Looking to buy a car online? Forget spending hours at car lots. Instead, save time and hassle by heading straight to the best online car-buying sites. These platforms allow you to find and purchase your dream car from virtually anywhere.
Finding these online car-buying sites is easy with our comprehensive list. We’ve handpicked the top options for new cars, used cars, and classic cars. Our evaluation focused on factors like user-friendly navigation, a wide selection of vehicles, detailed search criteria, vehicle comparison options, and market research data.
To further enhance your experience, many of these sites also offer convenient Android and iOS apps. These apps provide a seamless user interface for browsing and buying cars on the go.
Take a look at our list of the best car buying sites and read our short analysis of each platform. With these trusted options, you can make a quick and rewarding decision for your next car purchase. Say goodbye to the traditional car lot experience and embrace the convenience of buying a car online. If you’re considering having your car shipped, consider the services of our reputable vehicle transport company for a smooth and hassle-free vehicle transport experience.
- Some of the most popular online car buying sites include CarGurus, AutoTrader, Cars.com, TrueCar, and Hemmings.
- Key factors to consider when choosing an online car buying site include user-friendliness, selection of vehicles, pricing transparency, and customer reviews.
- Be aware of pros and cons, subscription fees, and potential variations based on geographic locations when choosing the right online car buying site for your needs.
15 Best Car Buying Sites
We have reviewed the top 15 best car buying sites. You can find information about how these online car buying sites work and how you can go online car shopping on these websites.
BBB Rating: A+
CarGurus is one of the most visited online marketplaces for buying and selling cars in the U.S. The car search section of CarGurus is laid out in a clean and easy-to-understand way.
CarGurus has a collection of local listings of used cars. The website then ranks each listing for its deal rating. For used cars, CarGurus has an algorithm that compares the asking price with the used car market value.
For example, if the owner of the car has listed a vehicle at an exorbitant price, CarGurus will compare it with the estimated market value and mark it as a bad deal. S
earch criteria let you choose among zip code, make, model, minimum price, maximum price, body style, color, distance from you, and many others.
Posting on this site is free; however, you’ll pay a commission of $99 when you sell a vehicle.
- CarGurus typically has a large and diverse inventory of new and used cars, offering users a wide range of options to choose from.
- CarGurus usually offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to navigate, search for cars, and access relevant information.
- Listings are transparent and unbiased.
- Compare prices for dealerships in your area, all in one place.
- It isn’t free to create a listing if you’re selling a car. It costs $4.95 to post your listing for 30 days.
- Compared to platforms that specialize in private seller transactions, CarGurus may have fewer options for users looking to buy from individual sellers.
BBB Rating: A+
AutoTrader is one of the most renowned best car buying sites and a go-to place for anyone looking to buy a used car.
AutoTrader has one of the biggest car collections, along with a plethora of selection filters. Some of the search filters include zip code, make, model, price, color, body type, engine, certification, etc.
AutoTrader uses the Kelly Blue Books system to rate prices. It compares the listed price with its estimation of vehicle value and shows if the asking price is fair, good, high, or overpriced. You can quickly see if you are going to get a good deal or not.
AutoTrader was under maintenance at the time of writing this article.
- With a broad reach, AutoTrader allows users to find vehicles from different locations, providing more options and potentially better deals.
- The platform usually provides advanced search filters, allowing users to narrow down their search based on specific criteria such as make, model, price range, and more.
- AutoTrader often includes reviews of dealerships, helping users make informed decisions by considering the experiences of other buyers.
- For private sellers and some dealerships, AutoTrader may charge a subscription fee to list their vehicles, which could be a drawback for those looking for free listing options.
- Certain features and benefits may vary based on geographic locations, potentially affecting the user experience in some regions.
BBB Rating: A+
Cars.com offers a range of new cars, used cars, and certified pre-owned cars. This car buying site helps you select a car with many selection filters including make, model, body type, engine, color, seating capacity, etc.
- Cars.com typically offers a vast inventory of new and used cars, providing users with a diverse range of options to suit their preferences and budget.
- Listings on Cars.com usually include comprehensive details about the vehicles, including specifications, features, and often a free vehicle history report.
- Users can search for vehicles across the country, expanding their options and potentially finding better deals or unique models.
- The website has a rating system that shows how good of a deal an item is.
- Users may receive email notifications, and some individuals might find the frequency to be high or intrusive.
- Certain features and benefits may vary based on geographic locations, potentially influencing the user experience in some regions.
- Similar to other platforms, Cars.com may charge subscription fees for private sellers or certain dealerships to list their vehicles, which could be a drawback for those seeking free listing options.
