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Survey helps shoppers find their perfect cars

Car-ED algorithm weeds through needs of users and offers matches

Published: May 14, 2017, 10:30 PM
Updated: May 19, 2017, 1:38 PM

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As automobile journalists, we often get asked the question “What car should I buy?”

In most cases, we reply with the usual “make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, look through manufacturers’ sites and car-shopping sites, narrow your choices down to three, get out and test your finalists back to back to figure out which one works best for you, and that’s the car you should buy.”

It’s a time intensive process, but it’s probably the second-most important purchase in your life, so you want to make sure you get it right.

But now, there’s a quick and fun way to get through the initial research. Start-up Car-ED is a free lifestyle questionnaire designed to identify that short list of vehicles that best connect with the shopper.

“After decades working for automobile manufacturers, we decided there had to be a better way for people who don’t spend all day thinking about cars to find a simple list of vehicles that best connect to their behaviors,” Kevin Joostema, Car-ED co-founder said. “Our goal is to offer a fun, easy service to anyone asking the question that comes up so often in our line of work: ‘What car should I buy?’”

It starts with 11 questions about behaviour patterns, at www.car-ed.com, and then users get shortlists of vehicles that most closely match their lifestyles. The lists provide links to manufacturers’ websites, to make the search phase of the buying process fast and easy.

“Car shopping sites assume that everyone starts by knowing basic information about what kind of car is right for them, but we think the conversation should start one step sooner,” said Joostema. “There are too many new options for people to keep up with, so they usually gravitate to what they know.”

“But the truth is, the right car for you might come from a company you’ve never considered before. The system might know you better than you know yourself,” added Car-ED co-founder Andres Valbuena said. “If you keep an open mind about makes and models, you may be surprised at how close the suggestions match you.”

Prior to co-founding Car-ED, both Joostema and Valbuena were industry executives with various mainstream auto companies, including General Motors, Honda and Volkswagen, among others.