Best Places to Shop for Your Next Used Car

Valerie Raskovic
Nov 01, 2021

Over 40 million people shop for used cars yearly. Used car sites make the search easy with so much information about each car, search options and more. They are much easier than scouring the streets for a car with a “For Sale” sign on it. While Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can help, they tend to have a lot of scams. Here are some legitimate websites dedicated to buying used cars and selling used cars.



Autotrader was the first nationwide website for buying new or used cars. It has over three million listings. It isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau, although they did give it an A+ rating. It has a great reputation and reach as well as guides for research.


Its best function is its advanced search options. You can search using almost any criteria like color, gas mileage, location, model, year and more.


It also has many resources for people who want to buy a car. They have car financing calculators, research articles, and how-to guides. You can even apply for loans or shop for car insurance on their website.


However, they have a lackluster screening process for vehicles and have trade-in restrictions depending on the location of the sale.



CarsDirect lets you compare listings at dealerships that are local. It is also good for people with no credit or poor credit because it has no-credit and low-credit loans available. The website is very user-friendly.


It sorts through all the local listings and will tell you what the best deals are, in addition to deals that are going to happen in the future.


Its search features aren’t incredibly detailed but show all the vital information.


Every listing has a link to a loan application that takes a minute to fill out. Then the website sends the application to a bunch of lenders and gives you a list of options to finance with monthly payments that are estimated.


The website also has many resources like reviews, reports, videos, car ners, and trade-in valuation. You can also save favorite searches and set up email alerts.


A con of the website is that all the listings come from dealerships, not private sellers. Although some people may view that as a pro.



Autolist consolidates listings from multiple apps and websites all in one spot. It is an easy app to use and has over seven million downloads.


This app makes it simple for prospective buyers to view millions of listings all compiled from other apps and websites. Its website and app alike both show how long it’s been on the market, any price changes and vital information.


You can also compare the price of one specific car to listings that are similar to get the best deal. If you get a free account you can get emails about cars that match criteria you’ve set up.


Unlike some other websites, you can’t finance a vehicle or search for loans using Autolist.



CarGurus uses advanced tools for research that assess a car’s true value in the market. It was first started so that people could ask questions or review cars and dealers. Then it added on a marketplace as well as a tool to evaluate cars.


Something that sets this website apart is that it rates the deal of each car and will sort your results based on the best deal all the way down to overpriced. You can’t pay to make your listing look better, so only people who always give good deals will get good scores.


It uses advanced tools to compare car details to find the market value of the car. You will also know the listing timeline of each car along with any rises or falls in price, which will help you negotiate.


A con of CarGurus is that they don’t vet their sellers.



AutoTempest draws on almost all marketplaces that are online so it is the biggest car marketplace on the web. This makes it the best for comparing cars because of the sheer amount of cars on the website.


One of the pros of AutoTempest is that it will filter the listings to your area, or the area you want to buy your car from. You can also choose which sites you want AutoTempest to draw from. For example, if you don’t trust Craigslist, you don’t have to see Craigslist listings.


It doesn’t have a million search options, but you can search the basics along with price, mileage, value, and more. You can also save your search to view later.


AutoTempest has useful resources for users like tips on how to negotiate, checklists, buyers guides, and car reviews.


However, it doesn’t vet any of its listings and you can’t purchase cars through their site.


Cars & Bids

Cars & Bids is an auction website. Every single vehicle has a history report. It focuses on protecting the sellers and buyers and is easy to use.


It will pay for a history report on car listings so the seller doesn’t have to buy one. This is great protection for the people buying cars.


It has low auction fees and has a hefty FAQ section that will guide you through how to bid and use an auction site.


Some cons are that you can’t list cars that were made prior to 1980, there aren’t any available finance options, and besides the FAQ there are no further resources.



There are many different online websites to buy used cars. Depending on what’s important to you, you will definitely be able to find a website out of this list that will help you find a car. These websites run the gamut of being auction sites to the world’s largest selection of used cars to having highly advanced algorithms. Shopping for used cars online is a great way to use modern technology to your advantage so you can get the best deal as well as the car of your dreams. No matter which vehicle you choose, be sure to run a Vehicle History Report prior to making the purchase.  

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