Are you looking for the Best Place To Buy A Car From? Read through for the best place to buy cheap used cars. You will also find the best online car buying sites in the post.
In the past, we’ve written about the best-used car websites for buyers (along with how to book car transport after completing a sale), but buyers are only one half of the equation. Sellers flock to used car websites, too! But, as you might imagine, their needs are quite different. In this post, we review the top 13 sites for buying and selling used cars and then talk a bit about how sellers and buyers thousands of miles apart complete these sales.
best place to buy cheap used cars
Best Place To Buy A Car From
But let’s step back. You may have found this post because you have a car to sell and you’re wondering where to sell it. These days, there are tons of websites where you can list a car for sale, and so finding the best-used car website can be tricky. Here are some of our favorite used car websites for sellers, along with some other sites where sellers can unload cars and trucks quickly.
This site is still the gold standard for auto sales because they syndicate their listings so widely, and they have a huge inventory. When you sell a car on Cars.com — whether you choose the free listing option or one of the paid options — your listing may be syndicated on their other properties (Auto.com,PickupTrucks.com, andNewCars.com) and on the sites of Cars.com affiliates. They also offer sellers the option of making quick sales to dealers, so if you need to move your vehicle fast, you can.
Why do some people opt to make quicker dealer sales when it usually means selling for less? While the site’s huge inventory is an obvious pro for buyers, it can be a drawback for sellers. Unless you have amazing photos of your car or truck or you’re selling a model that’s in high demand, you may find it tough to make your listing stand out from the crowd.
Buyers like AutoTrader because the advanced search tools make it easy to find very specific models and option packages. Sellers like the fact that some listing packages come with a money back guarantee (no sale, no charge) and listings are syndicated on Kelley Blue Book. There’s also the option to sell to a dealership for a faster sale or even to get an instant cash offer on the site. Again, if a speedy sale is more important to you than getting top dollar, AutoTrader is one of the sites that make it easy to unload a vehicle fast.
Once upon a time, most people would have found the idea of buying a car on eBay pretty shocking, but nowadays it happens all the time. If you’re already familiar with how selling on eBay works and/or you want to sell your car locally (which some people do because they don’t have to help a faraway buyer coordinate car transport), then selling your vehicle on eBay Motors might be a great option for you.
Setting up listings is simple. Local listings are free and national listings are just $60-$125 and, according to eBay, most cars and trucks sell relatively quickly. Are there downsides to listing on eBay? The biggest downside may be that bids are non-binding, so a buyer can back out for any reason at any point in the process.
Hemmings is where buyers who are looking specifically for classic and collector cars go to buy. So if that’s what you’re selling, this site is where you want to be. Hemmings is super popular with classic car enthusiasts, and they’re not kidding when they say a listing (which will be published online and in print in Hemmings Motor News) can reach millions of buyers. The best part is that these buyers love cars and usually know exactly what they want. If you’re selling, say, a 1963 Chevy Impala, you’ll attract buyers who love that car as much as you do and understand how classic car transport works.
This is another site that lets sellers create listings for free, though be aware that if you sell your vehicle via the listing, you’ll be charged $99 regardless of the purchase price. There are lots of buyers on the site — 20 million per month — because of a feature unique to CarGurus (that not all sellers like). Every listing is assigned a deal rating that can range from great to overpriced, so if you’re trying to get top dollar for your ride and you’re not willing to adjust your price, this might not be the best place to post your listing.
Traditionally a site for buyers, TrueCar’s mission is to put some transparency back in the buying process. They analyze timely and comprehensive pricing information from dealers and then publish it in an easy to understand format. Armed with that data, buyers can approach TrueCar Certified Dealers with confidence, knowing they have what they need to get a great price. But TrueCar is also a resource for sellers looking to unload vehicles fast. Their True Cash Offer process is easy and you can get an offer right on their website that you can cash out at a Certified Dealer.
Buyers who want to be able to search listings from around the U.S. but don’t want to deal with setting up car transport like Carvana because the site delivers. What’s great is that buyers also have the option to pick up vehicles in one of the company’s car vending machines. Sellers also like Carvana, which like many of the sites above, buys cars and trucks. If you sell to Carvana, the process is fast and easy, and they’ll come with a truck to hand off a check and cart your vehicle away.
