• Buying Guides

Best Sites to Sell Your Car

By Melissa Spicer | December 29, 2021

If you’ve got a car, truck, van, SUV or another vehicle you need to part ways with, there are a bevy of different places you can list your ride for sale, and finding the best place to sell a car online is a smart move. From CarGurus.com to Autotrader, it’s never been easier to get your vehicle out there for potential buyers to see.

Still, not all of the options available to you have the same potential to help you snag a buyer—some are definitely better than others at getting as many eyes as possible on what you have to offer, and thus getting you closer to your car's true market value.

The primer below provides a rundown on the best of the best websites to consider when you’re ready to get rid of your car and prefer to avoid car dealers as much as possible.


CarGurus' SellMyCar

CarGurus.com’s SellMyCar feature is one of the absolute best places to sell a car online. This website can help you reach buyers who are ready to buy.

CarGurus.com’s intuitive portal makes listing your vehicle quick, easy, and free from hassle by putting all the tools you need to list the car and make the sale all in one spot. This includes your listing and photos, the ability to message and negotiate during the car buying and selling process, and a portal for receiving payment. CarGurus.com is widely regarded among many folks as the best used car site on the internet.

One of the major “selling points” for using CarGurus.com to sell your car is that the buyers on the site have all been verified. Because of this, if someone makes an offer on your car, you can be sure that it is a real person making the offer, unlike some sites where scams abound. That peace of mind in and of itself makes CarGurus.com SellMyCar arguably the best site out there for selling a car secondhand and reaching car buyers who are going to come close to your asking price.

If you prefer, you can also use CarGurus.com’s SellMyCar feature to accept bids from dealers and car dealerships. This vastly expands the market for your vehicle, which improves your chances of selling your car for what you want to get out of it.

Using CarGurus.com is simple and fast. Just create your listing, upload pics of your vehicle, add the car’s specs, and then provide a description of the vehicle. List information regarding any extended warranty coverage remaining on the car, and then add its vehicle identification number (VIN), which allows potential car shoppers to check the car’s vehicle history report with services such as CarFax.

When offers start rolling in for your car, CarGuru.com’s on-site messaging inbox makes negotiation a snap. You can chat with potential buyers in real-time, right from the site. And when you strike a deal, CarGurus.com keeps everyone honest by serving as a go-between between the other party and you, if you choose to use its CarGurus Pay service, which is optional. In this way, your banking info is never compromised, and when the sale is complete, the proceeds of the sale can be sent to your account right away. CarGurus.com does charge a small service fee for its services, including the listing fee and transferring the money from your sale to your account.


Autotrader

Autotrader was one of the first sites out there to streamline for-sale-by-owner car sales. Because of this, the site has millions of active users—many of them ready to buy with cash in hand. Autotrader partners with KBB (Kelley Blue Book), so when you list on Autotrader, your listing is carried over to KBB.com too. That’s a definite plus for using Autotrader to sell your car, truck or another vehicle since you get twice the exposure for your listing along with help in pricing your used vehicle for sale based on KBB guidance (probably no estimates on value are held in higher regard than those from Kelley).

With your listing on Autotrader, you can add as many as 30 photos of your vehicle, and it’s recommended to max out this feature as buyers want to really see what they’re getting. Your listing will automatically renew for free every 30 days for up to a year until it’s sold.

Another benefit of listing your car for sale with Autotrader is that the site gives buyers a free vehicle history report on every listed vehicle. Knowing a car’s history can increase the buyer’s confidence in the vehicle and lead to faster sales.

Like CarGurus.com, listing on Autotrader is simple and quick, making it one of the best places online to sell a car. Just look up your car using its VIN number, and Autotrader will fill in most of the details for you. Set a price, upload pics, add a description, and submit your listing for buyers to see. If you want to sell your car faster, you can also ask for an instant cash offer (or trade-in value credit) from KBB.

Autotrader’s listing fees are more than the fees for listing with CarGurus and range from around $25 up to $90, although that’s subject to change.


eBay Motors

Millions of people use eBay, and many of those millions also browse for new cars on eBay Motors. The site also allows sales of motorcycles, RVs, boats and other vehicles. One of the best things about eBay Motors is that you can choose to auction your car to the highest bidder or you can opt for a fixed-price listing, known as “Buy it Now.”

It can be tricky to decide which feature—auction-style listing or Buy-it-Now listing—is best. When you choose to auction your car, it is possible that you will end up with more money than you ever expected to get from your car, provided enough people are interested in buying it. However, the amount you get can be unpredictable. You can always set a reserve car price for the vehicle, although that adds to your listing fees. With a fixed-price listing, you know in advance what your vehicle will bring if it sells. You can also opt to allow buyers to use the “Make an Offer” feature when you’re listing a fixed-price vehicle.

