Best Used Car Websites for 2021
  • Buying Guides

Best Used Car Websites for 2021

By Evan Walton | August 2, 2021

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, we can have an app for car buying. All types of vehicles can be purchased online: Cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs.

You do not even need to leave your couch to perform research, browse, inquire, or finance your next vehicle. While this may feel strange to some consumers, modern conveniences have made the car buying process the easiest it has ever been. With this list of used car websites, you can have confidence that you will find the vehicle you are looking for and pay what the car is worth.

Here are some of the best used-car websites today, in alphabetical order.


Autolist.com

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. The Autolist app works with both Android and 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 and find lenders through the Autolist app. Autolist also 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 provides:

  • Reviews.
  • Industry insights.
  • A Rotten Tomatoes-style aggregator of older vehicle reviews.
  • Buyer's guides to help steer you through the car-buying process.

Go to Autolist


Autotrader.com

Because Autotrader.com nearly predates the internet itself, it has a longstanding reputation 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. In addition, you can save your searches and even apply for insurance and a car loan through the site.

Go to Autotrader


Autotempest.com

Similar to other websites on this list, AutoTempest's search results are drawn from multiple sources. Their website and app work similarly to other sites, including the ability to save searches. They have a lot of additional helpful information, 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 than other sites, although some might consider it streamlined. Either way, the essential information is provided. Choices include make, model, distance, price, year, mileage, vehicle type, transmission, and whether the vehicle is for sale from a private party or a dealer.

Go to Autotempest


Carfax.com

Carfax originated as a source of vehicle history information provided to both buyers and sellers of used cars. They quickly became the leading name in vehicle history reports and the majority of dealerships to this day offer a Carfax report with their used vehicles. As a result, Carfax has the most extensive and comprehensive vehicle history database in North America.

Carfax utilizes over 112,000 data sources to pull their information on each used vehicle report requested. Some of these data sources consist of auto auctions, fire and police departments, collision repair facilities, fleet management and rental agencies, and many more. Now, Carfax is also an online used car dealer, offering vehicle searches through make, model, and zip code or body type and price. In addition, it narrows your choices further by allowing you to choose if you want to find a vehicle with one owner, no accidents or damage, personal use, and service history.

Go to Carfax


CarGurus.com

A company that seeks to build trust through transparency. You will find many of the same search options on their website as you will 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 a comparison tool that utilizes car listings and pricing data on recently sold vehicles. 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.

Go to CarGurus


Carmax.com

Carmax specializes in high-quality certified pre-owned used cars, many available with the internet-famous Carmax warranty. This website is not 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 an 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 all online or on their mobile app.

Go to Carmax


Cars.com

Cars.com is one of the most significant automotive search engines online today, with thousands of listings covering almost every car. There is also a new tool that rates the value of the used cars for sale relative to the current market trends. Cars.com has fewer private sellers but is 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 built up an extensive archive of expert reviews written by its editorial staff.

Go to Cars.com


CarsDirect.com

This site works to simplify online car buying, and like Autotrader and others on this list, they can help you find financing. The search criteria on the site 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.

Go to CarsDirect


Carvana.com

Carvana is another used car dealer that built a business around making the buying experience more accessible. Buy with confidence with a seven-day money-back guarantee, and have your car delivered to your door. All Carvana vehicles have accident-free vehicle history reports and pass a 150-point inspection. You can also sell your vehicle to Carvana, even without buying from them. Carvana claims 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. Carvana is also the inventor of the Car Vending Machine, changing (the look of) car sales forever. It is a neat gimmick worth checking out if you want to purchase a car in person.

Go to Carvana


Craigslist.org

Primarily a classified site, Craigslist does not have many fancy graphics or options offered by competitors, but the site's selection is pretty 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 car buyers is that some sellers on Craigslist might accept cryptocurrency like Bitcoin in exchange for the vehicle they are selling. You can also create email alerts for the specific attributes of a car you're trying to find.

Go to Craigslist


eBay.com

eBay Motors is not just an auction site for rare vehicles anymore. Thousands of used and new cars are listed by dealerships and private sellers to peruse using classified-style listings. Whether you are shopping for a custom show car or a late model Chevrolet with that unique body style, eBay likely has at least one of each of these vehicles. Other great searches on eBay motors include the "Replica/Kit Make" section, as well as the "Racecar (Not Street Legal)" category. It is one of the best car sites to find almost anything imaginable.

Go to eBay.com


Edmunds.com

Edmunds originated as a paperback booklet available at newsstands. Decades of experience have made Edmunds a well-respected name in the industry. This website allows you to save searches, favorites and also lets you filter your selections.

Although their search functions look similar to the ones available on other sites, Edmunds often has 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.

Go to Edmunds


Hemmings.com

For classic car, truck, or motorcycle collectors, this is a "do-not-miss" destination. In addition to vehicles, Hemmings helps you locate hard-to-find parts for project cars. Advanced search options allow you to 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. In addition, 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.

Go to Hemmings


KBB.com

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. KBB also covers motorcycles, snowmobiles, and personal watercraft such as jet skis. They also offer an instant cash offer section on their website utilizing local dealers to inspect the vehicle's condition.

Go to Kelley Blue Book


TrueCar.com

TrueCar.com is an automotive pricing and information website for both new and used cars. TrueCar allows customers to evaluate what other individuals in their local area have paid for the specific vehicle they are searching for. TrueCar utilizes local certified dealers to present customers with upfront prices and offers a tool to evaluate what your current car is worth.

TrueCar allows you to narrow your search by vehicle brand, model, and offers to customize the build of the vehicle you are searching for; or offers a standard trim or model to choose from. Unlike some other used car websites, TrueCar does not directly sell vehicles but instead helps you find the perfect vehicle to fit your needs.

Go to TrueCar


Vroom.com

Vroom.com is a New York City-based used car retailer that offers a full-service e-commerce experience that enables consumers to buy, sell and finance cars entirely online. Vroom also offers shopping by vehicle type and offers trucks, SUVs, and sedans. In addition, Vroom promises quality inspected cars when shopping with them and further guarantee a free CarFax vehicle history report as well as a free limited warranty. The limited warranty consists of coverage for 90 days or 6,000 miles, and the majority of the vehicles offered on Vroom's website are still under the original manufacturer warranty.

Vroom offers a car buying process that skips all of the haggling and hassle and streamlines the vehicle buying process for you. Vroom will ship your vehicle to your home address or a nearby location of your choice, making pick up and delivery simple. In addition, Vroom guarantees your vehicle choice by offering a seven-day return guarantee. You are allowed 7 days or 250 miles to determine if you want to keep your vehicle. If you end up not being satisfied with your choice Vroom will arrange for the car to be returned to their inventory.ň

Go to Vroom