Remember when the phone book’s Yellow Pages were the only way people could find information when shopping for goods and services? It saved so much time and gasoline. Now, in today’s computer-driven society, the cliche is: “there’s an app for that.”
Apps, which is short for applications, have changed the way we shop for everything. People who look for real estate can use the GPS feature on their smartphone device to look for homes for sale in their price range, and meet their criteria.
AOL Autos iPhone App
Let’s say you’re driving to California from the East Coast, and by the time you’re in Arizona, you’re in the mood for a different vehicle. With the AOL Autos iPhone app, you can find a vehicle by searching for price, makes, models and other criteria and even view the interior and exterior of a car. If you’re looking for a ’88 Volvo, for example, that costs around $18,000, you can “build cars on the fly” and find the cars that interest you when the app takes you to peorianissan.com.
The app also uses “smart caching,” which stores data and photos of a particular car that can be viewed later at the dealership. This car shopping app, by the way, can be downloaded free on iTunes.
Kelly Blue Book & Edmunds
Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds also have free smartphone apps that allow people to check car ratings and prices as well as directions to nearby dealers, notes Bankrate.com. They also have special features. Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com app, for instance, provides real-time car values to alleviate the problem of finding out-of-date prices.
It’s not only the latest models and prices you can find using apps, according to Bankrate.com. You can also locate the cheapest fuel prices with the iGasUp app from Oil Price Information Service in Gaithersburg, MD. Users can find stations that sell inexpensive gas in any geographic location, typically 10 stations at a time. The iGasUp app also gives directions and distances to each station. It costs $2.99 for one year of usage and is available for the iPhone.
Apps Gone Free (AppsGoneFree)
At eBay Motors, you can take a photograph of any car and eBay will search it for you. Apps Gone Free calls Car Checker a must-have when buying a used vehicle because it provides the user with a checklist containing signs of bad wear and tear and ownership. Click through the criteria and Car Checker will provide your car with a score.
Car Factor & AAA Auto Buying Tools
Car Factor lets potential buyers compare prices with other dealerships, although the search isn’t for used cars. AAA Auto Buying Tools allows users to search via VIN numbers, but it’s good only for buying new vehicles.
One of the main reasons to use an app for a new or used car is to research a vehicle before going to a dealership, making the whole experience less nerve-wracking and easier on the pocketbook once you’re armed with the pertinent information. And with so many good apps now available for mobile devices, it’s also more convenient.