Editor's Note: Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book joins our latest episode of Credit Curious with guest host Jen Gordon of Autocheck.com to share just how much has changed recently in the world of car buying. Check out our audio and video embeds below, and be on the lookout for more video Credit Curious episodes coming your way soon! - Blaine
In just the past 20 years, the process of buying a car has changed more drastically than it had in the previous century. Like so many aspects of our lives, the internet and the Information Age we live in has opened up a new universe of data in car buying. Whether it's knowing how much a dealer paid for a new or used vehicle (invoice price) or knowing how much people are paying for a given car in your area (market price), there's a wealth of pricing data available to new and used car shoppers today.
Plenty of information and options also exist around how to finance your next vehicle purchase. Most third-party sites, including Kelley Blue Book, offer financing calculators that make it easy to calculate your monthly payment based on your credit rating, a vehicle's cost and your down payment. This makes it easy to know exactly how much a car costs, how much you'll need to borrow and what credit terms you quality for before ever setting foot on a dealer lot. Knowledge is power, and this level of knowledge can raise a shopper's confidence level, if they're willing to do their homework before visiting a dealer.
Of course the next big evolution in personal transportation won't be how we buy a car, but how we drive it — or more specifically, how we don't drive it. A future filled with fully autonomous, self-driving cars is rushing toward us and will be here in less than a decade. We'll keep seeing baby steps toward this world, e.g. radar cruise control, lane-keeping assist and automatic brake mitigation, but several well-funded companies, including Apple, Audi, Ford, General Motors and Google are racing to be the first to offer a self-driving vehicle. And when well-funded companies get into a race, the finish line is often crossed sooner than anticipated.
How the autonomous vehicle changes the way we buy, own and sell cars is anyone's guess, but like the information revolution of the past two decades, it will be another drastic change in a relatively short period of time.
You can also learn more about credit, finance and lending on Credit & Finance Talk with Experian on iTunes.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Experian.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.