CarMax is yet another website that will give you a real offer, in writing, for your vehicle online. Actually completing a sale with CarMax, however, will require you to go to one of their stores for an in-person appraisal of your vehicle. As is the case with almost all the sites that buy cars, you’ll probably get less for your ride than you would if you sold it to a person. But the upside is that you will leave CarMax with a check in hand, and they’ll be the ones handling all the necessary paperwork.
Buyers like AutoTempest because it aggregates listings from sites like CarSoup, eBay Motors, and CarsDirect, so they have a lot of vehicles to choose from when shopping. When you’re on AutoTempest, you’ll see the option to sell your car but when you click on it, you’ll be taken to their partner site, Cars.com. That might seem like a bait-and-switch, but, don’t worry, it isn’t. If you create a listing on Cars.com or one of the other sites listed on the AutoTempest homepage, your car will appear for sale on AutoTempest, too.
best online car buying sites
Long distance car buying is more popular than ever, but a lot of people still choose to sell their used cars locally, so they don’t have to deal with the hassle of completing a sale with an out-of-town buyer and then coordinating car transport. The fact is, however, that it’s actually pretty easy to get your old car to its new home. And Montway can help. We have more than 13 years of experience in the auto shipping industry and know how to get your old car to its new home easily and efficiently.
If you’re not sure whether you want to show your used car listing to private buyers outside of your state, know that in the vast majority of sales, it is the buyer who will take care of car shipping. You’ll have to be present when the vehicle is inspected and picked up, but that’s where your responsibility will end.
As you might have gathered after reading through our list of the best-used car websites for sellers, it’s even easier if you’re selling to a dealer. They’ll have their own carriers or auto transport companies they contract with and will come and pick up your car without you having to do anything more than hand over the keys. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Used Car Websites
Buying a new or used vehicle is a big decision — both financially and in terms of the amount of time we spend in our cars. In the twenty-first century, there is an app for car buying. Cars, trucks, and SUVs of all types can be found online. You do not even need to leave your couch to research, browse, inquire, and finance your next vehicle.
Here are some of the best used-car websites today.
Because Autolist is an aggregator (like Kayak.com), the easy-to-use Autolist site displays millions of vehicles from many different sources. Users can view details such as the length of time a given vehicle has been on the market, plus any price changes for that vehicle. Autolist has one of the highest-rated used-car apps available. It works with both Android or iOS phones, and just like the website, it checks multiple online databases to help you locate your dream car.
The app also has instant price-drop alerts and high-res pictures to help you find the best deals on the most local listings. Shoppers can even apply for financing through the Autolist app. Autolist offers a unique feature called family sharing. With family sharing, as many as six family members can share information through the app in real-time. Autolist also offers reviews, industry insights, a Rotten Tomatoes-style aggregator of older vehicle reviews, and buyer’s guides to help steer you through the car-buying process.
Similar to other websites on this list, AutoTempest’s search results are drawn from multiple sources. Their website and app work similarly to the others sites, including the ability to save searches. They have a lot of other useful information as well, including an up-to-date blog, buying guides, and car reviews. While you can filter your car searches, the criteria for doing so are much more limited compared to other sites, although some might consider it to be streamlined. Either way, the essential information is provided. Choices include make, model, distance, price, year, mileage, vehicle type, transmission, and whether it’s for sale from a private party or by a dealer.
Because Autotrader.com nearly predates the internet itself, it has a longstanding reputation that has been built upon decades of trust. Available as a website since 1997, Autotrader has over 3 million listings drawn from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private sellers, and its vehicle selection is immense. The Autotrader website has a wide variety of filters that can help you narrow your search down to exactly the type of vehicle you’re looking for. You can save your searches and even apply for insurance and a loan through the site.
Bring A Trailer started as a listing of interesting cars for sale around the country, now it is a full-blown auction site, with rare and unusual vehicles often selling for astounding figures. It is the place to find that social ride or merely kill an endless amount of time browsing high-dollar exotics and absurdly clean early 2000s commuters. Recently, a pristine 2000 Honda Civic SI sold for $50,000. If you are in the market for something unusual or have wads of cash to blow, check out BringATrailer.com.
This is a company that seeks to build trust through transparency. You will find many of the same search options on their website as you’ll find on the other sites. However, you will also find the CarGurus valuation of a given vehicle based on typical search criteria on top of usual search options. This algorithm used by CarGurus is similar to the methods used by KBB. The information they use to make this determination includes comparable car listings and pricing data on vehicles that have recently sold. Ratings are based on mileage, trim, vehicle history, and a multitude of other factors. CarGurus honestly rates each available car deal as being Overpriced, High, Fair, Good, or Great.
