October 24, 2008

CarZen – The Least Complex & Most Personalized Car Search


Websites are getting a considerably more user-friendly and informative. If you type “car information” into Google, you’re going to come up with thousands of websites. How could another car-related website actually improve on the long list already out there? The answer: by making it easier-to-use, and more fun than existing car sites.

CarZen allows users to choose a vehicle based on a number of different criteria: type of vehicle, personal needs such as the size of the driver, price, brand, and a number of other selections. That sounds fairly basic, but the way CarZen lays it out is easy and fun to use and you get the real sense that you’re receiving an authoritative recommendation on the best car to suit your needs.

Like other car-buying sites, it’s main purpose is to provide quotes for different types of vehicles. However, this isn’t necessarily how the site is most useful. It’s best purpose is to help car buyers decide on a car, not necessarily to find the cheapest car available. While the site does that as well it’s not CarZen’s major selling point. All in all, CarZen is very smooth-running site that shows how a new site can enter a very crowded niche and still offer something new and useful.

Practical Uses:

  • Find the best minivan for your growing family
  • Locate and recommend the best automobile for your brother-in-law without having to research a number of websites

Insider Tips:

  • If you’re unsure about a minivan or a sedan, you can choose both and eventually narrow it down based on other factors: mileage, warranty, etc
  • Use the CarPages function to get a general sense of the cars available of a certain brand
  • Use the CarAdvice section to read up on obtaining a loan or understanding hybrid cars
  • Use the Ask a Friend feature – if you know someone who knows a lot about cars, you can use this to get a second opinion
  • The “?” next to each trait is very useful. For example, do you really know what HID/Xenon headlights are?

What we liked:

  • Incredibly easy to use – fast and seamless interaction
  • The ability to narrow down cars based on a huge list of criteria – basically every criteria imaginable
  • It’s free to use. It’s a lead-based site: car dealers use the site to find prospective buyers, but the buyers themselves don’t have to pay anything
  • No registration required: so you’ll only be contacted if you enter in your contact information at the end of a search
  • The ability to save searches so it can be accessed later

What we didn’t like:

  • The possibility for skewing the results. Although the site is billed as being unbiased, it still runs the risk of accepting payment from car companies to be listed high in results
  • May not have the most fact-based ratings. The site says, “CarZen scours the web while our editors run through newspapers and magazines containing tests, reviews and impressions of the cars available to you.”
  • Unclear about the number of dealerships connected to the site, so you won’t necessarily get the best quote if you live in a remote location


Company Info:

  • Launched: December 2007
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: New York, NY
  • Founded by: Nick Gidwani
  • Web site:


  • Free

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