Car Shopping with Confidence Using Cars.com

One fancy car, please!

 

I need a Mustang, y’all.

Back when I was 15 and working in an ice cream shop for minimum wage, I carried a photo of a red Mustang convertible in my wallet to remind me why the long hours of scooping butter pecan were totally going to be worth it. When I was 17, I finally got a 1995 Mustang – white and not a convertible, but only a few years old and it totally had the pretty horsie on the wheel. SCORE.

Eventually I upgraded to a 2001, and then a silver 2004 Mustang convertible that I drove until a wintery day in early 2015 when a not at all fun black ice encounter happened and my beloved car was no more. I decided to just buy a car I could afford with the insurance payout, and man do I regret it because it’s a boring car with zero horsies on it and it doesn’t even have power windows.

Regret.

As a freelance writer, I probably won’t be able to afford a sparkly brand new Mustang anytime soon, but I am hoping to find a great used one sometime in the near future. Which brings us to Cars.com, who was kind enough to sponsor this post and thus edge me a little closer to that eventual purchase. Woohoo!

 

I love that the website has a price comparison tool that shows similar cars for sale in your area so you can see how the one you’re looking at compares to others with around the same mileage.

 

This is especially helpful if you’ve just moved somewhere new or haven’t shopped for a car in a while and aren’t familiar with how prices tend to run in your area. (I’m tempted to wait until I move back to Orlando to buy a new car because I’ve read that area has the lowest prices in the country!) You can also read reviews of that particular model year from other users and experts, and easily access safety and recall info.

I pulled up Mustangs in Orlando, too, just out of curiosity. The price comparison tool was able to show me that there was a car with about 20,000 fewer miles than the one I was looking at for about the same price!

The purple dot is the one I was looking at – $10k for a car with 98k miles. The grey dot selected towards the middle is the better deal I found with the comparison tool – $100 less for a car with only 77k miles! It’s a little outside of the search radius I set, so I probably wouldn’t have found it without using the comparison tool. Score!

They also have all kinds of useful info like repair estimates so you can know if a mechanic is quoting you a fair price or not. Being informed is so useful!

Have you guys shopped for a car lately? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

Thanks to cars.com for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own, ’cause that’s how I roll. Do you guys think I could talk them into a $10,000 sponsored post so I can get that cute silver Mustang above? Maybe? #WillBlogForFreeCars

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