The 12 Best Used Car Websites and Resources for Car Buying


Automotive News

Andrew Kaufman is an automotive journalist and content manager from Los Angeles, CA. He received his English Degree from Colorado College and has written about a variety of topics throughout his career.

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, Automotive News - March 20, 2013

Learn how to find the best used car online through the top 12 used car websites and resources.

Going Online

One of the biggest ways that the digital age has revolutionized the auto sales market is the ability to shop from home, by used car websites. While nothing beats the emotional satisfaction of seeing the condition of a used car for yourself in person, there are a number of reasons to do your shopping through used car sales websites instead. If you'd like to start your search now and find used cars in your area click here.

The following list of the best used car websites is a great starting place and will give you a lot of information on which to base your decision when buying a car online.

  • is a good resource for research and used car listings. It offers information about financing as well as the latest rebates and incentives. Start your used car search here.
  • The official website of the National Automotive Dealers Association. While it is mainly dealer cars, they also allow private party ads. You can search by make, model and body style as well as price. They also have research tools and a new car search. The site is easy to navigate and has a lot of information.
  • Autobytel was one of the first automotive websites but has lost a bit of its luster in recent years. It is no longer the dominant website but still has a large selection of vehicles to choose from and a lot of research options.
  • This site is owned by a conglomerate of various newspaper groups. It has all the standard features of top notch used car website as well as a lot of research and car reviews.
  • Originally CarSoup served mainly the Minnesota market but has expanded to almost all 50 states, although in a lot of the states it serves mainly smaller cities. In addition to all the standard features it's quirky style and Carsoup radio make it a site worth visiting.
  • Vehix has a inventory of about 1 million cars. It started out as a research portal and still has a lot of research options.
  • Local dealer groups. Often some of the best websites to check for a good used car are your local dealers' websites. All the cars you see will be local and they often offer financing options that may be specific to your market.
  • Autotrader is currently the largest and most popular automotive website. Their listings are often linked to other sites. It has one of the largest inventories of private party vehicles.
  • CarMax is a little different. It pulls its inventory from its 100 stores across the country, so it is in essence a very large national dealer group. It also has a "no haggle price" and every car gets a 125 point inspection.
  • On eBay you can search for a car locally or nationally. They offer both dealer cars and probably have the largest selection of private party ads on the web. You can even buy a car through an auction which is what Ebay does best.
  • is Kelley Blue Book's website, so you know it is full of researching options and the latest pricing info on most vehicles. They also have a large selection of used and new cars. It is well laid out and easy to use.
  • Though they do have three physical locations, is extensive for those who are looking to buy a car online or sell cars online. You can even trade your car in with them for another, or trade in your old vehicle for cash. They also make it very easy to order a car and ship one to wherever you live.
  • Look for used cars near you >>

How to Find the Perfect Used Car Online

Purchasing from used car listings can be a challenging experience and some buyers may end up with a vehicle that doesn't match their requirements. Researching various online car listings is important as buyers should be well informed about the prices offered by auto websites. Buyers can purchase the perfect car, provided they research minute details and do their homework before making a payment. Here are a few tips to bear in mind before making an online used car purchase.

  • Determine the type of car. Avoid making impulsive decisions and purchasing cars that don't match your lifestyle. Make a list of your routine driving needs and select a car that best matches those needs. Needless to say two-seater cars aren't ideal for big families.
  • Define your budget. Consider the maximum monthly payment that you can afford and look at used car listings bearing this price in mind.
  • Define the features you need. Additional features come at an extra cost. This cost should be calculated in the total cost of the used car purchase.
  • Factor in additional costs. Apart from the basic car cost, you should also budget taxes and other fees that work up to an additional 10% of the basic cost. Once the total cost of the car is determined, look at your financing options to obtain the best deal available.
  • Cross-reference various online used car listings. To get a quality car for a good price, putting in the extra time to comparison shop is a must. Buyers should also research Kelley Blue Book to determine the actual worth of used cars.
  • Run a vehicle history check. Before selecting any used car online, it's advisable to run a vehicle history check to find out if the car has been in accidents. A vehicle history reports also provides information on the number of times the car was previously sold.
  • Use different search criteria. Most used car websites allow buyers to search online listings according to various search parameters. Buyers may research used cars based on vehicle type, vehicle size and mileage. This helps to view a list of cars that closely match specific requirements. It's best to shop around for a while before making a final decision.
  • Stay informed about scams and deals. In addition to looking up car listings, many used car websites provide up-to-date news about scams to avoid and certified dealers to buy from. A few good resources for used car listings online include CarsDirect, and CarMax.
  • Read car reviews. It's advisable to read reviews for the specific type of used car you intend to purchase. Several websites such as Kelley Blue Book and VEHIX provide information on car features and specifications.
  • Start your search for a used car here >>

Once you find the ideal car, it's important to research insurance rates offered by major insurance companies. Since used cars with a history of theft or damage require higher premium payments, buyers should bear these aspects in mind before selecting a used vehicle.

, Automotive News

Andrew Kaufman is an automotive journalist and content manager from Los Angeles, CA. He received his English Degree from Colorado College and has written about a variety of topics throughout his career.

Follow On: Google+