The continued shortage of semiconductor chips has made finding a new car surprisingly difficult. Some of the most sought-after models on the market are rare and some popular features are temporarily unavailable. Used purchases are a great alternative to long waiting lists and inflated prices, especially as the number of resources available to purchasers steadily increases. Some are better than others, however.
The best used car sites offer a user-friendly interface that provides buyers with comprehensive details about the car they are looking at, such as high-resolution photos showing the interior and exterior, its maintenance history, as well as its standard and optional equipment. Some even tell you if you’re looking for a bargain or if the price isn’t quite right.
We’ve put together a list of classifieds and auction sites you should peruse when shopping online for your next used car. Alternatively, if you’re buying new, automakers and dealerships are increasingly digitizing the buying process.
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These sites are helpful, but remember it’s always wise to check out a used car in person (and, if possible, give it a thorough test drive) before handing over a big wad of your hard-earned cash. .
The most famous site
Few sites surpass AutoTrader.com when it comes to advanced research tools. Like most of the sites on our list, AutoTrader’s initial search lets you choose the make, model, and price of used cars you want. It also lets you filter your results based on fuel economy and a host of other metrics. Do you want a car with an intuitive navigation system? How about a sedan with four doors and keyless entry? Check the options you need and let the results come to you.
The best site for the basics
Simple and direct, CarsDirect.com is all about the basics. You can search for used cars in a specific area based on body style, price, make and/or model. Search results include offers from dealers and owners, with an option to view the Carfax report for the desired car. When you find what you’re looking for, you can submit a request about it to receive more details from the seller or apply for special financing if needed. There are links to car dealership websites, as well as comprehensive maps showing the location of each store.
The best site for vintage car enthusiasts
Hemmings is a classic car collector’s dream. The site is a blast from the past, reveling in everything from 1960s Chevrolet Impalas to 1930s Studebakers to new 1980s classics, while offering tools for locating specific parts and services for a car you own. already. It publishes a daily newsletter, a fascinating blog regularly updated by a knowledgeable team of writers, and several other resources for the classic car owner. It even boasts an online store where you can buy die-cast models, books, or wall calendars.
The best site for browsing on the go
Autolist may look like other sites here at first glance, but it’s way ahead of the competition when it comes to mobile connectivity. While the Autolist website is attractive and easy to use, it’s the accompanying mobile app for Android and iOS that sets it apart. The intuitive software allows you to quickly browse the databases of other shopping apps, as well as the websites of various dealerships. It also provides useful information, such as how long the vehicle has been sold, how its asking price has fluctuated over time, and what its Carfax report looks like. If you’d rather shop for your next ride on the go, this is the resource for you.
The best site to find a bargain
If you’re looking for a bargain, CarGurus is your best bet. It ranks ads based on dealer reputation, if any, and price. The site goes even further by informing buyers about the market value of a vehicle. This way, you’ll know if it’s the best time to shop or if you need to broaden your search area. You can also see how long a vehicle has been listed on the site and how its list price has changed over time. This gives you bargaining power over cars that have been listed for a while or lets you know when it’s too early to ask for a price reduction.
The best site for comparisons between sites
If you’ve used sites like Kayak or Sky Scanner before, AutoTempest.com is a great fit for you. The site combines search results from eBay Motors, Cars.com, AutoTrader, CarsDirect and others, casting a full net over a handful of other used car sites on our list. AutoTempest’s homepage also offers buying guides, checklists and advice, as well as advice on trading and how to avoid buying a lemon, among other topics. The site provides specific guides for a selection of makes and models, as well as car reviews and a compilation of frequently asked questions. Plus, it saves search results for easy access later, while offering top-notch shipping service suggestions.
KBB.com (Kelley Blue Book)
The best site for those looking for the ultimate shopping experience
The Kelley Blue Book is a car buyer’s best friend. It provides accurate estimates on your car’s value, the price you should pay for a used car, and an in-depth selection of used and new car listings. You can browse top picks and tips, calculate a monthly car payment, and compare multiple cars. Expert and consumer reviews are also available, along with options to find local dealers and check your credit score. You can also browse an assortment of rewards pages, allowing you to quickly browse the best of the best.
Cars and Auctions
The best auction site for enthusiasts
Launched by Doug DeMuro in the summer of 2020, Cars & Bids has quickly become the go-to destination for enthusiasts looking to buy or sell a car. If you want a 2018 Corolla, you won’t find it on this platform. If you’re looking for something a little more special, like a low-mileage Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG or a one-year-old BMW L6, the site is for you. Each auction includes a full gallery of the car (including close-ups and service records when available) and a detailed description that highlights its key features, ownership history and known flaws. Carfax is also included. Many sellers also include videos, which takes the stress out of buying a car without seeing it.
Car Enthusiast Forums
While it’s easy to search by make, model, and year using any of the aforementioned sites, there’s no harm in narrowing your search. If you’re looking for something specific, don’t be afraid to check out the online car owner and enthusiast groups associated with what you’re looking for. If you use Google, add “forums” or “owners club” to the vehicle you are looking for. Whether you peddle vintage Porsches or cars from the defunct AMC brand, there’s a community for almost every vehicle, even the least beloved. Browsing the classifieds section of these sites increases your chances of finding what you’re looking for. Additionally, most of the listings come from experts who not only know what they are selling, but are also invested in not getting a bad reputation in their respective communities.
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