Buying a car? How ChatGPT plugins make research easier – USA TODAY

Don’t know anything about cars but know you need one? Instead of spending hours talking to dealers or searching online to find the best vehicle, buyers can now ask ChatGPT and, online resources for automotive inventory and information, separately launched new plugins for ChatGPT on Monday to help car buyers find their next ride. Since Edmunds’ plugin taps right into the company’s database, users will get the latest 2023 reviews, ratings and listings information on all vehicles, Edmunds said. The free version of ChatGPT has a knowledge base of data only through 2021. 
CarGurus said its plugin will help shoppers “explore vehicle options on their own terms without being limited by specific search fields. Through ChatGPT, users can input conversational prompts that are broad.” 
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that’s trained to follow instructions in a prompt and provide detailed responses to questions. People enter prompts to receive humanlike images, text, or videos that are created by AI. 
Since ChatGPT learns from users, the more it’s used and asked questions, the more context the application receives, and the more specific answers will be. Users should be forewarned that the free version has limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021 and may occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content. The ChatGPT Plus subscription for $20 per month will give you access to plugins like Edmunds that can bridge the gap to current-day data. 
First, you’ll need a ChatGPT Plus subscription that costs $20 per month to access the ChatGPT plugin store, where you can find the “Edmunds Cars” and CarGurus plugins.  
Once the plugin you choose is enabled, shoppers can converse with ChatGPT as they typically would. When a car shopper asks a question that can be better answered with CarGuru or Edmunds information, ChatGPT will call on whichever plugin you’re using to offer buyers a more complete and accurate answer with data from that source.
“Plugins are tools designed specifically to help ChatGPT access up-to-date information,” Nick Gorton, Edmunds’ chief innovation officer, said. “Without a plugin, shoppers wouldn’t be able to research cars currently listed for sale or read current model year reviews.” 
“Currently, shoppers can only have three plugins activated at once, so combining multiple functions in a single plugin is a big win for consumers,” Gorton said.
A demo video of Edmunds’ plugin for ChatGPT can be found here
To see CarGurus’ plugin at work, visit
Both companies said they plan to add more features in the future. 
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ChatGPT’s answers are tailored to your specific questions and needs because they can understand natural speech-like questions and provide conversational answers.   
ChatGPT differs from a web search engine, like Google, which simply indexes web pages on the internet to help users find the information they asked for.   
For example, buyers can ask broad questions into ChatGPT like “Find me a fuel-efficient car under $25,000” or more specific ones such as “Show me SUVs near Boston with less than 20,000 miles” to prompt the plugin to return the most relevant cars available on, the company said. Shoppers can then evaluate vehicle details by clicking through the CarGurus platform. 
“The car shopping process can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially for those who aren’t sure of the make or model they’d like to buy,” said Matt Quinn, Chief Technology Officer at CarGurus. ChatGPT plugins give shoppers an alternative way to explore their options and tailor their searches “to discover an ideal match that might not have been on their radar initially,” he said. 
Medora Lee is a money, markets, and personal finance reporter at USA TODAY. You can reach her at and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning.