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Automotive Industry: A Research Guide

Retail and Car Buying Resources

Evening star (Washington, D.C.), May 10, 1936
Automobile sales. Evening star (Washington, D.C.), May 10, 1936. Chronicling America. Library of Congress.

Several factors can impact retail prices, such as interest rates, taxes, incentives, financing, fuel efficiency, and global events like COVID-19, which can lead to plant closures and supply chains issues.

To make the car-buying process more convenient, consumers now have the option of a virtual experience, which includes researching cars online, contacting dealerships, scheduling test drives, negotiating, and even having the vehicle delivered to their doorstep. This process saves consumers from spending time with a salesperson and finance team at a dealership.

This section offers list of books, online resources, and industry periodicals to help consumers search for retail and car-buying information on automobiles. Consumers can access most car and retail information through websites or full-text databases. For more historical resources, see also the Industry Car Manuals page within this guide.


The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

Online Resources

The following list of websites can be used for researching new or used cars. The websites offer extensive tools, advice, and more.