• Buying Guides

Top 10 Used Car Websites

By Autolist Staff | March 6, 2019

Top 10 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. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s an app for that.

Whether you're looking for a cheap compact car, a dependable work truck or a large luxury SUV, you can find it online these days. You don’t even need to leave your couch to research, browse, inquire and finance your next vehicle.

Here are some of the best used-car websites around.

Autolist.com
Because it’s 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 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 picture to help you find the best deals on the most local listings. Shoppers can even apply for financing. With family sharing, as many as six family members can share information through the app. Add to this reviews, industry insights, a Rotten Tomatoes-style aggregator of older vehicle reviews and buyers guides to help steer you through the car-buying process.

Go to Autolist

Autotrader.com
Because AutoTrader has been around since before the internet, its longstanding reputation has built up decades of trust. With over 3 million listings drawn from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private sellers, their selection is immense. The 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.

Edmunds.com
Like Autotrader, Edmunds originated as a paperback booklet available at newsstands. Decades of experience has made this a well-respected name in the industry. The website allows you to save your searches and favorites and also lets you filter your selections. Although their search appears to be similar to the ones available on other sites, they often have more features and options to choose from. This allows you to narrow and refine more thoroughly. Edmunds also has a wealth of advice and articles to help educate you about the car-buying process and the vehicles themselves.

EnterpriseCarSales.com
If you don't mind a car with plenty of miles on it, Enterprise's former rentals 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 their own financing. Unlike most of the other sites mentioned here, Enterprise also sells cars only from one source: their own retired rental fleets. They take trade-ins and they 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.

Autotempest.com
Like some of the other websites here, Autotempest’s search results are drawn from multiple sources, and their website and app work similarly to the others as well (including the ability to save your searches). They also have tons of other useful information as well, including an up-to-date blog, buying guides and car reviews. While you can filter your searches, the criteria for doing so are much more limited – although some might consider it to be streamlined: Either way, the most important information is provided. Choices include make, model, distance, price, year, mileage, type of vehicle, transmission and whether they’re for sale privately or by a dealer.

Kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book site)
The words "Blue Book price" have been a part of the American vernacular 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 value, but their site has tools for checking your credit score and calculating car payments too. 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. Kelley even has an instant cash offer section on their website.

CarGurus.com
This is a company which seeks to build trust through transparency. On their website, you will find many of the same search options as you’ll find on the other sites. However, on top of this, you’ll also find the Car Guru valuation of a given vehicle based on typical search criteria. Similar to methods used by KBB, the information they use to make this determination includes comparable car listings in addition to those which have recently sold. Ratings are based on mileage, trim, vehicle history, and a multitude of other factors. Car Gurus rates each available car deal as being overpriced, high, fair, good, or great.

Hemmings.com
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 your project cars. Search for vehicles or parts by make, model, type, price range and category. With more of a community feel to it, this site maintains a blog and regularly sends 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 a number of print publications you can subscribe to.

Carsdirect.com
This site works to simplify the process of buying a car, and like Autotrader and Autolist, they can help you with auto financing. The search criteria include make, model, distance, price, mileage, year, color, transmission and fuel type, engine, CARFAX and a few others like leather, photo availability and navigation. CarsDirect also has buying guides, rankings, and vehicle comparisons. Like similar sites, you can save your searches and vehicles of interest, and the website also has educational videos including reviews, car news and reports as well as tools including a trade-in valuation provided by Black Book.

Craigslist.org
Primarily a classified site, craigslist doesn't have a lot of fancy graphics or options, but the site’s selection is fairly broad and postings do include photos. You'll need to be super savvy if you're going this route, because the internet is rife with scammers, but it is possible to negotiate a worthwhile deal from Craigslist. Search filters here include distance, price, make and model, year, mileage, condition, number of cylinders, drive train and fuel type, color, size, title status, vehicle type and transmission type. A point of interest to some, some sellers on Craigslist might accept cryptocurrency 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.

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