The Best Used Car Websites to Buy Your Next Used Car From

Red classic car with an open lid

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Buying a car is a big deal and for many people, it’s one of their biggest investments. If you don’t want the stress of a dealership, it’s possible to go online to research your new ride, shop for a vehicle, and apply for an auto loan. But which are the best used car websites, and are there any you should avoid?

If you’re looking for the best website for used cars, you’re in the right place. We’ve done all the demanding work for you and are writing this post to save you time. Whether you want to buy a vehicle online, do some research, or compare dealerships, this post on the best websites to buy used cars is all you need.

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Ten of the Best Used Car Websites   

The first step to take when looking to buy a used car should always be research. There are plenty of great websites where you’ll find the perfect new-to-you ride, but which one is the best?

If you’re wondering about buying a used car online and how you’ll get it home, don’t forget that SGT Auto Transport offers auto transport services across the country. Buy your car online, and we’ll make sure it’s delivered safely. 

It’s hard to narrow the list down to just one, so we’ve made a list of the ten best websites for used cars. The choice of which one to use is all down to you. 

1. CarMax

CarMax is a veteran when it comes to selling used cars. It’s been around for more than six decades and has over two hundred stores across forty-one states. To help you find the perfect car, CarMax has an easy-to-use website. 

It’s possible to narrow down your search and filter results by vehicle type, make, or price range. You can also use the search option, typing in your preferred make, and model, or using other keywords such as blind spot detection or AWD. 

The site automatically detects your location, but you can choose a different store if you prefer. Once you’ve entered your search requirements, you’ll be taken to a list of results that you can filter even further. For example, arrange the list from lowest to highest price, distance from you, lowest to highest price, and so on. 

Features that make this a strong contender for the best used car website include:

  • No-haggle pricing: The price you see is the price you pay, whether you’re trading in a vehicle or using CarMax financing.
  • “Love Your Car Guarantee”: You get a 30-day money-back guarantee, up to 1,500 miles.
  • Used cars are thoroughly inspected: A detailed 125-point checklist is used for every inspection and anything that isn’t up to standard is repaired or replaced. 
  • Extended warranty coverage available: The cost of the extended warranty depends on the vehicle price and various other factors, but customers report that it’s a worthwhile investment. 

2. CarGurus

The brains behind CarGurus is the co-founder of TripAdvisor. The site was created in 2006 and is one of the most visited automotive marketplaces in the US. A popular feature of this used car site is the rating it gives to every listed vehicle. They are rated on a scale from “overpriced” up to “great deal”. 

If you shop at CarGurus, you have two options. You can shop by body style or enter specific details such as make and model, price range, zip code, and search radius. 

Next, you can use the filters to narrow down your choices. For example, you might want cars that are available for home delivery or prefer listings that are new to the market. Additional filters include deal ratings, features, and engine. One filter you should seriously consider is the NHTSA Overall Safety Rating.

A feature that makes CarGurus another contender for the best website to buy a used car is the full disclosure of each vehicle’s location. CarGurus also has accreditation and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

One thing to be aware of is that CarGurus is a referral service. There’s no guarantee a dealer will honor the price quoted on the CarGurus website. The vehicle might also be unavailable by the time you reach the lot. 

3. Cars.com

Cars.com is an A+ rated business that’s accredited by the BBB. You’ll find millions of vehicles listed from over 20,000 dealers. Company headquarters are in Chicago and the site first launched in 1998 to connect car shoppers with sellers, primarily dealers. 

If you’re looking for the best used car website in terms of volume, Cars.com lists over 50,000 new cars on the site daily. 

Finding your dream car on this site is easy. Click either Make or Body Style to get your search underway. You’ll be offered various other dropdowns including max price, preferred distance, and location. Alternatively, use the “advanced search” link to be more specific in your search. Options include mileage, deal rating, transmission, drivetrain, and interior/exterior colors. 

From there, you can sort your results based on price, mileage, and so on. There are also filters to narrow down your list even further. For example, if you’re looking for specific entertainment features or third-row seats you can specify these options. 

A fun tool to use is the “Matchmaker” feature. It’s perfect if you don’t know what you need but have an idea of what matters most. 

The information provided on this site is very comprehensive, plus you get a link to the free CARFAX report, the rating of the dealership, and quick-access buttons for calling or checking the car’s availability.  

4. Autotrader

Autotrader is popular with millions of people and is a fantastic way to cover lots of ground quickly. With a single search, you get to see hundreds of listings from a variety of sources including local used car lots, big dealers, online-only services, and private sellers.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to enter a make and model to start searching. It’s also possible to browse by make, style, and budget, or use the advanced search option if you want to be more specific.

Once you’ve got your initial results page, you can filter it further and sort it to eliminate any vehicles that are not a good match for you. A great tool to use is the “My Wallet” feature. It adjusts your search results according to your approximate credit score range, down payment, monthly budget, and any trade-in details. 

