If you know the features you're looking for in your next vehicle, consider searching for cars via the checklists and/or pull-down boxes provided by some Web sites. Begin with general criteria, such as make and model, then add more specifications like price, transmission, color and mileage.
Check-lists with popular options that offer the opportunity to select comfort features such as leather interior, electronic features like navigation systems, and safety features such as side air bags are also available on some Web sites.
If You're Still Deciding
If you're still deciding what your vehicle needs are, you may want to consider an open-ended option to search Web sites. Similar to search engines, blank search fields can be located within auto classifieds sites such as the one available on AutoTrader.com's "Find Your Car" search page. Simply type in the appropriate feature you're searching for in the keyword search text box and vehicle listings that match your entered text will appear.
For example, if you are looking for a handicapped accessible vehicle, but you don't care about specific body type, then keyword search may be your best option. Type "handicapped accessible" in the keyword search text box and the results will show all vehicle types available that are handicapped accessible.
Even highly selective criteria, such as vehicles owned by nonsmokers, those with roof racks or those with a Bose stereo, can be found using keyword search.
Both types of Web site users can benefit from additional ways to search efficiently. Look for "Newly Listed" indicators that mark new postings within seven days of your last search. Save even more time by creating a personalized account such as My AutoTrader.com, where you can save search requirements and results, make comparisons and e-mail listings to friends and family.
Purchasing a vehicle is an important and complicated decision. Fortunately, there are Web sites that make the car-buying process easier and allow you to customize your experience. To learn more, visit www.autotrader.com.