A downside to eBay Motors is that they do not handle the money for the sale, nor do they assist with the title transfer. They’re merely a medium for you to get your car out there. The rest is all on you. Keep in mind that if a buyer backs out, you can also ask eBay to refund your end-of-listing fees.


Carvana

Although you can’t use it to sell your car to a private party, Carvana is worth a look when the goal is offloading a car you no longer need or want—or using the car as a trade-in for a car you do want from Carvana. You may recognize Carvana by its vending-machine model of car sales.

Founded in 2012, Carvana allows both the quick purchase and sale of used cars. If you want to sell your car fast, all you need to do is upload some documents and provide a bit of basic info about your car. Once Carvana gets this info, it generates an offer to buy your car in a matter of minutes. If you accept it, Carvana pays you on the spot. (If you decide to use your car as a trade-in, Carvana won’t sell your car for seven days after you buy a car from them, which gives you time to change your mind).

Keep in mind that if you owe more on your car than Carvana is willing to pay, then you would need to pay the difference between your Carvana offer and the balance on your car loan.


Craigslist

Any list of potential sites for selling a used car would be remiss if it failed to mention Craigslist, but it should be mentioned only with the caveat to proceed with caution. Craigslist is one of the oldest websites on the internet, so it gets tons of traffic. Local listings on Craigslist are similar to the classified section of your local newspaper, the digital version. However, with tons of traffic comes the inevitable tons of scammers. Smart sellers can avoid them, but you have to be sure everything is on the up and up before you do any transactions involving the site.

Craigslist is best for attracting local buyers since it is set up for hyperlocal sites. This makes Craigslist a great option if you want to avoid the logistics of transporting the car and collecting payment since you can just get cash in person. While you won’t enjoy a broader audience than you might see with other online car selling sites, sales that are made locally can be less stressful.

Listing on Craigslist may mean waiting longer for your car to sell, but that’s not always the case. The used car market over the past four years is smoking hot, so if you have an in-demand vehicle in good shape, you can expect it to move faster than it would have say two years ago before the pandemic hit and before the new vehicle supply started to dwindle.

As far as fees go, Craigslist listings used to be free, but that’s no longer the case when selling vehicles online through the site. A 30-day listing on Craigslist now costs $5, which is quite affordable compared to some of the other options out there. Your listing can include oodles of photographs and you can take advantage of the message relay system through Craigslist for communicating with potential buyers without revealing your contact information, such as your phone number.

Some precautionary measures to keep you safe on Craigslist include choosing a neutral meeting place in advance of the transaction and bringing someone with you. Ride along with prospective buyers who wish to test drive the car. Always get all paperwork notarized before money changes hands and bring along a counterfeit money marker (available at all big box office stores) to check cash before you accept it. You can also require payment via a cashier’s check for added safety.


Facebook Marketplace

Much like Craigslist, the Facebook Marketplace is a good place to attract local buyers for your car. Be sure to use the same precautions above when meeting local buyers.


Sell Us your Car by Vroom

The former CEO of Priceline.com founded Vroom, and it has grown to become a force in itself, at least in 48 states. Vroom works in much the way as Carvana. It will buy almost any car, even cars that really do not meet the standards required for online resale. So, if your car is a bit on the older side, isn’t in the best of shape, or has an excessive amount of mileage under its belt, Vroom may still pay you for it.

To get an offer on your car from Vroom, you just fill in some basic car info and Vroom generates an offer instantly. Your offer is good for a week or for the next 250 miles that you drive your car, whichever occurs first. Vroom also sells cars, so if you are looking to use your old car as a trade-in, it will give you an offer based on that instead.

One of the best things about Vroom is that it will come to you if you live in the lower 48. This means that you don’t have to take your car anywhere; Vroom will pick it up at your home or elsewhere. Once your car is picked up, your payment is processed. It can take up to three business days to receive your check.


Peddle

Much like Vroom, Peddle offers to buy your car whether it’s “Cool or Not.” The site gives instant offers for cars after you input info regarding the vehicle’s year, make and model, mileage, and condition. You must have the vehicle title in hand. Offers, once given, are good for seven days. Peddle dispatches a team member to come to pick up the car, and the driver will deliver a check for your car before removing it from the premises.


Before You Sell Your Car

Now that you know the best places online to sell a car, there are a few things you can do before you sell your car to make sure that you get the most from the sale. The first of these include knowing the value of your car. Check with Edmunds, KBB or Autolist to make sure that you have a good reference point for negotiating with buyers. It’s also important to detail your car and clean it up prior to selling it. This lets buyers see what a gem you have for sale and can actually increase your sales price.