Bring A Trailer vs PrivateAuto Selling My Car?

If you want to sell your used vehicle, you may be debating between two or more online vehicle selling platforms. Here are the pros and cons of Bring a Trailer and PrivateAuto to help you decide on the best option for you.
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What Is Bring a Trailer?

Bring a Trailer is a vehicle auction website, similar to RM Sotheby’s, Avantgarde Collection, and Mecum Auction. It specializes in the sale of classic cars, collector cars, hot rods, and custom vehicles (such as Factory Five cars). A Bring a Trailer auction typically lasts for 7 days.

What Is PrivateAuto?

PrivateAuto is an end-to-end platform for individuals to buy and sell vehicles of all types. The PrivateAuto app includes vehicle listings, an integrated payment gateway, vehicle financing, in-app messaging, a scheduling feature for arranging test drives, and e-signing of documentation.


Seller Fees


$99 - $349

Buyer / Transaction Fee


Advertising Features


Bring A Trailer


Mobile app (IOS and Android)

Vehicle History Report Included

Window Brochure w/ QR code

Instant Messaging

Fraud Prevention


Bring A Trailer

Chat w/out sharing contact information

Identity Verification

Driver's License Verification

Selfie Verification

Deal Features


Bring A Trailer

Verified Buyer Funds

Test Drive Scheduler

Offers: Accept/Counter/Reject

Bill of Sale - eSign (In App)

Payment Features


Bring A Trailer

Proprietary Transaction Technology

PrivateAuto Pay

Available In All States (U.S.A.)

Available Nights, Weekends, Holidays

Split Payment: PA Pay, Crypto, Cash

Buyer Financing (Direct Integration)

Transaction Limits


Money Transfer Time


PrivateAuto vs Bring a Trailer

PrivateAuto and Bring a Trailer have very different features and business models. Bring a Trailer is an auction website, while PrivateAuto is a technology platform that includes used car listings, instantaneous payments, and other integrated features.

Bring a Trailer Review

Bring a Trailer has an intuitive website that’s simple enough to navigate. Their seller fees are fairly reasonable, while their buyer fees are on the higher end. While they offer helpful services, such as having professional photos of your vehicle taken, these come at an additional cost.

Bring a Trailer’s biggest issue is their lack of payment and transaction infrastructure. Buyers and sellers are left to navigate transactional logistics, including transfer of funds, on their own.

Bring a Trailer Pros

Easy-to-use website
Vehicle advertising available
Vehicle history report available
Reasonable seller fees
Bidding on classic cars and collector cars
Good inventory of classic and collector vehicles

Bring a Trailer Cons

High buyer fees
No mobile app
No live chat
No payment support
No transaction support
No way to verify buyers and sellers
No in-app buyer financing

PrivateAuto Review

PrivateAuto is a vehicle marketplace combined with an integrated banking and payment gateway. The PrivateAuto app has built-in messaging and scheduling so buyer and seller can arrange to meet.

The main issue with PrivateAuto is how quickly certain vehicles sell. PrivateAuto works on a first-come, first-serve basis, so buyers may miss a great vehicle if they don’t check new listings every day.

PrivateAuto Pros

Low seller fees
No buyer fee
Vehicle advertising available
Vehicle history reports available
In-app messaging and test drive scheduling
Intuitive mobile app and website
Buyer and seller verification
Integrated banking system
Instantaneous payments of any amount, 24/7/365
In-app financing

PrivateAuto Cons

Lower inventory of collector and classic cars (as of 2022)
Less well-known, smaller user base (as of 2022)
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PrivateAuto vs Bring a Trailer: Pricing

Both PrivateAuto and Bring a Trailer have seller fees, which sellers pay when creating a vehicle listing. However, PrivateAuto doesn’t take a cut from the buyers, while Bring a Trailer charges a buyer transaction fee.

PrivateAuto Fees

PrivateAuto fees are among the lowest in the online car selling market. The seller pays a $150 listing fee with no additional costs thereafter. The buyer is responsible for paying for the vehicle only and has no transaction-related costs.

