Survey: How far would you drive for the best deal?

Consumer Reports News: July 02, 2010 10:36 AM

With today’s online tools, getting a great deal on a new car is easier than ever. That’s because an effective way to get a low price is get dealers to compete for your business; the more dealers, the better. The Internet can significantly extend the shopping reach for consumers, enabling them to effectively compare prices across a wide geographic area. And a willingness to drive to another town, or even county, can often make a real difference to the bottom line.

But how far are car-buyers willing to drive to get the best deal on a new car? The median distance is 55 miles, according to a recent nationwide, telephone-based survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. But there was a wide range of responses. About 14 percent of respondents, for example, would not drive even 20 miles, while more than a quarter (26 percent) would travel at least 100 miles for the right deal.

This information was collected from more than 1,700 interviews that were completed among adults whose household owns at least one vehicle.

Next time you use an online tool to solicit dealer quotes, try looking at offers from beyond your immediate area. You might find driving an extra half hour or so could save you hundreds of dollars.

In the market for a new car?
Consumer Reports new Build & Buy service lets you configure a vehicle online and then get guaranteed, competitive price quotes from up to three dealers in your area who have agreed to meet certain guidelines of conduct. The service is completely free and you are under no obligation to buy. Access this service through the model overview pages, available to online subscribers.

Jeff Bartlett and the Consumer Reports National Research Center

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