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Mason Anderson
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Top Car Buying Services


  • Car-buying services charge you a fee when you use them. This usually comes in the form of a direct fee or as part of a membership you're already paying for, such as AAA. Either way, the service makes money by handling your car purchase."}},"@type": "Question","name": "Can you trade in a car when using a car-buying service?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Many car-buying services also buy or negotiate trade-ins for you. If you plan to trade in a vehicle, ask any buying services or concierges if they can handle that aspect of the deal.","@type": "Question","name": "Do car-buying services save you money?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "A car-buying service can save you money if it helps you find or negotiate a deal that offsets the costs of its fees. If you have time to search for a car yourself and are comfortable negotiating on your own, then you'll probably spend more overall to use a car-buying service."]}]}] .cls-1fill:#999.cls-6fill:#6d6e71 Skip to contentThe BalanceSearchSearchPlease fill out this field.SearchSearchPlease fill out this field.BudgetingBudgeting Budgeting Calculator Financial Planning Managing Your Debt Best Budgeting Apps View All InvestingInvesting Find an Advisor Stocks Retirement Planning Cryptocurrency Best Online Stock Brokers Best Investment Apps View All MortgagesMortgages Homeowner Guide First-Time Homebuyers Home Financing Managing Your Loan Mortgage Refinancing Using Your Home Equity Today's Mortgage Rates View All EconomicsEconomics US Economy Economic Terms Unemployment Fiscal Policy Monetary Policy View All BankingBanking Banking Basics Compound Interest Calculator Best Savings Account Interest Rates Best CD Rates Best Banks for Checking Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Auto Loan Rates View All Small BusinessSmall Business Entrepreneurship Business Banking Business Financing Business Taxes Business Tools Becoming an Owner Operations & Success View All Career PlanningCareer Planning Finding a Job Getting a Raise Work Benefits Top Jobs Cover Letters Resumes View All MoreMore Credit Cards Insurance Taxes Credit Reports & Scores Loans Personal Stories About UsAbout Us The Balance Financial Review Board Diversity & Inclusion Pledge View All Follow Us




Budgeting Budgeting Calculator Financial Planning Managing Your Debt Best Budgeting Apps Investing Find an Advisor Stocks Retirement Planning Cryptocurrency Best Online Stock Brokers Best Investment Apps Mortgages Homeowner Guide First-Time Homebuyers Home Financing Managing Your Loan Mortgage Refinancing Using Your Home Equity Today's Mortgage Rates Economics US Economy Economic Terms Unemployment Fiscal Policy Monetary Policy Banking Banking Basics Compound Interest Calculator Best Savings Account Interest Rates Best CD Rates Best Banks for Checking Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Auto Loan Rates Small Business Entrepreneurship Business Banking Business Financing Business Taxes Business Tools Becoming an Owner Operations & Success Career Planning Finding a Job Getting a Raise Work Benefits Top Jobs Cover Letters Resumes More Credit Cards Insurance Taxes Credit Reports & Scores Loans Financial Terms Dictionary About Us The Balance Financial Review Board Diversity & Inclusion Pledge LoansCar LoansPros and Cons of Buying Services vs. DealershipsByEmily DelbridgeUpdated on November 3, 2021Reviewed byAndy SmithFact checked byVikki VelasquezIn This ArticleView AllIn This ArticlePros and Cons of Each Type of Car-Buying ServiceFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Photo: Getty Images / Don Mason




top car buying services



Car-buying services charge you a fee when you use them. This usually comes in the form of a direct fee or as part of a membership you're already paying for, such as AAA. Either way, the service makes money by handling your car purchase.


A car-buying service can save you money if it helps you find or negotiate a deal that offsets the costs of its fees. If you have time to search for a car yourself and are comfortable negotiating on your own, then you'll probably spend more overall to use a car-buying service.


Tred also offers multiple financing options, inspection guarantees, and extended warranties. Customers can opt to receive a monthly value report with trade-in rates in their area. If you live near the seller, you can even schedule a test drive. However, Tred only provides its services to drivers in Texas, California, Washington, and Oregon.


Club- or bank-based buying services are the simplest level of car buying service. They save you time on researching vehicles, pricing the model you like and finding a reasonable trade-in value for your current car. These are usually free services provided to members of discount retail clubs, credit unions and auto clubs like AAA, Costco and the USAA for military families.


Some services only offer information and location of the car you want, along with guaranteed pricing, while others offer the help of on-site staff ready to smooth the road for you when the time comes to make the purchase. In return for the increased sales volume, dealerships usually pay a fee to the car buying service.


These car buying services can include small local providers who understand your city and know the dealers, but the biggest fish in the market today are web-based services such as CarBargains and Authority Auto.


Much like the club car buying services, they usually have pricing worked out in advance with local dealerships and can sometimes get prices and discounts you might not be willing or able to work out on your own. But according to Edmunds, they may be limited to only a few dealerships, which shortens the list of available vehicles considerably.


With the right car buying concierge, you might get your new car without ever setting foot outside your home. Of course, these services come at a premium, but the savings and convenience they provide net you a wide margin of profit, in most cases.


Car buying services flew under the radar as an option for most car buyers in recent decades. But now this consumer service business is growing in popularity and visibility each year, as the Internet makes it easier to find and rate both car dealers and car buying service providers. This time, with a little research and a few phone calls, you might have the most laid-back car shopping experience of your life.


With prices so high, shoppers also need to keep a close eye on their budget. "There is no point in test driving a car if it turns out you can't afford it," said Tom McParland, who runs the vehicle-buying service Automatch Consulting and writes about consumer issues and the automotive industry for Jalopnik.


The Covid pandemic has muted depreciation, however, and prices for used cars are growing faster than for new. As the price gap narrows, buying new becomes more appealing because the vehicles are in better condition, plus, they have a full warranty and can be financed at a lower rate.


Problems with using dealers include their often aggressive sales tactics and tendency to fold extra services into vehicle sales at inflated prices. For instance, etching a vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the windshield is a useful practice that can deter theft and lower insurance rates, but a dealer might charge more than $300 for the work, which consumers can do themselves with a $25 kit. To avoid paying excessive fees, it's wise to ask about any dealer-installed options or markups, Montoya said. It's a sellers market, and dealers might not waive any of the costs they tack on, but the buyer can always take their business elsewhere.


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If a fast turnaround and convenience are more important to you, then a car buying service may be your best option. You can do it all online without even having to leave your house. But with so many providers out on the marketplace, it can be challenging to choose which one to use.


The process was lengthier than on other car buying sites we trialled; however, we understand this is part of how Whizzle works differently to other providers. To start, we were asked to enter the VRM, mileage and features of the vehicle (leather interior, multiple keys, satnav, etc.). Then we were asked about the full service history of the car as well as the condition of several of its components, including the mechanics, windscreen condition, tyres and interior. It then asked for our personal details before revealing any offers.


We can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers. We do not charge fees for our Consumer Credit services. We may receive a payment(s) or other benefits from finance providers should you decide to enter into an agreement with them, typically either a fixed fee or a fixed percentage of the amount you borrow. The payment we receive may vary between finance providers and product types. The payment received does not impact the finance rate offered. 041b061a72


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