A recent study showed that 62% of Shoppers Use a Mobile Device in Stores to Check Prices. We’re not sure what the exact figure is for car shoppers, but we’re sure it’s comparable, and we at CarGurus want to help by putting all the information you need about a car at your fingertips while it’s right in front of you.
With our recently updated mobile site (accessible on your smartphone), we’ve given you, the potential buyer, powerful tools that can help you make better decisions when purchasing a vehicle. Loaded with a host of features that can be utilized only on a smartphone, it’s far from a watered-down version of our desktop site and seeks to put the tools you’ll need on the lot into your hands.
You can access the CarGurus mobile site from any smartphone at CarGurus.com. On the home screen you’ll see a range of options, some of which are part of the desktop site, some of which are specific to the mobile site. The first option you’ll see is “Used Cars,” which will allow you to filter and search used car listings just like you would on our main site.
“On the Lot” is a new feature exclusive to the mobile site. That button automatically lists the dealerships closest to you, including their distance from you, address, phone number and star rating, allowing you to gain a quick overview of each dealer so you can consider all your nearby options. Viewing a dealer’s page will let you call, see its inventory and get driving directions.
The “My Saved Listings” feature will retrieve any listings you’ve saved to your CarGurus profile as well as ones you’ve saved through your smartphone. If you want to have access to listings you’ve saved on your mobile through the regular site, you’ll need to log into your CarGurus account before saving them. This will allow you to keep track of all the cars you’re interested in so you can get in touch with dealers later.
One of the most powerful options on our mobile site is “Price Check.” Just enter a car’s info manually or search by VIN. To enter a car manually, you’ll need its make, model, year, trim, Zip code, mileage, transmission and asking price. For test purposes, I used my car (a 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder) and found that if it were for sale for $13,000, it would be $256 below the car’s Instant Market Value in my area, which translates into a fair deal.
If you want to enter the VIN via photo, the VIN can be found in a number of locations. In our tests, we found the best way to take a picture of the VIN is to photograph the manufacturer’s sticker on the driver’s-side door sill. Be sure to take a clear shot, as the site has a hard time reading blurry letters (although it doesn’t matter if there’s other text in the picture—the site will be able to pick out the VIN as long as the picture is clear).
Shopping for a used car may be a daunting process, but it’s certainly one that should be enjoyable, as long as you’re prepared with all the information you need. In the past, gathering this information required hours of research on multiple websites and possibly even multiple trips to the dealership. With the advent of the smartphone and other technological advances, more and more information is available to you right on the lot, making it possible for you to consider many different cars and learn what you need to know as you search.
Have you used our mobile app to compare cars while you were on a dealer’s lot? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.