In a perfect world, this is how you would find your dream car: You log on to a website — a very easy-to-use website with big pictures, simple prompts and clear instructions. It would be a website with an intuitive, uncomplicated car finder that not only tells you all about your dream car, but it also shows you available inventory at your local car dealer — so you can actually put that dream car in your garage.

Welcome to the perfect world. That’s right. It exists. Finding your dream car isn’t a dream at all. It’s real, and it is just a few clicks away with an online car finder,

Technology has marched on, and there are now new online car finders, that not only allow you to create your dream car but also shows which auto dealers in your area have it in stock. All in real time. Remember, it’s the perfect world.

In addition to walking you through the features of the AutoGravity car finder, we’ll offer simple directions and some tips to finding your dream car. We’ll also answer these common questions.

Online car finders are nothing new. They’ve been around now for more than two decades. Unfortunately, so has user-frustration. Too many car finders ask you to select the new car, used car, or certified pre-owned car you want, then have you spend time choosing its color and equipment, but they don’t tell you which car dealer in your area has that dream-car combo in stock.

Knowing exactly what new or used car you want — but not knowing if it exists —  isn’t much help. And knowing that the car exists — but not knowing where to find it — is even worse. The car finder on AutoGravity.com solves these issues. and lets you filtering for “car dealers near me“.

How Do I Find a Car Dealer That Has the Car I Want?

Image of needle in haystack to show how difficult to find cars

The easiest and most reliable way to find a car dealer with the car you want is to use one of the latest trusted online car finders, like AutoGravity.com. It not only allows you configure the car, SUV or pickup you want — exactly the way you want it — but it will tell you which dealer in your area has it in stock.

Here’s how to use the car finder at AutoGravity.com.

  • Once you’ve logged onto the AutoGravity home page, you’ll see two large, clearly marked buttons. One is for new cars, and another is for used cars. Clicking on either will open a menu of automotive brands, from Acura to Volvo. Choose the car you want.
  • Then, another menu will open listing all of the models produced by that automaker; pictures of the vehicles will be shown to help you make your selection. And, you’ll see the starting MSRP for each. If you’re shopping for used cars, you can select by year and model, as well as explore used and certified used-car inventory.
  • Choosing the new car model will open up the configuration. Here’s where you will choose the vehicle’s trim level, color, engine and other features. Along the way, you’ll be asked for your zip code, so AutoGravity can compare your dream car to the inventory at all of your local car dealers.
  • As you make your selections and design your dream car, vehicles matching its configuration appear along with the name of the dealership, the car’s MSRP and the dealership’s distance from your zip code. There were 56 vehicles matching the 2019 Buick Envision we desired, and there were several at a car dealer just 1.01 miles away.Pricing can be explored by sticker price or monthly payment, and discounted prices are listed in red so you can quickly scan for the best deals. Shoppers can even input information about their trade-in vehicle, which will affect the transaction price.

Does Inventory and Deals Vary Based On Dealer?

Car dealers are independent businesses, so their inventory and their deals will vary, sometimes greatly. Some dealers stock more loaded examples, while others are known for having a large inventory of lower, more affordable trim levels. Other vehicle variations can include color, optional accessories and optional packages. Dealer can also sell that inventory for any price they choose.

It’s possible to find some overlap in the inventory between one dealer and another, but if you’re looking for something very specific, it could be hard to find without the help of a car finder.

For instance, one shopper looking for a white Kia Optima probably won’t have any trouble finding one at a local Kia car dealer. But another shopper looking for a white Kia Optima SX with the optional Limited Package and Interior Light Kit may have to hunt through the inventory of many car dealers to find that exact combination.

The transaction price of those two sedans will also vary from dealership to dealership. Although the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP of both Optimas would be the same at all dealerships. MSRP is the sticker price, and it’s what Kia suggests the dealership charge for the car.

After negotiations, however, one dealer may take less for the exact same car than another. This is called the transaction price. It’s what the buyer actually pays the car dealer for the car.

There are several possible reasons and circumstances that can cause the transaction price to vary greatly from dealer to dealer. For instance, one dealer may be simply willing to let the car go for less profit than others. It’s also possible that one dealer is overstocked with a particular combination and needs to move his inventory of white Optimas to make room for the black ones that have been ordered.