Carmax is a dealership specializing in high-quality used cars, many available with the internet-famous Carmax warranty. This website isn’t the best for those looking for a killer deal because of its no-haggle policy, but it is an excellent place for people who want the most effortless car shopping and buying experience. For those looking for the ease of browsing and buying online, without the anxiety-inducing Craigslist test drive, Carmax can be a good option. Browse, buy, and the car can be ready for pick up, virtually all online or on their mobile app.
Cars.com is one of the largest automotive search engines. With thousands of listings covering almost every car, there is also a new tool that rates the value of used vehicles relative to the current market trends. Cars.com has fewer private sellers, but it’s a great way to search dealers in your area and compare pricing for similar vehicles. Cars.com also has extensive sorting options to narrow your search by the specs and features you are looking for and leaving out those you do not want. In addition to consumer reviews, the site has now built up an extensive archive of expert reviews written by its editorial staff.
This site works to simplify buying a car, and like Autotrader and others on this list, they can help you find financing. The search criteria include make, model, distance, price, mileage, year, color, engine, and even photo availability. CarsDirect also features buying guides, rankings, and vehicle comparisons. Like similar sites, you can save your searches and vehicles of interest. The website also has educational videos, including reviews, car news and reports, and tools that include a trade-in valuation.
Carvana is another used car dealer that built a business around making the buying experience easier. Buy with confidence with a 7-day money-back guarantee, and have your car delivered to your door. All Carvana vehicles have accident-free vehicle history and pass a 150-point inspection. You can also sell your vehicle to Carvana, even without buying from them. They claim you will get a real offer after filling out a form, which takes just a couple of minutes. With used car values near all-time highs, it may be a good time to see what your car is worth to them. Carvana is also the inventor of the car vending machine changing car sales forever. It is a neat gimmick worth checking out if you want to purchase a car in person.
Primarily a classified site, Craigslist doesn’t have many fancy graphics or options, but the site’s selection is fairly broad, and postings usually include photos. You will need to be super savvy and utilize auto checks if you’re going this route because the site is rife with scammers, but it is possible to negotiate a worthwhile deal here.
Search filters through Craigslist include distance, price, make and model, year, mileage, condition, number of cylinders, drivetrain and fuel type, color, size, title status, vehicle type, and transmission type. A point of interest for some is that some sellers on Craigslist might accept cryptocurrency like Bitcoin in exchange for the vehicle they’re selling. You can also create email alerts for the specific attributes of a vehicle that you’re looking for.
Edmunds originated as a paperback booklet available at newsstands. Decades of experience have made Edmunds a well-respected name in the industry. The website allows you to save searches and favorites and also lets you filter your selections. Although their search functions look similar to the ones available on other sites, they often have more features and options to choose from. Features that allow buyers to narrow and refine more thoroughly. Edmunds also has a wealth of advice and articles to help educate people about the car-buying process and the vehicles themselves.
If you don’t mind a car with plenty of miles on it, Enterprise’s former rental cars can be a good choice. They offer a no-questions-asked, seven-day “buyer’s remorse” period, in addition to their 12-month or 12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and one year of roadside assistance. Enterprise also provides financing. Unlike most of the other sites mentioned here, the company sells cars only from one source: their retired rental fleets. They also take trade-ins and have special programs for college graduates or first-time car buyers. The website allows you to search by the monthly payment you can afford alongside the same criteria you’ll find on other sites.
The words “Blue Book price” have been a part of the American vocabulary for nearly a century, and the Kelley Blue Book website and app both trade on this longstanding name recognition. Not only are they known for providing accurate estimates of your car’s market value, but their site has tools for checking your credit score and calculating car payments. Expert reviews, top ten lists, and recall postings make this site a longtime go-to favorite for automotive information. They also cover motorcycles, snowmobiles, and personal watercraft such as jet skis. KBB also offers an instant cash offer section on their website.
For classic car, truck, or motorcycle collectors, this is a ‘don’t-miss’ destination. In addition to vehicles, Hemmings helps you locate hard-to-find parts for project cars. Search for vehicles or parts by make, model, type, price range, and category. Hemmings offers a more community feel, through maintaining a blog and regularly sending out newsletters. Hemmings also sells merchandise related to this niche market. They have an email list, fantastic videos, and special events, not to mention apps for Android and iOS, and several print publications to subscribe to.