Characteristics of the Best Used Car Websites

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Not too long ago, shopping for a used car meant spending a whole day hitting as many lots as possible, and often to mixed results. Nowadays, your first instinct is to go online rather than outside and do your shopping from there. However, just as with car lots, some online sites are better than others. Here are some characteristics of the best used car websites.

Used Car

Why Are the Top Ones, Tops?

One of the main things a quality website must offer is an intuitive, seamless, user-friendly experience. It’s so frustrating to find the site you want to check out, only to be stymied by a series of patience-trying glitches.

A top site also offers shoppers complete info and resources about the vehicle they’re considering, including high-res interior and exterior images, the ride’s service history, and all the equipment offered. Some sites will also let you know whether the vehicle’s price is high or low, relative to what the market currently bears.

Here Are Some of the Top Sites

Despite the convenience of browsing online, it’s always a good idea to check out a used car in person, if possible. That noted, here are some of the best used car websites:

  • AutoTrader.com. This is likely the most well-known website. It’s got the bomb advanced search tools and allows you to filter what you want based on, say, fuel economy or other factors. That’s in addition to the make, model, and price of your desired ride. You can also simply check the options you desire and presto – your offerings will appear.
  • CarsDirect.com. This site is appealingly basic and straightforward — not a lot of fuss. You can search within a specified area for a certain body style, make, model, or price. You can ask to see a car’s Carfax report, and you’ll get offerings from bother dealers and owners. You can ask the seller for more details and there are maps to each store.
  • Hemmings.com. This is the best site for classic car afficionados. We’re talking everything from 1940s Cadillacs to newer classics from the 1980s, plus tools for tracking down parts and services relating to a vehicle you have now. It also publishes a daily blog and has an online store with die-cast models and the like.
  • Autolist.com. This is known as the top site for on-the-run browsing. Sure, the site’s appealing to the eye and is easy to use, but it’s the mobile app for Android and iOS that sets it apart. The software lets you speedily check out the offerings of other shopping apps, as well as other dealer sites. You can learn how long the vehicle’s been for sale, whether the asking price has changed, and what’s on the Carfax report.
  • CarGurus.com. This is a good site for finding the best deal, since it ranks offerings based on dealer ratings, where it can, and pricing. It also clues shoppers in on a vehicle’s actual market value. In addition, you tell how long a vehicle has been for sale, and whether the list price has fluctuated.
  • AutoTempest.com. If you’re so inclined, you can go to town with this one on cross-site comparisons. AutoTempest.com marries search results from most of the sites we’ve mentioned, and more. You also can get advice, checklists, and buying guides, and you can save your search results for later. You also have access to complete car reviews.
  • KBB.com. Widely known as Kelley Blue Book, this site is great for those who are seeking the ultimate buying experience. You can find out what your car is worth, how much you should shell out for a used car, and how the ride you’re interested in compares to others out there. You can also get expert and consumer reviews and can browse top picks and tips.

Now you have a good idea of the characteristics of the best used car websites. Take a good look at your needs and your shopping style … and find the right source for you.