Edmunds.com: Research Vehicles, Get Price Quotes, or Just Surf and Enjoy!
Written: Nov 1, 2005 (Updated Nov 22, 2005)
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Looking up automotive information is easy now that we have the world wide web. With the click of a few buttons, one can find the exact specifications on a vehicle; the crash test ratings; the different trim levels; and other things. It is even possible to shop for a vehicle, enter a phone number contact, and arrange a meeting with a local dealer to examine and test- drive a new or used car. One of the many web sites that brings the world of automotive information to your fingertips is Edmunds.com, a company founded in 1966 that has now expanded to the internet.
What Does This Service Offer?:
Edmunds.com offers services in the following areas:
New/Used Cars- Here, you can conduct research on cars and trucks, request a price quote, get information on financing, insurance, and warranties, and read some news & informational columns.
Car Reviews- Reviews of different vehicles can be read in this section. There are usually several lists of other car- related things too, like most researched vehicle, cars with best resale value, trucks with best fuel- efficiency, etc.
Tips/Advice- A general advice section, this part of the site guides you through the buying process, provides tips on how to find the best financing deals, helps consumers with maintenance scheduling, and much more.
Forums- This is a message board, containing questions and answers to various topics relating to cars and trucks.
Inside Line- This is like a separate web site all its own. It contains road test information, photos of vehicles, information on auto shows, vehicles currently in production or in concept form, and important automotive news.
Edmunds.com is a free service. There is no charge to setup an Edmunds.com account and utilize some of the personalized services. You dont need a personal account to browse through and enjoy what the site has to offer. It is optional to setup an account and its main purpose is to customize the on- line service to suit ones individual needs.
Edmunds is an automotive company that was started nearly forty years ago as an auto pricing business. It published (and still publishes) guides showing prices for new and used vehicles and it has now expanded its offerings to include other types of buying guides to help consumers choose the right vehicle for them.
Edmunds.com came into reality in 1995 and this company has been updating and improving its web site ever since. I like automotive web sites and they rank third on my list (after books and travel sites) of most often visited web services. Even when I have no interest at all in buying anything automotive related, I still like to surf through these automotive web sites. And Edmunds.com easily ranks among my top three web sites in its category.
The main reason my respect for Edmunds.com is so great is because of the sites exhaustive amount of information. Its so extensive, in fact, it can almost seem overwhelming at first. My initial visit to this site was for the purpose of researching new cars but once here, I found myself browsing through the site; reading news articles, looking at some of the top ten lists, and reading about brand new cars currently in production for the first time. It took some time before I finally got around to the task at hand- looking for info on a new vehicle. I was distracted by all of the information contained in this site. But this was a positive type of distraction. I liked what I saw and I proceeded to click link after link, discovering more and more things about automobiles.
Most people who come to this web site do so for the same reason I did: To find information on a new or used car and to get connected to a local dealer to make a possible purchase. I used this buying service at Edmunds.com and it earns good grades. I got a call from a dealership within my requested time frame. But one thing that is a little different with Edmunds.com is that, instead of the web site acting as the intermediary for the transaction, Edmunds.com simply provides a listing of dealerships in your area, complete with an icon to press to get a price quote from that particular dealer. The nice thing about this is that you can choose the dealer you would prefer to do business with. The way most other on- line auto web sites work, you dont get to choose a dealership. It automatically selects one or more for you, based on which dealers in your area are affiliates.
Another thing that makes Edmunds.com different for car shoppers is the ability to look at list prices yourself. With the majority of automotive web services, requesting a price quote means entering your personal contact information and then waiting for a call. You can do this with Edmunds.com, but you also have the added option of searching the inventory of local car dealers yourself. Based on your zip code and the desired vehicle, Edmunds.com will show you a list of dealerships in your area that have your desired vehicle in stock, complete with a link to the dealers web site for more info and a list price.
I like the amount of information present in this site, but in same instances, it can get a little cluttered. It is common to open a link and be greeted with advertisements for other web sites. Usually, these ads are for financing, insurance, or extended warranty purchases. There are quite a few of these ads, though, and they can get in the way sometimes. Edmunds.com places them in areas where they are most useful- for example, if you click on new car research, you are likely to find an advertisement for E-loan.com, Geico Insurance, and other similar services. I am able to overlook this clutter because the site has so many positive things to offer. But I know there are some people out there who will get very annoyed with the advertisements.
Photos of the different vehicles contained in this site are nice and they can let you see exactly what your desired vehicle looks like, both inside and out. Not all vehicles have the same number of photos, so dont be disappointed if one of your vehicles of choice has ten photos while another has only six or seven. If you prefer a more live action view, some of the vehicles have a video. This lets you see your chosen vehicle from a different perspective, often with greater detail and in motion.
I enjoy visiting automotive web sites and Edmunds.com is one of the best the web has to offer. This is a complete automotive web service. Not only does it help you find prices and research vehicles, it leaves no stone unturned with its endless lists of facts and general advice. You can apply for a loan. You can read about ways to improve fuel efficiency. You can read an article about child car seats. You can utilize one of the built- in calculators to determine your monthly payment. You can list a used car for sale. You can educate yourself on how hybrids work. You can learn how to install tire chains. You can get advice on the different types of oil. The list goes on and on and on and on.
Im presently looking at new and used cars, and Edmunds.com has proven itself to be a great resource for research and official information. But even if I wasnt in the market for a car or truck, I would still have Edmunds.com bookmarked on my computer. Its one of the best of its type the web has to offer. Even if youre just browsing and have no intention of making a purchase, Edmunds.com is an informative and enjoyable place to sacrifice a few hours of your web surfing time.
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