If you dread the thought of driving from dealership to dealership to shop for a used car, why not do it from the comfort of your couch? Nowadays, you can easily find used cars (and affordable car insurance) by surfing the web on your computer or smartphone. You don’t need to put more miles on your current car to find a used car that fits your needs, style, and most importantly—your budget. Here are some of the best used car websites that are ideal for drivers on a budget.
12 Best Online Car Buying Sites
AutoTempest is like Google for used car shoppers.
This car search engine collects used vehicle listings from across the internet (on sites such as AutoTrader, Cars.com, Craigslist, and eBay Motors) and puts them all in one place. On this site, you can search for cars by make, model, location, price, mileage, and more.
Autotrader is one of the giants among used-car marketplaces on the internet.
The company says it’s the only website with more than 3 million car listings. Those listings come from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private sellers. Autotrader says that each month, it matches more than 14 million buyers with cars.
CarGurus boasts that if you search for a used car on its site, the top listings that pop up will be based on market value and dealer reputation, and not on how much a dealer pays for a listing.
Each CarGurus’ listing shows the length of time that a car has been on the market, the price history of the car, a local-market price analysis, and an assortment of dealer reviews.
CarMax offers a great online shopping experience, but perhaps its greatest feature is the Love Your Car Guarantee®. Used car shoppers can locate the right vehicle they want online, and then pick it up for a free 24-hour test drive. If you purchase the car and decide you don’t like it, you have 30 days to return it as long as you haven’t driven more than 1,500 miles or worsened the car’s condition.
This massive advertising platform brags that it’s helped transform the car-buying experience. One of the ways Cars.com has done that? It claims to offer the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry.
This automotive marketplace prides itself on objectivity, selection, and price.
On CarsDirect.com, you’ll get the inside scoop on special financial incentives available in your area, see the real-time price of the car you’re interested in and be connected with the internet department at the local dealership where that car is available.
Carvana is a one-stop-shop for buying a car.
Every step in the car-buying process is handled through Carvana, even financing the purchase. No car dealerships are involved. Carvana says you can complete a deal in as little as 10 minutes.
One of the coolest features of Carvana is that your car can be delivered to you, or you can pick it up at one of Carvana’s vending machines. Yes, there are vending machines for cars! (As of March 2022, Carvana vending machines could be found in 31 U.S. cities).
While Carvana is one of the best high-tech options for buying a used car, Craigslist is one of the best low-tech options.
Craigslist is about as no-frills as it gets. If you’re looking for a flashy site, Craigslist isn’t it.
Typically, the owners are the ones selling the cars listed on Craigslist. And that means there’s no dealership or company to guarantee the purchase of a used car. It’s up to you to figure out whether a car is a deal or a dud.
If you’re OK with the risk, you can sift through the tons of listings on Craigslist — which show the details, suggested prices and photos of cars being sold in your area — and perhaps drive away with a bargain.
eBay Cars & Trucks
The vehicle section of eBay lets you bid on a used car just like you’d bid on anything else being sold through the auction website, from cellphones to shoes. The company claims it delivers the world’s largest selection of cars and trucks.
A bonus: Unlike Craiglist, eBay offers an anti-fraud vehicle purchase protection plan.
Enterprise Car Sales
So, you didn’t think Enterprise Rent-A-Car just dumps its rental cars once they’ve reached a certain number of miles, did you? Of course not!
Enterprise sells its retired cars at lots throughout the country. On the Enterprise Car Sales website, you can hunt for a used car, or start the process of trading in or selling a car.
There’s no-haggle pricing on every car. Also, each car purchase comes with a seven-day buyback period, and a 12-month or 12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
Much like Craigslist, there are less risky places you can purchase a car than through Facebook. However, if you’re knowledgeable about vehicles, or you have a handy friend, purchasing a vehicle from someone directly could help you score a great deal. Make sure you (or an expert, if possible) can inspect the car in person. Also, be sure to follow these shopping tactics to avoid any potential scams.
Through TrueCar, you can score an upfront, discounted price on a used car, including fees, incentives, and accessory prices. In other words, the price you see online is the price you get at one of its more than 12,000 certified dealerships. True to its word, TrueCar says that price will be better than any price you’d find online for the same car.
Ready to find the right used car for you? Start with one of the best used car buying websites out there! Keep in mind that no matter which website you use to buy a car, you’ll also need to buy a minimum amount of auto insurance. If your purchase is financed, your financing company will likely require coverages (like collision and comprehensive) that go beyond the minimum. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), visit us online, or come in for a quick quote.