People research (and buy) everything online, from simple household items like laundry detergent to more complex items like electronics. But what about cars? Buying a used car online may seem like a stretch, but researching used cars is a no-brainer. You’ll be empowered by all of the information you’ve collected and by the time you arrive at the dealership, you’ll be ready to make a deal. If you’re in the market, research used cars online. There are many sites available to you, and we’ve included just a few of them here. And if you’re willing to give it a try, you can even buy your used car online at some of these sites.
eBay allows shoppers to either bid on or buy (without bidding) vehicles from both dealers and individuals. (An initial payment may be required when using the Buy it Now function.) Buyers enter the make, model, zip code and whether they’re looking for a new or used model. They can then filter by numerous options including Vehicle Mileage, Body Type, For Sale By, Exterior Color.
On CarGurus, shoppers can search for new, used and certified pre-owned vehicles from top-rated dealers. For used vehicles, they use their CarGurus Instant Market Value (IMV) to determine a fair retail price. They then compare the fair retail price to the asking price, factor in dealer reputation and determine a Deal Rating. Each deal is assigned a Deal Rating of Great, Good, Fair, High or Overpriced.
Autotrader, part of the Cox Automotive Group, has been in business for over 20 years. It is a marketplace for car shoppers and sellers. Shoppers can customize their deal, value their trade-in, apply for financing and schedule a test drive all from the site. Filters include radius, price, condition and more. Autotrader also evaluates price on two levels: Good Price and Great Price. Their ratings are based on comparison to Kelley Blue Book(R) Fair Purchase Price. Kelley Blue Book is another Cox Automotive Group property and offers similar services to Autotrader where you can research a vehicle and find vehicle valuations.
Carvana enables buyers to search, finance, trade in and buy used cars online. Cars can either be picked-up or delivered. Pick-up is available in select cities, and Carvana will even subsidize airfare ($200) if you choose to fly to a pick-up location. Each car they sell is Carvana Certified, has a 100 day/4,189 mile “Worry Free Guarantee” and a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee. Visit their How it Works page to learn more.
Vroom is a relative newcomer to the space. It was founded in 2013. Each vehicle comes with a free CARFAX(R) history report, complimentary limited warranty and Vroom’s Vehicle Service Protection (VSP). The complimentary limited warranty is a 90-Day Limited Warranty that also includes 1-Year Roadside Assistance. Financing is available through through more than twelve sources.
And there’s more…
There are many online resources available and it’s difficult to limit this post to just five. Here are a few more to consider. Cars.com Editor-in-Chief Jenni Newman tackles cars from a family perspective, providing thoughtful industry insight and practical advice. If time is of the essence, check out AutoTempest. This site aggregates listings from used car sites including Cars.com, craigslist, CarsDirect, CarSoup and others to make comparing easy.
Tips to remember
Always do your homework and look into a vehicle’s history. The most important thing to check is the title. Titles are either “clean” or “salvage“. Clean titles indicate that the vehicle has never been declared a “total loss” while “salvaged” cars have had damages exceeding more than they are worth. Salvaged cars may be a good investment for some people, so do your homework to ensure that this type of purchase is right for you. You can use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a service such as Carfax or AutoCheck to review a vehicle’s entire history. Additionally, these services track the location of the car over its lifespan, giving the buyer extra transparency.
When you finally select the vehicle that meets your needs and budget, you can use Openbay for service when the time comes for routine maintenance, brakes, tires, oil changes or if your check engine light comes on. Openbay is building the world’s most trusted and transparent automotive services marketplace. Openbay makes it easy and convenient for vehicle owners to find, book and pay for automotive repair and maintenance services. Openbay offers a wide range of services delivered by car dealerships, national automotive service chains, independent shops, and mobile mechanics.