IRVINE, Calif. — Autobytel Inc., a provider of online consumer leads and marketing services to the auto industry, announced Monday that its vehicle price quote and dealer selector platform will power, the recently launched car-buying portal of LendingTree LLC.

"Through the power of Autobytel’s online automotive expertise and LendingTree’s proven, consumer-friendly financing tools, car buyers will have access to compelling financing offers and a convenient car purchasing process, while auto dealers will have the opportunity to serve a greater number of in-market consumers,” said Autobytel Chief Operating Officer Mark Garms. “

The agreement is an extension of a long-term marketing relationship between Autobytel’s Special Finance Program and LendingTree. Now, in addition to helping LendingTree customers with their car purchases, the new agreement includes opportunities for Autobytel’s dealer network to offer financing options to premium credit customers from, as well as to credit-challenged car-buyers through the Special Finance Program.

In addition to auto financing, provides consumers with a dedicated channel to manage the entire car-buying process – from researching makes and models, to making a purchase from a local dealer. The Autobytel engine allows LendingTree customers to request a vehicle price quote and be instantly matched by ZIP code and vehicle type with a member of Autobytel’s nationwide network of dealers.

“Given the economic pressures that many consumers are experiencing, we believe that it’s more critical than ever before to provide access to the best car-purchasing experience and financing options available,” said LendingTree Autos National Account Director Gary Pierce. “Since both companies share a long-standing emphasis on consumer advocacy, the partnership between Autobytel and LendingTree was a natural fit.”