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Car Shopping 101

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June 2013 my husband and I put what little belongings we had in storage, sold the car I drove throughout college and headed to China. Located in the city, we lived off of public transportation and our beloved bikes. Fast forward four years and our now family of four was planning on relocating back to the States. When relocating back to America, one thing we noticed was that we would have to apply for everything again. One of the biggest things we decided that we’d need upon arrival was a credit card. This form of payment is so essential to life in America. When finding the best credit card for us, we were able to learn more about it here. With a credit card, we were able to settle back down in America much easier. With that, we left our home in China with only the allotted airline baggage; seven 50lbs bags. Upon arrival, we went to pick up our belongings we stored what seemed to be eons ago. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was pretty underwhelming returning to our college dorm room furnishings. A few scratched pots and pans, a sticky hand-me-down table, and one dented lamp was not going to cut it for our growing family. With two small children, we had our hands full with the task of outfitting our new home in the suburbs on a small budget.

One of our biggest, and most important tasks, was finding a car. Originally we looked at autonomous cars after reading some interesting data about the benefits of them. However, the price range was just way out of our budget, so back to square one we went. Due to our limited price range, one of our friends suggested looking at some of the second-hand cars that are available at, for example. That was a good idea, especially given our small budget and the fact that we certainly were not going to be able to purchase a brand new, expensive car. When we moved overseas, we left the car my parents had bought me while in college. Both my husband and I had no experience in finding and purchasing cars. Not to mention, we weren’t just college kids willing to drive anything with four wheels. We had two children in car seats, massive amounts of groceries to transport, grandparents to visit, and a work commute. We needed a reliable, spacious car like Honda’s new SUV’s, with high safety ratings; and did I mention we were on a tight budget? My sister bought her car on so I checked it out, it was a great company but they didn’t have the car I wanted at the time so I unfortunately had to keep looking.

Luckily, we found and used it as our main resource for researching potential buys. is one of the first online automotive classifieds that help consumers make smart stress-free buying decisions. They serve a national audience by providing detailed reports of listed cars all over the country. Their website is very user friendly and easy to navigate. provides tools and search filters which assist in narrowing down your choices faster. An added bonus is automatically fills out the contact the seller form with a generic message stating you are interested in the given car. So basically, they help you find and compare cars, while checking their safety ratings, and contacting the seller all from the comfort of your own home.

With our experience we used to find listed cars that matched our desired make, model, price, and buying location. From our home we scanned through multiple options and made lists of potential buys. To be honest, as a first time car buyer we weren’t even sure what went into buying a car. It’s not even just the buying of cars that we were unsure of but also how to sort out the car insurance. A friend of ours recommended we use someone like Money Expert to help us out. But if I’m being honest I still found the whole ordeal very confusing, so I was very glad that my husband just sorted that part out. I felt like we didn’t know anything though. We didn’t know what was reasonable prices to pay or the questions we should be asking dealerships. I appreciated having all the car facts compiled neatly on one page with detailed pictures included. With we dwindled down our list to three potential buys. Within the week we were able to visit two dealerships for test drives and eventually purchasing a car. With the comparing tool on we felt confident we were paying a reasonable price and getting a quality car.

Once you’ve found the car, it’s imperative to take it to a local garage to check it over. In our case when we were in the UK, we got an mot Birmingham to put the vehicle through a fresh MOT and check it was all acceptable.

We were extremely thankful part of our transition to America was made easier using Researching and shopping for a car was an experience I thought would be daunting, in reality it ended up being stress-free and simple. Our standards were set high for our family of four looking for a safe automobile with an affordable price tag. As first time car buyers we needed a trusted resource that provided detailed reports on purchasing options.. Thanks to technology, time shopping was short and sweet and we came out on top with an excellent family car.

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