More than two years ago, when I was buying a new car, I basically left my husband to do the searching, phoning and enquiring for me. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I could afford, but I knew that I didn't feel like trawling through tens of websites, paging through magazines, or phoning dealerships.
It wasn't a case of "I'm a woman, therefore don't know much about cars", but rather I didn't feel like the admin, and chatting to convincing car salespeople. I also wasn't sure I would get the right info, or ask the right questions. My husband did that for me (bless him), and I (I mean, he) found a car that ticked all the boxes.
These days, there's a quicker way to find your soulmate of a car, and it's in an app, Carter, which takes what is sometimes confusing and complex, and simpflies it.
How it works is that you head over to www.heycarter.com, and then search by make and model, or you can get the app to find the right car, based on your preferences., for example "Speed Freak", "Soccer Mom", "Fashionista", "Fuel Efficient Commuter", "Big Boots Sedan" and "City SUV". Then you can narrow it down so that you get matched as accurately as possible – choose your price range, type of gearbox etc, and then start seeing results.
Carter is sometimes likened to the dating app Tinder – it hooks you up with potential matches (in this case, cars), and you get to swipe right if you like a car that you're matched with, or left if you're not a fan. You can then go through your likes, and find more info on each of them – from the dimensions and engine to the safety and gadgets.
If you want a quote, you can request it sent to you, and you can also choose if you need finance, and if you want to trade in your old car. If you like the quote and are still keen, you can book a test drive.
It's an easy and fun process, and you can get pretty much all the info you need, without having to phone around for quotes, and trying to understand all the specs and technicalities on the spot (rather, you can look over them and make sense of things at leisure, and in your own time).
Dare I say it, but this app is lots of fun to use, and I found the same joy looking at MINIs and Audi SUVs on the app as I do looking at sneakers on Superbalist, or trawling makeup on MAC. I'm not looking to buy a car at the moment, but the silver automatic MINI Countryman that I found for a pretty good price and with 52 00km on the clock, is tempting. I could even tell you all the technical specs, thanks to the app!
If you're looking for a new car, of even if want to park the idea for now (see what I did there), download Carter for the easiest ride (there, I did it again) to a vehicle.