How To Use the Edmunds New Car Inventory Tool
All You Need To Know in 4 Easy Steps
You know the car you want. Now it's time to find it on a dealer's lot. You could go to your local dealer's Web page and search the inventory, but the dealer might not have the vehicle you want in stock. The Edmunds.com New Car Inventory tool gives you the ability to cast a wider net by searching through the extensive Edmunds.com network of participating dealers.
The following steps will help get you started and bring you closer to locating your next new car.
Step 1: Get to the Page
There are three ways to get to the Edmunds New Car Inventory tool. The first is to go directly to the tool from the homepage. Look for the Search Inventory link under the New Car tab.
The other two routes to the tool start with the vehicle information page of any given model. One way is to click on the Inventory tab in the white banner above the initial photo of the car. The other route begins when you click the link underneath the box labeled "Price with Options." It indicates how many vehicles are available at participating dealers.
Once you're at the New Car Inventory's local search results, you'll want to set a maximum search distance. You can set the range between 10 and 500 miles. Enter your ZIP code now to establish the starting point if you haven't already done so.
Step 2: Choose the Car
The tool starts out with a choice of automaker. The number in parentheses represents how many cars there are in the distance range you've chosen. When you click on the brand you want, you'll be presented with a list of models. After you've chosen a model — the Toyota Camry, for example — you'll begin to narrow down the search.
You will find several boxes, including make, model, year, trim, exterior color, interior color and features. (Take a look at this article if you need a refresher on trim levels.)
If you are coming to the New Car Inventory page from a vehicle information page, you'll land here. The following steps are the same, no matter how you arrived at this page.
Step 3: Getting Granular
As before, each selectable option has a number in parentheses that indicates how many vehicles are available that fit that description. The tool will whittle down the pool of vehicles as you select the options. You can click on the categories in any order. For example, if you have your heart set on a red car, click on that color and the list will rearrange itself to show only red cars that are available.
In some cases, choosing a color might be all you need to narrow down the search. If color isn't a priority, but such features as navigation and all-wheel drive are, select your "must-have" options. Each time you select an option, you will see it listed in the section underneath the boxes. Click on the "X" when you want to remove an option and return to the previous list of options.
Step 4: Take Action
Now the page will display a short list of vehicles that meet your selected prerequisites. The listings also display the dealerships. Not all dealers will list the price of the car. You have a couple of options at this point.
You can either request an Internet price quote or call the dealer to verify the price, color and options on the vehicle. If you call, ask for the Internet sales manager. If the dealership's phone number is not listed, you can find it via Google or Bing. Also, make a note of the VIN of the vehicle you are asking about. This will help the salesperson locate it faster.
Keep in mind that once you receive a number of price quotes — via the price quote system or by calling the dealership — you might not always get an exact match for a car. The dealership will try to find a vehicle that is comparably equipped, but the prices and options may vary. If you are having trouble deciding which vehicle to choose, ask yourself this question: "Do I want the least expensive vehicle or the one that most closely matches my preferred options?"
Now that you have located a vehicle that fits your requirements, you might be ready to buy. If you need some help with this, our "Quick Guide to Buying a New Car" lays out your next steps.