What are the best websites for sellers and buyers? The internet abounds with places where you can buy and sell used cars. We looked at some of the most popular sites, and we think these are the best.
Before most people ever heard of the internet, you could find Auto Trader magazinenear the cash register at almost any gas station. The printed mag had loads of used car ads.
Most of the listings were from private sellers.
Some ads featured well-kept, low-mileage cars. Others were for wrecked cars that the owner was selling for parts.
Most people who were looking for a used car preferred Auto Trader because it was more complete than the local classifieds. Each listing had a photo of the vehicle. They had more thorough descriptions than newspaper ads.
The print publication has gone away. Cox Enterprises has since bought out the company and shifted its business to the internet only. They rebranded the company, and Auto Trader is now Autotrader.
The price of ad space on Autotrader starts at $25. With the Basic package, you can post up to 3 photos. You can add 10 more for $20 extra.
You can include a vehicle history report for an extra $15. Autotrader claims it can increase your visibility by 40%.
Pay $10 more and you can get the Supercharger upgrade. It makes your ad more prominent in search engine results.
For $15 you can get the Spotlight upgrade. Your ad rotates with other Spotlight ads at the top of the page, above the search results. It increases your visibility by nearly 50% over other ads.
The next pricing level is Featured ads. They appear in the search listings above Basic ads that don’t have a Supercharger upgrade. You can post up to 20 photos and add 10 more for $20.
You can also get the Supercharger ($10) and Spotlight ($15) upgrades with the Featured package.
If you want to beat the competition, go for the Premium package. It costs $90. You can upload as many as 30 photos and get 10 more for an extra $20. Premium adsinclude the Supercharger and Spotlight upgrades for free.
All levels include a listing on Kelley Blue Book that runs for the duration of your Autotrader ad. Listings run for 30 days and you can renew every 30 days for free.
The ads in the search results view show you a photo of the car, a headline, and a brief description. The asking price appears in the upper right corner.
You’ll see that some ads have a banner above the price declaring “Good Price,” or “Great Price,” in comparison with the Kelley Blue Book value.
If the seller has a history report, You’ll see the AutoCheck banner in the bottom right corner.
The search engine sorts by “Relevance” as the default. You can sort the list by highest price or lowest price first, lowest or highest mileage, or oldest or newest year.
You can also sort by distance to see the cars closest to you.
On the left-hand side of the page, you’ll see the search filters. By default, it sets the distance filter at 50 miles. You can adjust it higher or lower from the drop-down list.
If you want to set the filter to only see private seller ads, you have to scroll down. The filter named “Type of Seller” is at the bottom of the list.
Click on the ad and you’ll see more details and photos on the seller’s landing page. There you can look at the AutoCheck and send the seller a message that you’re interested.
From its founding in 1995, eBay has grown to a colossal marketplace. In April 2000, the company added eBay Motors to the wheelhouse.
You have two ways you can sell your car on eBay Motors:
- Fixed price. You set an asking price just as with any classified ad.
- Auction. You sell your car to the highest bidder.
They have 3 ad packages: Basic for $25, Plus for $55, and Premium for $95. You can list either fixed price or auction with any package. All three include a vehicle history report from AutoCheck.
Basic. The Basic package runs your listing for 7 days. You can add up to 12 photos.
Plus. You can add up to 18 photos with the Plus package. Auctions list for up to 7 days. You can also set a reserve price up to $20,000.
The reserve price is the lowest bid you’ll accept in the auction. The bidders don’t see it, but if the current bid is too low, the listing will show, “Reserve not met.”
Fixed-price ads under the Plus package run for up to 30 days.
Premium. You can include up to 24 photos and run a fixed-price ad for up to 30 days. Auctions list for up to 10 days.
The Premium package comes with Gallery Plus.
- When a user hovers over your item in the search results, the thumbnail photo expands to a 400x400 pixel image.
- On your landing page, the user can mouse-over your photos and a virtual magnifying glass appears. The user will see a magnified view to the right side of the photo.
You can also display your headline and subtitle in bold print when you order Premium. You can also add “Buy It Now” so a user can buy without bidding.
The selection on eBay Motors is huge! You can find almost any kind of vehicle you could ever want. You can shop for a reliable, practical car, or for a classic or exotic auto.
You can filter to shop from private sellers only, but you have to scroll down and click “More refinements…”
You can view the AutoCheck on the seller landing page. Cars of year model 1981 and earlier most likely won’t have a history report.
If you want the car shipped to you, open the “Shipping and payments” tab. You’ll see a list of carriers you can book.
You can also apply for a car loan under the same tab.
You can advertise on CarGurus for $4.95. The ad runs for 60 days and you can renew for 30 days for free. You can do as many 30-day renewals as you need.
If you’re eligible, you can buy a Featured listing for $19.99. It gives you priority positioning in the search results for 14 days. When it expires, you can buy another 14 days. Renew as many times as you want.
To qualify for a Featured listing, you must meet these requirements:
- Live in a selected zip code area. CarGurus doesn’t publish a list — If you’re in an eligible area, you’ll get a prompt when you set up your ad.
- Have a deal rating of Fair, Good, or Great. CarGurus compares their Instant Market Value (IMV) with your price. If you rate High or Overpriced, you’re not eligible for a Featured listing.
The CarGurus platform includes a test drive scheduler. You can set up a neutral location that’s convenient for you and the buyer. Choose up to 3 dates and times that you’re available to meet.
CarGurus verifies the seller’s ID to help you avoid used car scams.
You can contact the seller from the platform. Make an offer, request more photos, ask to meet for a test drive and more.
You can get updates by email or text message if the seller lowers the price.
The platform also allows you to pay for the vehicle through a secure funds transfer.
Most car trading sites cater to dealerships. PrivateAuto is the only one that deals only with private sales. For sellers, that means we don’t try to get you to sell your car to a dealer for the wholesale value. Buyers get the benefit of finding great car prices that dealers don’t offer.
You can list your car on PrivateAuto until it sells. There’s no need to renew every month.
Your ad comes with a printable window brochure so you can advertise while you’re out and about.
You can receive and manage offers without sharing your private info.
Plus, you can schedule test drives at a neutral location that’s convenient for you and the buyer. If you don’t know a good place to meet, it’s okay. The scheduling tool will suggest a place for you.
PrivateAuto provides a bill of sale and state-specific documents you can complete, share, and sign right in the app.
PrivateAuto's listings offer these additional great services:
- Free vehicle history report from AutoCheck. Give buyers confidence in your offer by showing a complete picture of your car’s value.
- Verify buyer funds. Weed out the scams and insincere offers.
- Integrated banking services. Make secure transfers up to $250,000.
- Real-time transfer tracking.
PrivateAuto helps keep you and your identity safe when you shop for a used car.
- Verify seller’s ID, email, and phone number
- Verify the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and title
- Contact the seller without sharing your personal info
You can schedule a mechanical inspection with an ASE Certified technicianstraight from the PrivateAuto platform.
Private car sales benefit both the seller and the buyer. The seller can get a better price than trading in at a dealership. The buyer can get a great bargain compared to the dealer retail price.
Most car trading sites don’t make it easy to find private sales listings. PrivateAuto only deals with private sales. We don’t list dealer ads.
But you do get dealer-quality services.
- Printable window brochure
- Test drive scheduler
- Mechanical inspection scheduler