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BBB Rating: A+
AutoTempest is a car listing aggregator. It combines all car & vehicle listings from the best car buying sites and shows you results in one place.
AutoTempest is effective in helping you sort through all the cars and vehicles available for sale in the country. You see cars in your locality or other cities when buying used cars.
AutoTempest uses TrueCar integration for selling new cars. When we compared different quotes, TrueCar often offers a comparatively lower price for the same car.
Recommended: Learn how to use auto tempest used a car search engine to find your dream car.
- AutoTempest provides tools for users to compare vehicles side by side, facilitating a more informed decision-making process.
- Autotempest is typically a free service for users, making it an accessible and cost-effective option for those looking to explore various car listings.
- Autotempest aggregates listings from multiple platforms, allowing users to perform comprehensive searches from a single location, potentially saving time and effort.
- As an aggregator, Autotempest may have limited direct customer support since much of the transactional process occurs on external platforms.
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#5. Hemmings | Classic Cars Auction
BBB Rating: B-
Hemmings is a classic car auction site. It has a wide variety of classic cars and also lists some used cars from recent years.
Hemmings.com features cars from private sellers as well as dealers and car auction houses. This classic car site is like a huge depository of classic cars and you can find vintage and retro cars.
Hemmings offers a good range of selection filters; you can select a price, make, model, year, private owner or dealer, etc.
- Hemmings focuses on classic and collector cars, making it an ideal platform for enthusiasts and collectors interested in vintage and unique vehicles.
- The platform is known for its curated and high-quality listings, featuring detailed information and images of classic cars.
- Hemmings has a niche community of classic car enthusiasts, fostering a sense of community and shared interest among users.
- Hemmings provides information about classic car auctions and events, allowing users to stay updated on opportunities to buy or sell vintage vehicles.
- While specializing in classic cars is a strength, it also means that individuals looking for contemporary or everyday vehicles may need to explore other platforms.
- As a niche platform, the overall inventory of available cars may be smaller compared to larger, more general car marketplaces.
- Listings are removed after six months.
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BBB Rating: A+
TrurCar is a trusted name for buying cars online. You can buy new cars as well as used cars on TrueCar. Moreover, the car prices for new cars with TrueCar are often lower than the competition.
You can build your new car to your desired specifications on TrueCar.
TrueCar offers one of the greatest car selection filters. You’ll literary be able to find your dream car in minutes.
Some of the filters include brand, type, price range, locality, model, certified pre-owned cars, and details about exterior and interior.
- TrueCar is known for providing transparency in car pricing, allowing users to see what others have paid for similar vehicles in their area. This helps buyers make informed decisions.
- TrueCar has a network of certified dealerships, offering a wide selection of new and used cars. This can provide buyers with various options to choose from.
- TrueCar’s pricing information can serve as a reference point during negotiations with dealers, potentially saving buyers time and providing a fair deal.
- TrueCar’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for buyers to navigate the platform, compare prices, and connect with dealerships.
- Not all dealerships participate in TrueCar, which may limit the availability of certain makes or models in specific regions.
- While TrueCar provides pricing information, the final transaction price may still vary based on factors like negotiations, dealer fees, and additional accessories.
- Some users have reported receiving a high volume of emails and calls from dealerships after using TrueCar, which could be perceived as spam.
- The emphasis on new car pricing may result in a relatively smaller inventory of used cars compared to platforms focused primarily on pre-owned vehicles.
BBB Rating: N/A
Vroom offers a fully online car buying experience. You can choose a car from a wide selection, make the purchase online, get the car delivered to your location, and enjoy your new ride.
A great competitive advantage of Vroom among car buying online sites is its car checking period of 7 days or 250 miles. You can keep your ride for a maximum of 7 days or drive it up to 250 miles and make sure this is the perfect ride for you. If you don’t like your ride, Vroom gives you a refund for your purchase price.
The car buying experience with Vroom is effortless and you will also get help with used car financing on the website.
- Vroom offers a 7-day or 250-mile return policy, providing buyers with a limited time to test the vehicle and return it if they are not satisfied.
- Vroom offers home delivery of purchased vehicles, eliminating the need for buyers to visit a physical dealership.
- Vroom typically has a wide selection of used cars, offering buyers various makes and models to choose from.
- The platform allows users to complete the entire car-buying process online, from browsing inventory to financing and delivery, providing a convenient and contactless experience.
- Warranty coverage lasting 90 days
- While Vroom provides convenience, the pricing may not always be the most competitive, and buyers are encouraged to compare prices with other platforms and dealerships.
- Since the entire process is conducted online, buyers may not have the opportunity for a traditional test drive before making a purchase decision.
