15 Best Used Car Websites to Save Big
Purchasing a new or used car is an important decision — both financially and in terms of the amount of time you spend in a vehicle. Whether you’re looking for a cheap sports car, a reliable minivan, or a big luxury SUV, you can find it online nowadays. You don’t even have to leave your sofa to browse, research, inquire, and finance your next roadster.
That’s why some used car websites stand out above the rest by making the browsing and buying process as straightforward as possible.
Best Used Car Websites List
Here are 15 best used car websites on the web planet.
1. Edmunds – Best Site for Used Cars: Editors Choice
Edmunds has started as a paperback brochure available at newsstands. Decades of experience made this a well-respected name in the industry. The site lets you save your searches and favorites and also allows you to filter your selections.
Even though their search appears to be similar to the ones available on other sites, they often have more features and options to select from. This enables you to narrow and refine more thoroughly. It also has a wealth of advice and articles to help educate you about the car-buying process and the vehicles themselves
Also, the website offers expert reviews and pricing insights to help when you’re car buying. Its vehicle comparison tool ranks vehicles using such measures as fuel economy, consumer ratings, and ownership costs.
2. Bring a Trailer – Best Used Car Website for Vintage Lovers
For a more accurate auction experience than eBay Motors, Bring a Trailer (BaT) is the way to go. Cars have to be approved by the website before an auction can go live —sellers send in an app form with relevant information about the vehicle or part. If approved, the seller then needs to pay a $99 fee and provide high-quality images and plenty of information, and BaT’s staff then writes up the post. (Buyers pay a percentage fee to Bring a Trailer when a sale is final.)
Due to the way the website curates listings, at any time, there is a wide range of interesting class, from classic Mustangs through obscure Renaults to modern supercars and everything in between.
Each auction lasts 7 days, with a live timer and list of offers constantly going. In the last few minutes of an auction, if visitors are still bidding, the timer is suspended, which can lead to some quite exciting bidding combats. Sellers can respond to questions in the comments section, a level of public interaction you don’t have with many other vehicle-sales platforms. The BaT is searchable, allowing you to look through past listings of similar cars—and sometimes finding the same vehicle that has been sold on this site before.
3. Hemmings – Best Car Shopping Site for Classic Vehicles
Hemmings is a trustworthy site that features and sells used classic cars. It also sells vehicle parts and offers services relating to the car. At this place, you can search based on the vehicle’s make, model, year, price, and location.
From there, the website will show you photos and a brief description of the car. Once you’ve selected the right vehicle for you, you can either purchase it through a straightforward sale or by auction. The site will also let you contact the seller if you have questions.
Aside from selling classic cars, it also offers a daily newsletter, an up-to-date blog, and other resources crafted to aid classic car owners. Plus, there’s an online store where you can shop apparel, books, wall calendars, and die-cast models.
Also, it also shares links to upcoming auctions. If you’re into classic cars, the Hemmings is definitely one of the best used car websites you can visit. Plus, it features a simple design that enables its users to find the right vehicle with ease.
4. AUTOLIST – Used Car Website with Best Resources
The AUTOLIST has many of the similar features as the other best used car sites on this list. For instance, it lets you search for used cars based on price, location, make, model, and body style. From there, the search results will display pictures of your chosen vehicle along with some critical information, including a CARFAX report. The site will also provide the necessary details of the seller or dealer. Plus, the website will allow you to save your search history and favorite cars.
The trademark that makes this site stand-out is its highly rated mobile application, which is available on iOS and Android. Using the app, you can buy your next hybrid while you’re on the go. Plus, this site provides useful information about the car, like how long it’s been on sale or how its price has changed during time.
In general, using this website and mobile app is pretty easy. The best part is that AUTOLIST offers a variety of vehicles that you can choose from.
5. CarMax – #1 Chain of Used-Car Dealerships
Unlike the vehicle search engines, CarMax is a used-car chain. Meaning, the cars you find via this site are being sold by its salespeople. The unique thing about purchasing from this place is the bargain-free experience – the price advertised is the price you pay. Don’t try your practicing negotiation skills with CarMax – they won’t work.
