Girlfriends Guide to Car Shopping Trends

September 2, 2016Holly Sosa

This post was made possible by iConnect and Autotrader.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.


Last year my husband and I took the plunge and purchased a second vehicle. After three years of driving just one car with over 100,000 miles on it, we were just desperate to get an additional vehicle into our lives. We didn’t have anyone to guide us or give us advice, so we went at it alone. Explorers in the world of car buying.

Shopping for a car can be overwhelming and other than the idea of a sweet new stereo system, it doesn’t appeal to me much – if at all. But there are some trends to be aware of if you’re in the market this year. From longer test drives, smart shopping, and buying CPO, here are the details on a few of the latest car shopping trends.

Extended Test Drives

While each dealership has different policies, many are allowing for extended test drives. More and more, dealerships offer overnight test drives with a limited amount of miles to get buyers more familiar with the vehicle they’re considering. As a mother, I love this idea because I’d like to have a chance to see how my family fits in the car, the amount of space we’ll have, and how comfortable I feel in the car.

Smarter Shopping

In the age of technology, buyers are relying more on their phones to help ensure they’re getting the best prices. When my husband and I purchased our new car last year, we relied heavily on our smart phones to help us find a dealership, read reviews on the vehicles, and ensure we weren’t getting taken advantage of where price was concerned.

Buying Certified Pre-Owned

With three year leases expiring, it leaves room for shoppers to land a great deal on a certified pre-owned vehicle. Vehicles will be coming off lease between 2016-2018 which means cars with low mileage, up to date maintenance, and in good condition will be available for purchase making this a trend to be on watch for.

In the end, I sent my husband off to do the negotiating and haggling before we settled on a price and financing options with our dealership. Even with him representing us though, that night was filled with phone call after phone call to me about this deal or that. We ended up with a vehicle we love, but we’re not alone in wishing the car buying experience was different. According to this article, in 2015, Autotrader did a study that showed only 17 out of 4,002 people prefer the current car-buying process and the rest want significant changes, particularly in the test drive, deal structuring and financing paperwork. Hopefully these new trends in car buying, which include smarter shoppers, will inspire change soon.

For more information on car buying and it’s latest trends, be sure to check out the Girlfriends Guide to Car Shopping from Autotrader and Kelly Blue Book, the most visited car shopping information websites.


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