I recently bought my first car. Going to the dealership wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, nor was finding the right car at the right price. Anxiety, excitement and nerves were all a part of the process, but what saved me was knowing I was getting a good deal. Now, a proud owner of a 2012 Ford Focus, I’m still saving time and money because I’m plugged in. There’s an app for everything, and here are the best ones for finding, buying and owning a car.
Researching and Shopping for a Used Vehicle
Car shopping used to be a dreaded ordeal because dealerships and salespeople had the upper hand. Technology has leveled the playing field. However, even if you can research used cars online while you are at home, having the information at your finger tips right when you need it is extremely useful.
With apps such as Kelley Blue Book available, car buyers can know exactly what a vehicle is worth and not have to take a salesperson’s word on it. At the dealership, I just typed in a car’s year, make, model and features and it spit out a suggested value, which I could adjust based on the vehicle’s mileage, condition and type of seller. It simplified the car-buying process and gave me a better idea of each car’s price and worth.
If finding financing is a problem, some companies will work with you to make options available, which was something I considered before fixing my credit. One example I found was DriveTime bad credit auto loans, which would have most likely approved a financing plan for me. The benefits of this option would have been twofold for me: being approved for financing and building credit through on-time payments.
Map it Out
We’ve all heard of Google Maps, but that app isn’t the only one you’ll need while you’re adjusting to your new car. MapsWithMe is an interactive, user-friendly app that lets users search and use maps offline. That’s right, no Internet connection-no problem. You download the maps and never worry about lost connections or high roaming charges.
I’m pretty good about following the oil change date reminder the mechanic leaves as a sticker on my windshield, but I forget everything else. When was the last time I had the breaks checked or my tires rotated? I have no idea. That’s where the RepairPal app steps in and keeps my car in tip-top shape. After leaving the shop, I just record any repairs, and the app keeps a checklist of what’s done and what I need to schedule.
If You Crash
Let’s just hope this one doesn’t happen to you. I’m just an unlucky driver, and in the past year, I’ve been hit twice. The first time was in a parking lot and then again, while stopping behind a school bus. Even if you think you are prepared, you never know what circumstances you could end up in. Minor car accidents can be somewhat tragic and leave a person feeling rattled.
That’s why having my last suggested app, iWrecked, is a good idea. iWrecked guides users through the details of what to do after an accident, from noting the time and taking pictures with your phone to getting the other driver’s insurance information. Even if it that accident never ends up happening, being prepared is a smart move.