How Can I Check Dealer Inventory?

Image of phone calling car dealer

Checking any car dealer’s inventory can be accomplished in several different ways. Some are time consuming, while others can be misleading. Here are four ways to check dealer inventory.

  1. Check a third-party site: A third-party auto site is an independent information source that’s not affiliated with an automaker or dealer. There are many, including AutoGravity.com, which has millions of vehicles listed in current inventory at dealers (with a simple car finder).
  2. Drive to the dealer: In the old days, before the internet, this is how it was done. You would actually drive to all your local car dealers, walk around car lots and see what they have in stock, hoping one of the cars in inventory matched your dream car. This is, of course, time consuming, and you’ll no doubt end up in conversations with a car salesman, which is rarely how you’d like to spend your Saturday.
  3. Check the dealer’s website: Every new-car dealer in America has a website and lists its inventory for all the world to see. Unfortunately, in many experiences, that information can be out of date; the car you see listed may not necessarily be available. Not all car finders are made equal.

Worse than that, the car and deal listed could be too good to be true — and doesn’t really exist. Its purpose is to get you engaged with the dealer, so he can sell you another car he actually has. This is called “bait and switch,” and it’s an unfortunate tactic used for decades by unscrupulous car salesman and dealers that still think it’s the 1950s.

Check the manufacturer website: Most car manufacturer websites, including those for popular brands like Nissan, Hyundai and Volkswagen (VW), as well as luxury automakers like Infiniti and Genesis, allow you to see your local dealer’s inventory on their websites. But most will take you to the dealers website where you can experience the frustrations already mentioned.

Is There a Website with a Car Finder For Local Inventory?

Man using car finder to find local car dealers

Logging into AutoGravity.com gives you access to hundreds of cars, trucks and SUVs in your area — sitting in your local dealer’s inventory right now. Instantly and free of charge. It couldn’t be easier to search the inventory of new car and used cars.

AutoGravity.com allows you to choose a make and model, like a 2018 Audi A4, and see the available inventory at every Audi dealer within 90 miles of your location.

We gave this a try, and incredibly, there were 394 available within 90 miles of our location. Having the ability to look through that many vehicles on any device, including your smartphone, really makes car shopping easier. There were A4 sedans listed in every conceivable color, trim level and engine combination.

Shoppers looking to narrow the search can then select the vehicle’s color, limit the search to only models with all-wheel drive, or choose a particular price range. You can also adjust the size of the area searched to as few as five miles to really hone-in on car dealers in your town.

AutoGravity car finder also allows you to sort the results. Choices include Best Match and Price Low to High, but a shopper can also sort the results by distance. Putting the closest-inventory matches at the top.

And here’s the best part. Clicking on the vehicle you want brings up more detailed information, including its Vehicle Indentification Number (VIN), so you know it’s a real car, its dealership stock number and extensive info on the dealer, including a map showing its location and address, phone number and business hours. It can even help you with contacts for the service and parts departments.

Click the “Next” button and you’ll get an estimated break down of the car’s purchase price, to either buy or lease, complete with a possible down payment and monthly payment. And you can apply for financing on AutoGravity.

Although there are many ways to find your dream car, many of the old methods out there feel, well … old. They have a tendency to waste your time, and you’re just too busy for that. If you’re looking for the best and easiest way to find your dream car, check out the car finder at AutoGravity.

Car Finder: Find Your Dream Car at a Local Car Dealer | AutoGravity
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Car Finder: Find Your Dream Car at a Local Car Dealer | AutoGravity
Car dealers have websites but many have out of date or incomplete inventory. Use an accurate car finder to find the dealer who has your dream car in stock.
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Scott Oldham is an award winning automotive journalist with over 25 years of experience. Based in Los Angeles, Scott has written for Car and Driver, Autoweek, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, Popular Mechanics and Autoblog. Scott is also a former President of the Motor Press Guild and is currently on the jury of the prestigious North American Car and Truck of the Year Award. He can be found on Twitter: @RealScottOldham

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