Bring a Trailer Fees

Bring a Trailer has fees for both buyer and seller. The seller pays a listing fee of $99 ($349 if you want professional photos of your vehicle taken by them). In addition to paying for the actual vehicle, the buyer has to pay a 5% transaction fee to Bring a Trailer, with the minimum amount being $250, and the maximum being $5000.

PrivateAuto vs Bring a Trailer: Advertising

PrivateAuto and Bring a Trailer both offer vehicle advertising, with a detailed car history report on their websites. However, PrivateAuto offers an array of useful features Bring a Trailer lacks. For instance, PrivateAuto offers a window brochure with QR codes and an easy-to-use live chat that helps you communicate with the seller/buyer.

PrivateAuto vs Bring a Trailer: Transaction Features

One of the main issues with Bring a Trailer is their lack of transaction functionality. They are a pure auction and listing service, devoid of additional features that could remove friction from the transaction process for both the buyer and the seller.

PrivateAuto, in contrast, includes seller and buyer verification, integrated banking, and integrated chat and scheduling. Buyers and sellers can schedule test drives, do a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire transaction process, and sign the bill of sale–all through the PrivateAuto app.

PrivateAuto vs Bring a Trailer: Payments

Bring a Trailer does not facilitate payment from the vehicle buyer to the seller. They merely connect the two parties to one another and leave them to navigate payment options on their own.

PrivateAuto allows for instantaneous payments of any amount, 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Its integrated banking system, PrivateAuto Pay, functions as an internal bank transfer when funds move from the buyer to the seller. PrivateAuto also allows buyers to pay with a card (credit or debit), crypto, or cash. Buyers can also split the vehicle payment across multiple channels, and even apply for financing within the PrivateAuto app.

PrivateAuto vs Bring a Trailer: User Experience

Having an easy-to-use platform is crucial for online used car selling companies. PrivateAuto and Bring a Trailer both have websites. PrivateAuto has a mobile application, while Bring a Trailer does not.

PrivateAuto Website

PrivateAuto has an easy-to-navigate website. Vehicle listings are easy to navigate, whether you’re looking for a particular model or want to browse by geographical proximity. Creating a car listing is likewise intuitive, with a step-by-step guide helping you through the process.

Bring a Trailer Website

The Bring a Trailer website is easy to use, for the most part. The process of listing your vehicle is quite simple. For the potential buyer, Bring a Trailer’s search and browsing features could be improved upon; finding particular vehicles can be time-consuming. Users can add vehicles to a watchlist, which can be helpful.

PrivateAuto App

PrivateAuto offers an app that’s available on both iOS and Android. You can list your car for sale, look through available vehicles, contact sellers, and pay for your vehicle, all from your phone.

Bring a Trailer App

Bring a Trailer does not have an app, so all aspects of the vehicle buying and selling process has to be done through their website.

Choosing the Best Online Car Selling Platform

The verdict on Bring a Trailer vs PrivateAuto?


If you want to sell a used vehicle, PrivateAuto offers more functionality, safety, and ease of use. With secure, instantaneous payments, secure messaging (with no exchange of contact info), and buyer verification, sellers have far more flexibility and safety than on Bring a Trailer.


For those looking to buy a used car, PrivateAuto offers far better value with no buyer transaction fees.

Bring a Trailer has more inventory in the classic and collector cars categories, while PrivateAuto has more inventory for later-model vehicles.

PrivateAuto offers a better buying experience than Bring a Trailer, with in-app messaging, integrated payments, and financing options.

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Bring a Trailer vs PrivateAuto FAQ

How much does Bring a Trailer cost?

As a seller, a Bring a Trailer listing will cost you anywhere from $99 to $349, depending on how long you want the listing to be up for. Buyers also have to pay a hefty fee: 5% of the price, up to $5000.

Is Bring a Trailer worth it?

How much does PrivateAuto cost?

How secure is the PrivateAuto Pay feature?

Can you cancel a bid on Bring a Trailer?

Can you pay with a credit card on Bring a Trailer?

How does PrivateAuto vet buyers and sellers?

How does the PrivateAuto loan process work?

Are there reserves on Bring a Trailer?

What is the best website for buying and selling cars privately?

Is it better to buy a used car online or at a used car market?

Will PrivateAuto sell my personal information?

How long does a BaT auction last?

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