SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, has launched “The Debt-Free Car Project,” which aims to assure car buyers that they can find a reliable used car for under $5,000 without the burden of monthly payments. Last month, Edmunds.com’s consumer advice editors purchased a 1996 Lexus ES300 for $3,800, and over the next year they will document the vehicle’s performance as part of the company’s long-term car test fleet.
“Not everyone has the credit or steady income to afford monthly car payments, so it’s important to show consumers that they can find a dependable used car for just a few thousand dollars up front,” says Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Ronald Montoya. “We were determined not to buy a beater that would have us visiting a mechanic every month and, like any car buyer, we wanted a car that we would not be ashamed to drive.”
Edmunds.com’s consumer advice editors used online resources to find the Lexus at an independent car dealer in Pasadena, CA. The forest green ES300 had 135,000 miles on the odometer and a vehicle history report showed a clean accident record and multiple service visits to a Lexus dealer. After back-and-forth negotiations, the dealer agreed to sell the vehicle for $3,800 out the door. For the full blow-by-blow of Edmunds.com’s shopping and negotiating process for the 1996 Lexus ES300, please visit http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/the-debt-free-car-project.html.
Edmunds.com editors will track the car’s fuel, maintenance and repair costs, as well as their anecdotal experiences while driving the car on a daily basis. They’ll drive to and from work, run errands around town and take long road trips with a goal driving it 15,000 miles in the next year. Readers can track the vehicle’s progress on Edmunds’ InsideLine.com’s award-winning Long Term Road Tests blog.
“The Debt-Free Car Project” is just the latest example of Edmunds.com practicing what it preaches. Editors will use the same strategies advocated in a piece published earlier this year that advises consumers “How to Buy and Maintain a Very Inexpensive Car” at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/how-to-buy-and-maintain-a-very-inexpensive-car.html.
When buying any used car in any price range, it’s always important to ask the seller all the right questions. Edmunds.com provides an outline to make sure you hit all the right points with its Used Car Worksheet at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/used-car-worksheet.html.
About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)
Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its acclaimed mobile site, Edmunds.com Android App and five-star Edmunds iPhone and iPad apps make car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and on the go. Its automotive enthusiast web site, InsideLine.com, is the most-read car publication of its kind. Its highly regarded mobile site and iPhone app features the wireless Web’s most comprehensive gallery of automotive photos and videos. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook.