Autotrader Review | Is Autotrader Legit?

Autotrader review

Autotrader is a global online marketplace for the purchase and sale of both new and used vehicles, operating in over 70 countries. The company was originally founded in the United States in 1997 and is now owned by Cox Automotive, a leading provider of vehicle services.

AutoTrader has a vast user base, with over 14 million buyers utilizing the platform each month. With more than 3 million vehicle listings from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners, AutoTrader provides a wealth of options for customers looking to buy or sell a car.

To better serve its users, AutoTrader has developed a mobile app that has been downloaded over 5 million times from Google Play alone. The app has received high ratings, with a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars from 63.7K reviews and 4.7 stars from 289K reviews in the Apple Store.

Is Autotrader legit? Is the Autotrader app the best? Does the Autrader app and website have any difference? How much does it cost to advertise on Autotrader? AutoStar Transport Express has answered all your questions based on customer satisfaction, market stability, the buying and selling process, and competitive analysis.


Key Highlights

  • Autotrader is a large online marketplace for buying and selling new and used cars, with over 3 million listings and tools like financing options and car valuation.
  • It has both pros and cons, with detailed listings, expert reviews, and buyer protection features on one hand, but also potentially inflated pricing and inaccurate listings on the other.
  • While alternatives like CarGurus and exist, Autotrader remains a popular choice with its vast inventory and features, though careful research and comparison are always recommended.


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Autotrader Features

is Autotrader legit

To buy or sell a vehicle, someone might choose Autotrader for several reasons:

  • Detailed listings: A user can get detailed information about a specific vehicle on Autotrader, including photos, specs, and contact information for the seller. This can be useful if the user wants to know more about a specific vehicle before contacting it.
  • Finance Options: Users can get pre-approved financing at participating dealerships with the Autotrader app’s “Get Pre-Approved” feature and a loan calculator.
  • Car Valuation Tool: A car’s value can also be determined by Autotrader’s “Value a Car” feature and Kelley Blue Book’s “Value a Car” feature. The Autotrader app can be useful for sellers as well as buyers to make sure they are getting a fair price.
  • Expert Reviews: When trying to decide which vehicle to purchase, the “Autotrader Expert Reviews” feature provides in-depth reviews and ratings of different makes and models.
  • Trade-in Value Tool: The Autotrader trade-in value tool allows users to estimate the value of their current vehicle when they trade it in for a new one.
  • Test drive Scheduling: It may be convenient for users who wish to test drive a vehicle before purchasing to schedule test drives directly with dealerships through Autotrader.
  • Vehicle History Reports: Using CARFAX vehicle history reports, Autotrader provides users with valuable information about a vehicle’s ownership, maintenance, and repair history.
  • Watch List Feature: You can save your favorite listings in a “watch list” to easily access them later. This might come in handy if you are considering several cars at the same time.
  • Dealer Ratings: The Autotrader app includes ratings and reviews for participating dealerships, which can be helpful for users who are considering purchasing from a specific dealership.
  • Multilingual Support: It is possible to use Autotrader in English, Spanish, or French, which can be helpful for users who are more comfortable using one of these languages.


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Some Drawbacks of Autotrader

is autotrader legit

There are a few potential reasons why someone might not choose to use Autotrader when looking to buy or sell a vehicle:

  • High Pricing: You might be able to find a better deal elsewhere. This is because Autotrader charges a $49 fee, which can be passed on to buyers.
  • Accuracy of listings: Users have complained that some listings on Autotrader are inaccurate or out-of-date, which can be frustrating for buyers.
  • No physical inventory: There are no vehicles listed on Autotrader that Autotrader owns or holds, and it does not facilitate ownership or possession transfers.

Autotrader Selling Fees

The basic listing fee on Autotrader is $25, the featured listing is $49, which includes up to 30 photos, a vehicle history report, and free renewals for up to a year if the vehicle doesn’t sell within 30 days, and the premium listing is $90. Apart from advertising fees, they also receive flat-rate exposure fees from companies such as GEICO and Capital One.

How does Autotrader Work?

By providing tools for retailers, manufacturers, and consumers, Autotrader aims to improve the car market. In addition to improving the overall value chain of cars, their platform allows consumers to buy cars and sellers to advertise their cars more easily.

How do you sell cars on Autotrader?

is autotrader legit

Is Autotrader a good place to sell a car? You can sell your car on Autotrader simply by getting an instant Kelley Blue Book offer heading toward the website and clicking “get my offer.” Enter the vehicle details, and you will receive an offer instantly. You can have Autotrader pick up your car at your home if you accept. The offer will be valid for 7 days only.

How to List your car on Autotrader? You can list your car on Autotrader by following these steps:

Step 1: List your car

Your car can be listed for sale by filling out a form. A bill of sale, odometer mileage disclosure, title, service book, receipts, and as-is documentation must be provided. Photos of your car and contact information are also required. Set your asking price by considering factors such as the age, condition, and mileage of the vehicle, as well as current market conditions.

Step 2: Waiting for offers

You can review the offers you receive and decide which one you want to accept after your car is listed on Autotrader. Potential buyers can then view your listing and contact you directly via the Autotrader app or website.

Step 3: Complete the sale

The next step is to finalize the sale by signing a sales contract and transferring ownership of the car to the buyer. You may also need to provide the buyer with documentation such as the title, registration, and bill of sale.

How long to sell Car on Autotrader? It is not obvious. Some cars may sell within a few days of being listed, while others may take longer to find a buyer.


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The Buying Process on Autotrader

how to sale car on autotrader

If you’re interested in buying a car on Autotrader, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1: Car Search

The AU app or website has a search feature that allows you to narrow down your search results by make, model, year, price range, and other criteria.

Step 2: View listings

You can view the detailed information provided for each car, including pictures, specs, and seller contact information. You can also save your favorite listings to a “watch list”.

Step 3: Analyze financing

A dealer usually offers financing, but you should compare quotes from several sources. You should also check with your local bank and credit union.

Step 4: Contact the Seller

Use the “Get Pre-Approved” feature to get pre-approved for financing from participating dealerships if you’re interested in a particular car.

Step 5: Negotiate and Complete the Purchase

A sales contract is required if the seller accepts your offer. Once you’ve arranged financing and insurance, you’ll get the keys to your new car! Once all the paperwork is complete, you’ll get your keys!

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AutoTrader vs Alternatives

Many other websites and companies offer similar services, and the market for online automotive classifieds is constantly evolving. Some of the main competitors to Autotrader include:

Autotrader vs Cargurus

The Cargurus website charges $4.95 to list your car for 30 days. However, buyers do not have to pay anything. Autotrader, on the other hand, charges $25-$90 to list your vehicle. Autotrader has advertising options for private-party sellers because its mission is to help both buyers and sellers. Autotrader relies on Kelly Book Value while Cargurus utilizes Instant Market Vehicle (IMV).

Both Cargurus and Autotrader provide a platform where users can buy and sell new and used cars. They don’t keep physical inventories of vehicles.

Autotrader vs

Unlike Autotrader, does not charge users to list their vehicles on the site. Whether you choose to advertise or buy, you can select from a variety of options. It is possible to get instant offers for old cars on Autotrader, unlike on doesn’t offer this service. Therefore, Autotrader can be the right option if you wish to sell an old vehicle

Buyers can search both websites based on their preferences to find vehicles that meet their needs.


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Autotrader vs

There is one major difference between Autotrader and Carfax: Autotrader is a legitimate platform that allows individuals and dealerships to list and sell cars, while Carfax provides vehicle history reports.
Another difference is the type of cars that are available on each platform. Autotrader includes a wide range of cars for sale, including brand-new and used vehicles, while Carfax only provides vehicle history reports for cars that have already been sold.

While AutoTrader is a widely recognized and popular platform, buyers and sellers need to do their research and make informed decisions based on their individual needs and preferences. AutoTrader should be considered one option among many when looking for a vehicle, and other marketplaces and dealerships should also be evaluated to ensure the best fit.

Mark Dugger

Mark Dugger

Born and raised in Southern California, grew up in an athletic environment where he excelled at football, baseball, wrestling, golf, skiing, and water skiing. He chose computers as his professional calling, accepting the position of Systems Officer for a prominent cruise line. For the next ten years, he would circle the globe multiple times, visiting over 100 countries. Mark joined AutoStar Transport Express just 1 year after it was created. He is one of the pillars the company was built on. He started off as a coordinator, he excelled though the years with his hard work and dedication. His job performance not only grew his career but our company and as a whole. Mark now holds the position of operations manager overseeing the engine that makes our company run.
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