- Some customers have reported delays in the delivery of vehicles, which could be a drawback for those in need of a car promptly.
#8. eBay Motors
BBB Rating: A
eBay is one of the top choices among car buying websites.
eBay is a trusted platform. It shows seller/dealer ratings with each listing and you can make a comparison. Many used car websites do not offer a comparison but eBay Motors does.
eBay offers fixed price listings where you tell the price or do an auction listing where you receive bids and sell to the highest bidder. eBay payment protection protects you against fraud.
- eBay Motors allows sellers to list vehicles through auctions, providing buyers with the opportunity to bid and potentially get a good deal on a vehicle.
- In addition to auctions, many listings on eBay Motors offer a “Buy-It-Now” option, allowing buyers to purchase a vehicle immediately at a fixed price.
- Buyers can review seller ratings and feedback, providing insights into the reputation and reliability of sellers.
- Some listings on eBay Motors may include vehicle history reports, offering buyers information about a vehicle’s background.
- As with any online marketplace, there is a risk of encountering scams or fraudulent listings. Buyers should exercise caution and thoroughly research sellers.
- Depending on the location of the vehicle and the buyer, shipping costs can be significant. Buyers should factor in shipping expenses when making a purchase.
- Unlike traditional dealerships, buyers may not have the opportunity to physically inspect a vehicle before purchasing it, which can be a concern for some.
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#9. Facebook Marketplace
BBB Rating: N/A
Facebook Marketplace is the new kid on the block.
Facebook marketplace is like any other ad listing website. It shows the car listings people have put on Facebook. You can filter through the listings, contact the seller, and make a deal.
Think of Facebook Marketplace as more of a social media for private and dealership car sellers and car buyers. It has little extra to offer and is in no way better than the dedicated car buying sites.
- Facebook Marketplace has a massive user base, providing buyers and sellers with a wide audience for their listings.
- Many transactions on Facebook Marketplace are local, allowing buyers to inspect the vehicle in person before making a purchase.
- Buyers and sellers can communicate directly through Facebook Messenger, facilitating easy and direct communication.
- Since Facebook profiles are linked to Marketplace accounts, users can view the profiles of buyers and sellers, adding a layer of transparency and trust.
- Facebook Marketplace typically does not charge transaction fees, making it a cost-effective platform for both buyers and sellers.
- Transactions on Facebook Marketplace often involve cash payments, as the platform may not offer integrated payment options. This can pose security concerns for both parties.
- Unlike some dedicated platforms, Facebook Marketplace may not provide the same level of buyer or seller protection in case of disputes.
- Using Facebook Marketplace may involve sharing personal information, and users should be cautious about privacy settings and interactions with unknown parties.
BBB Rating: A+
CarsDirect makes online car buying easier with a wide array of choices from new cars to used cars.
For used cars, CarsDirect pulls used car history reports from CarFax and makes used car buying decisions easier.
CarsDirect is a veteran in the used cars industry and shows its expertise with the range of filters and offering an end-to-end car buying journey.
- The platform provides helpful car buying guides and resources, assisting users in understanding the car purchasing process and making informed choices.
- CarsDirect may offer financing options, making it convenient for buyers to explore loan options directly on the platform.
- Users can compare prices of different vehicles and access pricing information to ensure they are getting a competitive deal.
- Depending on the specific transaction or financing arrangement, users may encounter fees associated with the buying process.
- Unlike private sales, transactions through dealerships on CarsDirect may involve less direct negotiation between the buyer and seller.
- While financing options are available, users should be aware that third-party financing involves dealing with external lenders, which may have different terms and conditions.
BBB Rating: N/A
AutoList offers used car listings from private owners and dealers. It also shows new car ads.
Autolist works on the same model as AutoTempest. It aggregates car listings from around the web and shows available vehicles to interested buyers.
Autolist also helps you set your budget and goals for auto financing. You can select the car you want, evaluate your auto financing options and get the perfect deal.
You will see Carfax’s used car history and a comparison of the car prices. You will see if the car is overpriced, and by how much.
- Autolist provides a mobile app for both iOS and Android, allowing users to browse and search for vehicles conveniently on their smartphones.
- Users can compare prices across different listings to ensure they are getting a competitive deal on their desired vehicle.
- Autolist offers features such as alerts and notifications, keeping users informed about new listings or price changes that match their preferences.
- Depending on the specific transaction or financing arrangement, users may encounter fees associated with the buying process.Certain features, such as financing options, may be limited to specific geographic locations, and availability can vary.
- As Autolist aggregates listings from various sources, there may be variations in the quality and accuracy of information provided in some listings.