You’ll find some used cars have an “Accelerate My Deal” option. This allows you to start the buying process online, saving time at the dealership. 

5. Hemmings

Hemmings.com is a popular site for collectors of vintage and rare cars from all over the country. In addition to the wonderful selection of unique vehicles and classic cars, there are also listings for rare car parts. For car enthusiasts in need of a one-stop shop for all their vintage needs, this is the best used car website.

Something else that makes this website unique is the passion it has for creating a community of classic car lovers around its brand. It has been publishing print magazines and newsletters for many years. If you’re interested in getting fresh listings in a hard format every month or week, you just subscribe to the service.  

6. KBB

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has long been a trusted source for finding used cars and when it launched its used car platform, it was a welcome addition for shoppers. As well as finding the best used cars in your area, you can also quickly access market values and other useful information about the vehicle.

There are also some helpful tools such as the ability to calculate your car payment and check your credit score. You’ll also find top ten lists that allow you to find the vehicle that best suits you. Expert reviews are also available to help you compare different cars and if you want to trade in a vehicle, you can get a value for that as well. 

One big downside of KBB is the lack of vehicles, especially compared with the likes of Autotrader and Cars.com.  

7. Carvana

Carvana was founded in 2012 and offers a virtual showroom with detailed photos and 360-degree views of the interior and exterior. Close-ups are provided of any scratches and imperfections, and you can zoom in from any angle. 

If you purchase a vehicle and want to have it delivered, you can choose whether it’s delivered to a local Carvana location, your home, or your office. Once it’s been delivered, you have seven days to decide if it’s the right car for you. If it’s not, you can return it at no cost to you.

Carvana allows you to search for cars by vehicle type, make and model, price, or payment range. With each car, there is a 150-point inspection, a CARFAX history, and a 100-day limited warranty. It’s also possible to finance your car through Carvana.

Also available is the option to sell your car to Carvana, even if you’re not buying one of theirs. In less than a minute, you’ll get an online offer. If you decide to accept, the company will pick up your car from your door and take it away. 

However, we should point out that you’ll pay a premium for the convenience. Carvana’s prices are generally higher than those at a local dealer. You might also be offered less for your trade-in. It’s up to you to decide whether the trade-off between cost and convenience is worth it.  

8. Cars Direct

CarsDirect allows you to compare various used car listings from local dealerships from the comfort of your home. The website is simple and uncluttered which means you can concentrate on what you’re looking at. To help you make up your mind, there are handy car-buying guides.

CarsDirect is another veteran in our list of the best used car websites to buy from. It’s been providing support for car buyers since 1998. Once you’ve got a car in your sights you can directly apply for low-credit or no-credit loans. For many people, this is far less stressful than sitting in front of the finance manager at a local dealership. 

CarsDirect has no private sellers. All the listings are from dealers but might not necessarily help you find low-dollar third-party vehicles. Another issue with this site is that dealerships are known for changing prices for sales and promotions. Bear this in mind and reach out to a dealership to confirm details and prices. 

9. Craigslist

Craigslist started as a local, San Francisco-based free community website but it’s grown into so much more. Now, it has a worldwide presence with more than 20 billion page views a month. Unfortunately, the website still looks like a 1990s web bulletin board, but don’t let this put you off because some great bargains are waiting to be found. 

Craigslist allows you to conduct a general search or look for a specific make and model. The searches default to an area within a radius of your location, but you can change it and search other locations. The site allows you to filter ads by price, location, and date of posting. It’s also possible to separate dealer ads from individual sellers. 

You can use Craigslist as a good point of reference for the type of vehicles in your area and their asking prices. You might even be lucky enough to find a deal if you can be patient. 

People selling on Craigslist are generally honest and reasonable, but you can never be too careful. There are a lot of scammers on Craigslist. Look out for dealers posing as individuals, title jumpers, people selling stolen cars, and more. 

To keep yourself safe, let people know where you’re going if you’re meeting with an unknown buyer or seller. Take a friend with you if you can and always meet in a public place.  

10. eBay Motors

We have to give eBay Motors the title of the daddy of online vehicle auction sites. If something’s got wheels, you’ll likely find it for sale on eBay. The site offers several options for buying and selling all things auto-related. 

The most familiar is the auction format but you can also purchase items by making an offer or clicking the “buy it now” button. You should find the layout easy to use. You have the option of shopping by category or using the search field to find exactly what you’re looking for.

A key benefit of using eBay is the security it offers. Buyers and sellers have reviews so you can read about previous transactions. Vehicle Purchase Protection is available for up to $100,000. It’s also possible to order an AutoCheck report with the vehicle’s history. 

If you’re buying outside your local area, you can hire a third party to inspect the vehicle. The inspection can include an appraisal, a review of cosmetic and mechanical conditions, detailed photos, or a video of the vehicle.  

When you’ve finished doing your research and have found your dream car, use our instant online quote calculator to find out the cost of shipping your new car to your home. 

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