When searching via this website, you’re searching only CarMax’s inventory, which is unlike the other sites profiled here. Fortunately, this chain has large inventory -195 stores across the nation result in tens of thousands of vehicles being available at any time. If one car isn’t available in your county, it can be shipped from another area for a fee.
Though the market of CarMax cars isn’t going to be as thorough as what you can find from a general vehicle search engine like AUTOLIST, what you do get is the peace of mind that comes with the CarMax buying process. Whatever model you find through this chain, you’ll know that the shopping experience will be relaxed and transparent.
Another benefit of CarMax is its seven-day money-back guarantee. Therefore, if you’re unhappy for any reason, simply return the vehicle. Other advantages of purchasing with CarMax include in-house financing and its extra-cost but the very generous warranty.
6. TrueCar – Best Used Car Site for Buyers
Another site that emphasizes transparency is TrueCar. This platform has changed the way people buy cars online. Compared to other car search websites, this place will show you the difference between the charging price of sellers and the price the buyers are actually paying. Using this, you can save more money even without negotiating. The best part is that the online price is the price you’ll get when you go to the website’s certified dealers.
Through this platform, searching for the right vehicle is also simple and easy. Like other sites on this list, you only need to type your zip code and click on the model and make it get results. It’ll also show you photos and a description of the car, including a CARFAX report. Plus, you can use the calculator to estimate your monthly payment.
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7. AutoTempest – Ideal for Private Sellers
If you’re seeking for a website that can provide you with a lot of options, AutoTempest is the right one for you. This site is like “Google” for car buyers. It collects listings from other top car websites, like eBay Motors, Craigslist. So, with this site, you can get a lot of choices in just a single search. From there, the search results will display you some pictures and the car’s condition, along with the link where you can find a used car.
Moreover, the website lets you save your search history. On the site’s home page, you’ll find buying guides and some haggling tips to get the best deals. Also, the site provides comprehensive car reviews and answers to frequently asked questions.
One pitfall of this car search engine is that the information provided may not be sufficient for some shoppers. For instance, some vehicle listings don’t have a CARFAX report. However, you can always contact the dealer for the necessary information you need.
8. Cars – Perfect for Quick Shopping
This website is still the gold standard for auto sales since they syndicate their listings so widely, and they have a huge inventory. When you sell a vehicle on CaCarsrs — whether you opt for the free listing option or one of the paid solutions — your listing may be syndicated on their other properties (Auto, PickupTrucks, and NewCars) and on the websites of Cars affiliates. It also offers sellers the option of making fast sales to dealers, so if you have to move your vehicle quickly, you can.
Why do some people choose to make faster dealer sales when it usually means selling for less? While the site’s large inventory is an obvious benefit for buyers, it can be a handicap for sellers. Unless you have astonishing images of your truck or car or you’re selling a model that’s in high demand, you may find it difficult to make your listing stand out from the crowd.
9. Carvana – Fantastic Plans for Used Car Financing
All used vehicles sold on Carvana are subject to an Experian AutoCheck report and went through a 150-point inspection. Therefore, you’re guaranteed that you’re not going to purchase a lemon car at this platform. Besides, this site will manage all the steps of the vehicle-buying process, including financing the purchasing. The best part is that the whole operation will only take you 10 minutes.
Also, this website can provide you with the top-notch car-buying experience. Carvana does this by allowing you to try a car for 7 days without any obligations. If you don’t like the vehicle, you can return it without any charges, as long as the car has less than 400 mi. on it from the time you purchased. A $1 by mile fee will be charged for anything over 400 mi.
10. Autobytel – Best Platform for Browsing
Autobytel is a huge online search engine for a new and used car. Like other best car buying sites on the list, you can easily find the vehicle you want by adding your zip code and clicking on the model and make of the car you want.