- Transactions through dealerships listed on Autolist may involve less direct negotiation between the buyer and seller compared to private sales.
- Depending on the specific transaction or financing arrangement, users may encounter fees associated with the buying process.
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BBB Rating: D-
Kelly Blue Book or KBB is the pioneer of the Fair Market Range concept of cars.
KBB has a wealth of information, resources, and car-selecting filters to help you make a sound decision. It is more of a car research website than a car buying website.
KBB shows the fair price for used cars based on the data for similar cars in a locality.
KBB has over 90 years of experience. It shows data about the price, car repair costs, car reviews, and tools for research for car buyers.
- KBB provides pricing information not only for new cars but also for used cars, helping users make informed decisions about buying or selling pre-owned vehicles.
- Kyle Blue Book features consumer reviews and ratings, offering valuable insights into the ownership experiences of other car buyers.
- The platform includes educational resources such as articles, guides, and tools to assist users in making informed decisions about buying, selling, and owning vehicles.
- The values provided by KBB are based on market conditions at a specific point in time and may not account for rapid market fluctuations.
BBB Rating: N/A
RelayCars has introduced an innovation in the car shopping world.
RelayCars is the Virtual Reality automotive experience that puts you in the driver’s seat of hundreds of vehicles. Explore vehicles inside out with full 360° views.
When buying a car online, getting a VR tour or 360-degree view of the car is very helpful in deciding if you want to proceed with buying the car or not.
You will need to use a VR set to get the most out of RelayCars.com. However, the experience of having a real-like look at the car is something no one else offers.
- Convenient online platform for buying and selling used cars.
- Wide selection of used cars from various dealerships.
- Transparent pricing and transparent fees.
- No-haggle pricing for a hassle-free buying experience.
- Free vehicle history reports.
- Financing options available.
- Limited physical presence compared to traditional car dealerships.
- May not have access to the latest or most exclusive used cars.
- Potential for hidden fees or unexpected costs.
- Reliance on third-party dealerships for vehicle inspections and repairs.
- Limited opportunities for test drives or hands-on inspections.
- Potential for delays in delivery or pickup.
BBB Rating: A+
Edmunds started as a vehicle appraisal company but developed into an online marketplace for buying and selling new and used cars.
The site offers new and used cars, information about the buying process, as well as links to dealerships and lenders.
Edmunds offers a range of sorting filters for selecting a used car. You can sort cars for make, model, year, body type, and exterior/interior factors.
Edmunds works with dealers to offer a quality online car buying experience.
- Edmunds provides comprehensive expert reviews and ratings for a wide range of vehicles, offering valuable insights for car shoppers.
- Users can easily compare prices for new and used cars, helping them make informed decisions and potentially save money.
- The platform offers a wealth of resources, including buying guides, safety information, and user reviews, aiding users in their research process.
- Detailed specifications, features, and performance data for each vehicle contribute to a thorough understanding of the cars on the market.
- Edmunds’ True Market Value pricing tool assists users in determining a fair price for a vehicle based on regional market trends.
- Edmunds primarily operates through dealerships, and users may find the platform more aligned with dealer interests rather than a direct-to-consumer model.
- Compared to some competitors, the number of vehicles listed for sale on Edmunds might be more limited, potentially reducing options for certain users.
BBB Rating: A+
iSeeCars has proven effective in finding a used car. It has a large collection of used cars and you can sort cars with extensive filters and selection criteria.
iSeeCars also promotes good deals and offers resources to help you make a great used car purchase.
- The platform is renowned for its distinctive studies and insights, such as the annual “Longest-Lasting Cars” study, offering users valuable information beyond standard listings.
- Users benefit from advanced search filters that allow for a more refined search based on specific criteria, streamlining the car selection process.
- iSeeCars.com equips users with tools to analyze the value retention of vehicles over time, empowering them to make informed decisions regarding the long-term cost-effectiveness of their potential purchases.
- With a user-friendly interface, the website ensures ease of navigation, enabling visitors to find relevant information swiftly.
- Compared to larger platforms, iSeeCars.com may have a somewhat limited diversity of available inventory, particularly for users seeking specific or rare models.
- Access to certain premium market insights and data may require a subscription, limiting the availability of such features for users who prefer entirely free services.
- The availability of listings and specific features on iSeeCars.com can vary by region, impacting the user experience based on geographical location.
Online Car Shopping Tips
Gather information about the make, model, and features of the car you’re interested in.
Read reviews from both experts and actual owners to understand the vehicle’s performance and reliability.
Set a Budget
Determine how much you’re willing to spend on the car, including taxes, registration, and potential additional fees.
Check Your Credit Score
Knowing your credit score can help you secure better financing options. Aim for pre-approval to streamline the buying process.
