As exciting as it is to buy a new car — err, at least one new to you — the process of finding and purchasing any vehicle is exhausting. You wouldn’t be surprised to find a sleazy salesman breathing down your neck as you peruse the lot’s selection, trying to put you in a different car at every turn. Given the aforementioned situation, or a similar scenario thereof, it’s no wonder nobody enjoys perusing Bob’s Used Car Emporium for a new set of cars under such stressful conditions. Thankfully, the Internet boasts a bevy of virtual car lots, lined with everything from mid-size sedans to all-terrain pickup trucks. The sites allow you to swap the salesman and pressure-laden environment for a comfortable desk chair, while providing you with all the necessary information regarding each car’s condition and supposed history. However, the question remains, which site is the most competent and coupled with a dearth of scammers, crooks, and the like?
Here is our top selection of the best used car websites for bettering your online shopping experience. No cheesy slick-backs, no false information, and no forced decisions; just the best websites to help you buy a used ride. Also, skim our list detailing the essential questions you should ask when buying a used car and our roundup of the best cars for new drivers if you’re still shopping around.
Cars.com, Autotrader, CarsDirect, and more
Contrary to what the website’s ridiculous commercials make you believe, navigating to Cars.com won’t lead your conscious to manifest itself as a second head on your body. Rather, the site is a deep and extensive resource for anyone shopping for a used car. Filters allow you to search based on make, model, and the highest possible price for any used or certified pre-owned car in your area — and once you find your desired car —the website provides quick links to the car’s various Carfax reports. Moreover, you’re given the option to instant message the dealer or owner directly if they’re currently online, or simple email the if they’re not. Cars.com’s simple navigation and robust resource selection make it one of the best for first-time buyers.
Few sites surpass AutoTrader.com when it comes to advanced search tools. Not only does the site’s initial search let you choose the make, model, and price of your desired car akin to most sites on our list, but you can also filter your results based on the type of car you want, its fuel economy, exact specifications, or a variety of other notable features. For instance, do you want a car with an intuitive navigation system? How about a sedan with four doors and keyless entry? Then check the requisite box for either option and let the result populate. AutoTrader.com even gives you the option to search for Business Elite model Chevy or GMC commercial vehicles at any given moment.
While not strictly a used car website catered for finding a ’95 Geo Metro, Hemmings is a classic car collector’s dream. The website provides a worthwhile blast from the past, reveling in ’60s Chevy Impalas and Studebakers from the ’30s, while additionally offering tools for locating specific parts or services pertaining to a car you may already own. Hemmings also offers a Daily News Letter, an updated blog, and several other resources for the classic car owner to use in addition to standard search functionality. The site even touts its own webstore where you can buy diecast models, Hemmings apparel, collector car books, or a 2014 wall calendar. For the classic car enthusiast, Hemmings is an excellent resource for car classifieds, complete with supplementary buying tips and links to upcoming local auctions.
Simple and straightforward, CarsDirect is all about the basic. You can choose to search for used cars within your provided area based on body style and price or make and model, thus filtering available options only within your region. Search results include offerings from both dealers and owners, with a bundled option of viewing your desired car’s Carfax report. CarsDirect also allows you save your favorite cars and search history when deciding between different makes and models, and each search result provides a slew of images detailing the selected cars condition. Furthermore, you can submit an inquiry about the particular make or model your looking at, or choose whether you’re look for special financing. Links to the respective car dealer’s website come standard, as do comprehensive maps providing you directions to the dealer’s location.
Regardless of your online shopping expertise, there’s a good chance you’re at least somewhat familiar with eBay. That said, eBay motors is no different than any other of the site’s services, allowing you to easily shop for used cars such as coupes, trucks, sedans, and fuel-efficient offerings in addition to specified makes and models. The site lists whether each resulting car is from a classified advertisement or part of an online auction, and like most other facets of the site, each seller is coupled with a feedback score and rating to assist you with the proper purchase. The seller also provides vehicle information and a history report, along with the desired price and various shipping options. If a certain car doesn’t have enough information to make you feel comfortable, you can quickly find another make or model, or opt to sell your own for something a little pricier.