From there, the website will direct you to a page that contains the vehicle’s details and pictures. Also, it has a feature that allows you to contact the seller. Finally, the platform will also allow you to save your search history and favorite vehicles- available in the My Garage section of the website.
Aside from those functionalities, this website also provides information about financing, shopping tips, and vehicle reviews. Plus, the site includes numerous top 10 lists that won’t only entertain but educate and give you ideas of what to look for.
11. CarGurus – Excellent for Bargaining
CarGurus is considered the benchmark when it comes to the question “what is best way to buy a used car.” It can provide sufficient information on the vehicle you’re interested in.
At this platform, finding a car is easy, due to its point-and-click search feature. Thence, you can still filter the results based on a variety of factors, like mileage and price. It also provides some photos and information about the history of the car. Plus, you’ll see the time when the vehicle was posted and its price history.
It has some unique functions that differentiate this platform from other sites. First, CarGurus emphasizes transparency.
When you search for a car, the top results aren’t the ads paid for by the dealers but the best vehicle listings based on the seller’s reputation and market value. Plus, it’ll show you whether you’re getting a great, good, fair, or bad deal as well. Ultimately, you’ll also read test drive reviews from other users.
12. CarsDirect – Easy to Use Portal
CarsDirect is a user-friendly website that lets you search for used cars based on the model, make, body style, and price. Thence your search results will include offers from both dealers and private owners. Besides, each result will provide photos that show the condition of the vehicle. Besides pictures, you also get the option to view the CARFAX report of your selected vehicle. And if you’re in the middle of choosing between two or more cars, this portal will let you to save your search history and favorite vehicles.
At this site, you can also submit an inquiry about your chosen car. If you’re seeking for special financing, this platform can help with that as well. Furthermore, you’ll also get information about special financial incentives. Once you’ve picked the right model for you, the portal will provide links to the dealer’s site and comprehensive maps to the dealer’s location.
13. Craigslist – Great Local Offers
To find vehicles for sale in your area, Craigslist might be the best option. Anyone can list cars or parts on the website – including dealerships – and there are different regional sections for counties and cities throughout the country. It’s up to the seller to decide how many pictures and how much information they want to provide, but often listings can be lacking. Recently, this platform implemented a change where sellers now have to pay $5 before listing a vehicle, likely to combat scammers.
Sometimes, Craigslist can be hard to search, though, particularly if you’re searching in multiple locations and for a particular type of car. In that case, it’s highly recommended to use the smartphone app BRZO. Currently only available for Apple devices, BRZO lets for detailed, customizable Craigslist searches that can cover the entirety of the website or specific regions.
14. eBay Motors – Leading Vehicle Protection Program
Once upon a time, most people would have found the idea of purchasing a car on eBay pretty shocking, but today 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 since they don’t have to help a faraway buyer coordinate car transport), then selling your vehicle on eBay Motors might be an excellent option for you.
Setting up listings is simple. Local listings are free, while national listings are $60-$125, and, according to eBay, most trucks and cars sell relatively quickly. The biggest drawback may be that bids are non-binding. Therefore a buyer can back out for any reason at any point in the process.
15. Facebook Marketplace: Built-in Messaging Capabilities
If you’re most interested in selling locally, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to start since let’s face it – everyone is on Facebook, and a lot of folks look at those Marketplace posts. If you already have a FB account, you’re halfway to posting your car, as that is the only prerequisite for creating a listing.
The biggest advantages of using this platform to sell a vehicle are that the listings are free, and you can take a peek at prospective buyers’ Facebook profiles to check if they’re legitimate. The biggest downside? As with all online marketplaces, there are more than a few flakes.
Final Thoughts About Best Used Car Websites
We wanted to ensure that the online portals featured above didn’t benefit from selling lemon cars to careless consumers, and they offered as many options and built-in research functionalities as possible. So you could just enter, look around, and find everything you searched for without keeping numerous browser tabs open. If you’re going to purchase, sell, trade, or compare, these are the leading places to do it.