Car Dealership Apps at Your Fingertips

We wrote about car dealership apps back in October 2010 as part of our Real Life Apps® series.  That post was directed at car dealers.  This week we look at mobile apps for car shoppers.

Shopping for cars is the best it’s ever been. In the old days, you had to deal with going from dealership to dealership, living through the hassles of meeting with pushy salesman, boring test drives, filling forms, and horrible car dealership coffee and worthless daytime TV.  With mobile apps like the five below, that can all be a thing of the past.

The Car & Driver Buyer’s Guide

The Car and Driver Buyer’s Guide by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., known for the publication Car and Driver magazine, allows car shoppers to read reviews of new car models instantaneously, see car specs, and all other available pricing information. Available for iPhone, users can search for a car through a number of options, including make, model, price range, and fuel economy. On top of the interactive features, the app takes a step above most car buying apps by leading consumers toward helpful car buying articles published by the magazine. Users can also park their selected vehicles for future consideration in the “Garage” section of the app, according to

Kelley Blue Book provides one of the ultimate resource apps. The KBB app lets you check car prices, ratings, search for nearby dealers, and, unlike other apps, provides actual real-time car values, also reported.


The Edmunds app for iPhone lets you check a car manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and compare that price to an Edmund-designated target. With a similar app soon to be released for the Droid, the Edmunds app lets you quickly differentiate between what a car is worth off the line, and what the actual car online or at a dealership may be asking.

Auto Loan Calculator’s calculator app allows car shoppers the ability to negotiate a car loan by letting the user determine the size and type of car they can afford. The car loan calculator lets users input the interest rate and terms of the potential car loan to calculate the difference between the total price of the car when paying in cash, and paying for the car on a loan.

Auto Circle

Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew exactly how much the car insurance will cost before purchasing the vehicle? Now you can, with Auto Circle, a free app from the insurance company that was recently crowned with the ‘Forrester Research Grounds Award’ in the best mobile app category. The app helps USAA customers find, finance, and insure a new car quickly. Assistant Vice President for USAA Bob Otis claims, “on average, members will save about $4,500” when using the app effectively, according to

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