Edmunds vs PrivateAuto for Private-Party Car Transactions

Edmunds is an online vehicle research and shopping platform. PrivateAuto is a transactional marketplace that uses technology to make it easy to sell your car online or buy a private-party used car.
Let’s compare how the two sites stack up for private-party car transactions.

Edmunds Pros and Cons

Edmunds provides vehicle reviews, pricing information, consumer tools, and a whole lot of cars for sale—all from dealerships. It’s great for vehicle research, and not so great for the private-party transactional experience.
Image highlighting Buying/Selling Car Privately by PrivateAuto

For the Buyer: Edmunds Pros

Large volume of inventory (if you want to buy from a dealership)
Vehicle reviews and ratings
Pricing guides and market value information
Vehicle history reports available
Affordability and loan calculators

For the Buyer: Edmunds Cons

No private party cars for sale (dealer inventory only)
No easy way to pay for the car
No electronic signing of the bill of sale
No test drive scheduling
No negotiation features.

For the Seller: Edmunds Pros

Not applicable.

For the Seller: Edmunds Cons

Edmunds does not allow private-party sellers to list a car for sale on the platform. It sells dealer inventory only.

PrivateAuto Pros and Cons

PrivateAuto is the world’s only automotive transactional marketplace and is exclusively for peer-to-peer car transactions. We connect private-party buyers to private-party sellers, and then we give them all the tools they need to get the deal done, from secure messaging to instantaneous payments.

For the Buyer: PrivateAuto Pros

Everyone knows that it’s better to buy from a private party than a dealership. You get a better car for the same money when you cut out the middleman. You avoid dealer fees. And, in some states, you skip the sales tax.

PrivateAuto is the best website to find cars for sale by owner. Opposite of Edmunds, we have all private-party cars for sale, with no dealer inventory. We also provide a full suite of transactional solutions for you to get the deal done.

Vehicle history reports available
Tech-enabled transactionality for every stage of the deal
100% private-party listings, no dealers
Built-in “make an offer” feature makes negotiations smooth
In-app messaging and test drive scheduling
Built-in negotiation feature allows buyers to make an offer
No buyer fee
Find a car for sale on another platform, buy it with our DealNow bridge product
Intuitive mobile app and website
Seller verification
In-app vehicle inspection scheduling.
Integrated car shipping
Electronic signing of an official bill of sale protects against unscrupulous sellers
Instant payments provide escrow-like safeguards so you can forgo expensive and cumbersome third-party escrow companies
In-app car financing from a third-party FDIC-insured lender at competitive rates
In-app car insurance provider integration

For the Seller: PrivateAuto Pros

Sellers can easily create a listing for their vehicle and manage incoming offers via their dashboard, with the option to accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. They can chat with potential buyers via the in-app messaging feature without ever giving out their personal contact info.

With PrivateAuto’s ability to verify funds, sellers can stop dealing with buyers who can’t afford their car.

Low seller fees
Seller can choose a standard listing or an auction format
Self-serve, intuitive listing and auction process
List your vehicle on any platform and finish the deal on PrivateAuto with our DealNow bridge product
Buyer verification
In-app signing of an official bill of sale
Get paid instantly, with no limits on payment amount

PrivateAuto Cons

PrivateAuto doesn’t have a lot of downsides. We designed it that way after looking at the pain points associated with other platforms. If you find any flaws, let us know!

PrivateAuto vs Edmunds: Pricing

Edmunds and PrivateAuto are both free to buyers. Edmunds does not serve private-party sellers, while PrivateAuto charges sellers a mere $99 (pay now) or $150 (pay when the car sells).

PrivateAuto vs Edmunds: Transaction Features

Edmunds allows buyers to shop dealership inventory but doesn’t provide transactional infrastructure to get the deal done.

PrivateAuto is a fully transactional marketplace, with technological solutions for every stage of the deal. Private-party buyers and sellers can message one another without exchanging contact info, schedule test drives, do a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire transaction process, sign the bill of sale, and transfer funds–all through the PrivateAuto app. Because payments are instantaneous, a PrivateAuto deal can be done very quickly.

PrivateAuto vs Edmunds: Payments

PrivateAuto is the clear winner in the payments round. Our PrivateAuto Pay banking integration allows buyers to send any amount instantly and fee-free.

PrivateAuto Pay offers the following benefits:

Available on nights, weekends, and holidays
Allows for split payments; a buyer can break a payment up between financing, cash, PrivateAuto Pay, and cryptocurrency
Allows for full or partial buyer financing that is directly integrated into the PrivateAuto platform
No transfer fees
No limits on funds transferred: you can buy (or sell) that $1.5M supercar in a flash.

Edmunds offers no payment integration.

PrivateAuto vs Edmunds: User Experience

PrivateAuto lets users buy used cars for sale by owner, with technology to make it easy and efficient.

PrivateAuto has no dealer listings, meaning that all cars for sale are by private owners. With an average of around 250,000 listings at any given time, PrivateAuto is by far the best website to shop cars for sale by owner.

Edmunds's inventory consists of dealership vehicles only. Considering all the advantages of a private-party transaction, Edmunds fails to serve buyers looking for used cars for sale by owner.
Image highlighting Buying Car Privately by PrivateAuto

Choosing the Best Online Car Transaction Platform

The verdict on Edmunds vs PrivateAuto?

Edmunds if you want to buy a car online from a dealership.
PrivateAuto if you want to buy a car from a private seller.

Edmunds vs PrivateAuto FAQ

What is Edmunds's motto?

Edmunds moto is: “We drive it like it is. We take the guesswork out of buying or selling a vehicle.”

Who founded Edmunds?

How secure is the PrivateAuto Pay feature?

How does PrivateAuto vet buyers and sellers?

How does the PrivateAuto loan process work?

What are the most popular alternatives to Edmunds?