with your vehicle purchase, you should note that in most cases you can only either choose the customer rebates & special factory-to-dealer incentives that are already included in your CarsDirect.com price or the special financing programs. Since you cannot get the benefit of both programs, your CarsDirect price may go up if you want to take advantage of the special manufacturer financing. Please be sure to ask your CarsDirect.com Service Advisor for complete manufacturer program details for your area, and how participation in these programs will affect your CarsDirect price.
CarsDirect claims that it tries to make sure that CarsDirect customers pay less for vehicles than most buyers, and its prices seem to confirm their claim. However, it also has a disclaimer stating that in all cases, the CarsDirect.com price is subject to the availability of the vehicle. Thus, that could be interpreted to mean that if CarsDirect cannot find a dealer to sell the car at the price it quoted to you, then there is no "availability" and CarsDirect is not obligated to sell the car to you at that price.
Even though many people would be willing to pay a higher price than what the local dealerships charge in exchange for the sheer joy of avoiding all the countless frustrating hours in dealing with car salesmen, CarsDirect offers both shopping convenience and great prices on new cars. It allows you to order a car from the comfort of your home, apply for financing at home, and have the car delivered to your home. All you have to do when the car arrives is sign for the car and any loan or lease documents that you had applied for. It truly is wonderful to live in this technological age when you can buy a car in the same fashion as buying from the Sears Catalog in the yesteryears.