Newly released in August 2015, WhichCar takes you through a logical, step-by-step selection process for deciding which car is the one for you. First, you choose a body type (e.g. hatchback) or a purpose (e.g. first car).
If you first choose a purpose, you enter the “Match Maker” feature, which is a quick and easy way to narrow down your options. You choose your budget, and then select what is most important to you out of 3 considerations: price, safety, or fuel economy.
If you first choose a body type, you have more control over more options. The site presents you with every type of car with that body type and you then narrow down the selection by adding criteria. For example: automatic or manual? How many cylinders in the engine? What price?
Finally, there’s a quick search function on the right-hand side of the homepage for people who already know what they’re looking for.
You can compare up to 5 different makes and models at a time on this website. The site also has reviews and videos created by these car experts, to help you make an informed decision.
This site deals only in new cars available from dealers, nothing second-hand. So the cheapest budget option you can select is “Maximum $10,000”, and at time of writing there was only one car in that price bracket.
WhichCar is the product of global publishing giant Bauer Media, and has the advantage of expertise and authority from leading car review brands Wheels Magazine, Motor Magazine, and 4X4 Australia. These are the people behind Top Gear‘s engaging car reviews, so you know the site is going to have all the information serious motorists want to know without being boring.
CarsGuide is currently Australia’s leading car comparison brand across web, tablet and mobile devices, created by New Corp Australia together with Australia’s largest automotive dealers.
You start the comparison process by selecting whether you’re interested in “All Cars” or new or used cars. Then you choose where the dealer should be located, so that you know you won’t have to travel far to pick up your new vehicle.
Once you’ve started a basic search, you can update it with all the usual details – body type, number of seats and doors, auto or manual, etc. – plus a few unexpected extras. Want your car to be a certain colour? No problem! Just limit the search to only cars of that colour.
They sell both new and used cars, so you can set a much lower maximum price of $2,500 – and there are a stack of cheap ones out there. You can also go to carsguide.com.au/deals to find all the latest sales for different models at dealerships.
Their site has car reviews, photos and videos, tools and advice, and the latest car-related news. They average a staggering 1.8 million unique visitors from around Australia every month.
CarSales is a publicly owned Australian automotive classified company. Under the CarSales umbrella also comes CarPoint.com.au, bikesales.com.au, RedBook.com.au, as well as classified websites for boats, caravans, trucks and machinery.
On the homepage is the main search function. You can search by make and model, price, location of dealer, “category” (body type), or special offers from dealers. They sell new and used cars, so they also have a lower maximum price of $2,500.
One of the best parts of this site is its Help Me Choose function, which lets you search for cars by purpose, e.g. “Growing Family” or “First Car”. Then you select what’s going in the car: how many people and children, pets, prams, pulling a boat, etc. You choose a maximum price point for a budget; the lowest you can select is $10,000. Finally, you select what?s important to you, from safety to fuel economy to prestige status to storage space and more. You can update your filter selections at the end or start from scratch.
They also have a detailed reviews and advice page and videos, so you can find out the pros and cons of a vehicle.
Carsales lists over 2,000 makes and models of car available for sale in Australia from over 2,000 dealers and tens of thousands of private sellers. Their claim is that, “We sell a car every minute.” This comes from research that Carsales has done every 3 months, which has shown that on average they sell one car every 45 seconds or less.
The search function on another car comparison website, Motoring.com.au, is powered by Carsales.
Your state auto club/association
Your state auto club is often a great place to come once you’ve put together a shortlist of cars you’re considering. Currently, there are seven automobile clubs/associations in Australia which offer roadside and insurance services:
Start by checking whether your cars have won any of their yearly awards for the Best Cars in Australia. Award-winning and shortlisted cars outperformed others in their category in value for money, design and function, and road performance.
Next, find out whether your cars have been compared to any other makes and models in their body type on the car comparison page. Finally, be sure to check out their reviews page to make sure you don’t need to rule out any from your shortlist.
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How to choose a car to buy