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Study: Internet critical for vehicle-buying experience

Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 9:51:37 AM

When you are ready to start researching affordable auto financing and new vehicles, do you sit down at your computer or head to the nearest dealership?

According to a recent study from J.D. Power, more people are turning to the web during their buying experience, and then using that information to go talk to the dealers. The survey found that new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet are likely to spend 14 hours on average before their purchase. Those who spend the most time online also head to more dealerships - those who surfed the web for at least 12 hours visited 3.3 dealers, on average.

"There may be a notion in the marketplace that the more auto shoppers use the Internet to determine which vehicle to buy, the fewer dealers they are inclined to shop, yet we see just the opposite," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power. "New-vehicle buyers who do a great deal of automotive Internet shopping also go to more dealerships to shop."

Buying a car online is also a possibility. If you prefer this route, Bankrate recommended that you do your research well. Determine the best car for you, figure out the value of your trade-in and settle on a fair price to pay. You have plenty of options online, so use them.