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Explore Various Platforms
Look beyond a single website or dealership. Explore multiple online platforms, including car listing websites, dealer websites, and classified ads.
Use Advanced Search Filters
Take advantage of advanced search filters to narrow down your options based on criteria such as price range, mileage, and specific features.
Verify Seller Reputation
If buying from a private seller or lesser-known dealership, research their reputation through reviews and ratings. Choose reputable sellers to avoid potential issues.
As we wrap up our exploration of the 15 best car buying sites, it’s evident that the online car shopping landscape caters to a diverse range of preferences and requirements. From the user-friendly interface of CarGurus to the extensive collection on AutoTrader and the classic car haven provided by Hemmings, each platform brings something unique to the table. Whether you prefer the virtual reality experience offered by RelayCars or the trusted pricing insights from Kelley Blue Book on TrueCar, these platforms aim to streamline your car buying journey. As technology continues to shape the automotive industry, these online marketplaces stand as reliable companions for those seeking convenience, transparency, and a plethora of options in their quest for the perfect vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best online car selling sites?
The best online car selling sites include AutoTrader, CarGurus, and Cars.com. These websites provide a user-friendly experience, a wide range of vehicles, and tools to help you set a competitive price for your car.
Which are the best used car sites by owner?
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are popular options for buying used cars directly from owners. These platforms allow users to search for vehicles based on location and personal preferences.
What are the best online car buying sites for 2023?
The best online car buying sites in 2023 include CarGurus.com and Vroom and These platforms offer a seamless and transparent car buying experience, with features like detailed vehicle history reports and at-home delivery.
Where can I find the best online car buying sites near New York?
Top online car buying sites near New York include CarGurus, Vroom, Shift, and local dealership websites. Browse multiple sources to find the best deals and a wide selection of vehicles.
What is the best price website for cars?
Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) and Edmunds (edmunds.com) are two reliable websites for determining car prices based on factors like make, model, year, mileage, and condition. Check both sources for a well-rounded understanding of a car’s value.
How do I buy a car online?
Research, choose a reputable seller, inspect virtually, avoid scams, read terms carefully, and confirm delivery options!
Is it safe to buy a car online?
With research, caution, and reputable sellers, buying a car online can be safe, but beware of scams and always inspect virtually before committing.
How do I know I will get my car if I buy it online?
While there’s inherent risk, using reputable sellers, secure payment methods, and thorough inspections before purchase helps ensure you get the car you buy online.
How do I sign the paperwork if I buy a car online?
Signing paperwork for an online car purchase usually involves e-signatures through secure platforms, but details may vary depending on the seller – always confirm the process beforehand.
How do I pay for a car I buy online?
Avoid upfront wiring! Reputable online car buying involves secure methods like escrow, dealer financing, or approved payment platforms.
How do I test drive a car before I buy it online?
Online test drives are limited, but some dealers offer virtual tours or may deliver for inspection before finalizing the purchase.
If I buy a car online, can I negotiate the price?
While negotiating the price of a car online might be trickier than in person, it’s still possible! Research the market value beforehand, be willing to walk away if needed, and use multiple online quotes for leverage.
How do I trade my car if I buy a car online?
Online car buying with trade-ins can vary – some offer online appraisals, while others require an in-person inspection. Research the dealer’s trade-in process upfront and compare offers for the best deal.
How can I get the car inspected if I buy it online?
When buying online, car inspections require flexibility:
Independent inspection: Arrange for a local mechanic to inspect the car before purchase.
Dealer inspection: Some online sellers offer inspections through partner mechanics, check details and credibility.
Mobile inspection: Services connect you with qualified inspectors who come to the car’s location.
Virtual inspection: Ask for detailed photos, videos, and a live video tour to virtually assess the car’s condition.
Remember, a physical inspection is ideal, but these options can provide valuable insights before committing.
Is delivery free if I buy online or is it part of the deal?
Free car delivery when buying online isn’t always guaranteed. It depends on the seller, distance, and sometimes your negotiation skills. Check for “delivery available” tags, ask the seller about options and costs, and compare deals to find the best value.
How do I finance a car online?
Financing an online car purchase involves similar steps as traditional dealerships:
Shop around: Compare loan offers from online lenders, traditional banks, and the dealership itself.
Get pre-approved: Secure loan approval beforehand for better negotiation leverage and knowing your budget limit.
Choose a lender: Select the offer with the best rates, terms, and repayment options suitable for you.
Finalize paperwork: Electronically sign loan documents and finalize the deal with the chosen lender and dealer.
Remember, reading the fine print and understanding fees is crucial in online car financing.