When it comes time to purchase a new vehicle, it has become easier than ever before to gather information before even stepping foot into a dealership. This can be both helpful and overwhelming. It may seem like there are hundreds of cars, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers to choose from – and that’s because there are! There are also hundreds of websites that will claim to be the authority on what’s best. The recipe for success, however, is a combination of doing some online homework and going to a dealer and driving one for yourself.

Let’s say you think you might want a Chevy Silverado pickup. I’d suggest the following:

Chevrolet.com and YouTube will have plenty of photos, videos, and spec sheets. This will help you get familiar with what’s available and what might meet your needs. Websites like Cars.com and Autotrader.com will show you both new and used vehicles near you, so you can get all of your options in one place. Kelley Blue Book is a good place to get an idea on trade-in value if you are considering trading in your current vehicle. Keep in mind the dealer will evaluate your trade based on condition and the local market at the time, but it’s a great point of reference. Then, head on over to your local dealer’s website to see what they have. You can even use their payment calculators to get a buy or lease payment range. You should also look at their reviews on social media to make sure you’ll be well taken care of. You’re ready to look at real trucks, walk around them, sit in them, and drive them! Now you’re an educated buyer which helps you and the dealer to get you where you want to be. Congratulations!

Patrick Downes
Ruge’s Chevrolet, Millbrook, NY. www.rugeschevrolet.com