In the last decade, more people have turned to the internet to shop for cars. If you plan to sell a car, this might be good news. You can use an online platform to sell a used car, reaching thousands of people who are actively shopping.
You will reach the ideal audience when you know which websites to use to sell your car. Whether you're trying to sell a classic car or a used sedan you no longer need for your commute, these are some of the best sites to sell a car online.
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Autotrader is one of the classic go-to resources for buying and selling used and new vehicles. One of the biggest benefits of Autotrader is you can reach many potential buyers by listing your vehicle on its site.
The website has name recognition that many other websites do not. If you want to make sure your car receives excellent exposure, Autotrader is a great place to start.
Another major benefit of using Autotrader to sell your car is buyers can receive a free vehicle history report. For many buyers, this guarantee of the car's history is crucial. Buyers want to be informed, and your vehicle with a clean history can make or break your sale.
Many sellers like Autotrader because the website makes it free to renew listings. While this website is one of the pricier places to list a car initially, you can keep renewing your vehicle's listing for up to one year.
The online car sales listings on Autotrader are also easy to read. You'll be able to post up to 30 photos of your car, so you can showcase your car's best features, sharing details if your car has selling points such as a great stereo or a new engine. Plus, the intuitive interface makes posting photos and completing your listing extremely simple.
While many people do not consider eBay to be a marketplace for vehicles, eBay Motors can be a useful tool if you want to reach local buyers. eBay makes the process of selling your used car just as simple as listing any other item on the platform.
Plus, it charges no fees for users to create a listing to sell locally. If you are willing to transport your car elsewhere, you can pay a fee to list your vehicle nationally.
One thing you should know about using eBay Motors to sell your car is it offers two options for selling your vehicle. If you choose to hold an auction, buyers will place bids on your car.
Though somebody might win the auction, you risk that person backing out before paying. This means you could find yourself in a situation where somebody no longer wants to purchase the car at the last minute. You might need to relist your vehicle.
On the other hand, you can opt to sell your old car at a fixed price. You choose your price and know exactly how much money you'll collect. If you are selling your car at an especially good deal, you could sell it much faster than on some other platforms.
When you create an auto listing on eBay Motors, you can choose to post up to 24 photos. You'll pay a fee, which varies based on the cost of your vehicle, to submit your listing. You can also offer your buyers a free vehicle history report, which could help you sell your car online more quickly.
You might have heard of Cars.com, which is another large platform for buying and selling vehicles. The website has a reputation for offering easy methods of buying and selling vehicles. It offers a large inventory, and buyers can use search tools to find the perfect car, fast.
One of the major advantages of using this platform is you can invite dealerships to make an instant cash offer on your vehicle as well. You can accept the offer quickly and receive cash for your car with very little effort. You might not get as much money as you would from a private party, but you can save yourself time and effort.
Sellers also like to use Cars.com because it allows them to make listings that can be syndicated on other websites. As a result, your listing will be placed on affiliate sites. You'll be able to reach a wider audience based on the target audience for the vehicle you are selling.
The biggest downside to posting your vehicle on this platform is the inventory is so large you might need to become more competitive to ensure buyers see your listing. This means you must take stellar photos of your car or offer a great deal if your vehicle is not in demand.
If you prefer a more traditional selling experience, CarMax might be the best option. CarMax has physical dealerships and can provide a quick offer for your car.
CarMax requires a license plate number or VIN as well as a location to provide an offer. Once you receive the offer, you have a time period during which you can compare offers from dealers and private buyers. When you take your vehicle to the CarMax location, you can finalize the offer, and the dealer will ensure the appraisal was accurate.
While CarMax does offer an online component for selling your car, it's similar to trading in your vehicle at a dealership. You might not get as much money as you would by selling your car to a private party, but the process is extremely convenient. The benefit of this platform is you don't have to worry about advertising your car or meeting with private buyers.
If you want to sell your car fast, CarGurus could be an effective resource. The platform is known for its search algorithm, which helps buyers find cars quickly. The platform also helps you price your vehicle so it might sell more quickly.
Using the online pricing tool is simple. CarGurus requires you to provide information such as the vehicle's VIN and mileage. You'll submit details about the vehicle's condition and receive an estimate right away.
This platform also makes it easy for dealerships to make instant cash offers on your car online at no cost to you. You do not pay fees until you sell your car. You can also have CarGurus pick up your vehicle so you don't have to take it to a dealership.
In fact, you can take care of all the sales documents on the web, ensuring you have to do very little to get your car to its new owner.
CarGurus might not be the best place to sell your car if you want to maximize profits, but it's a good place to sell a car fast if you're looking for a convenient sale. If you do use CarGurus to sell to a private party, you can ensure the transaction is secure thanks to the platform's helpful tools.
If you want to reach the largest local audience as quickly as possible, Facebook Marketplace is a good option. This platform helps you sell your car online easily, as it walks you through the process step by step.
Once your listing is complete, you can reach much of your community through the social network website. Facebook Marketplace is a free website for listing vehicles, and it's even simpler if you already have a Facebook account.
One major advantage of using Facebook Marketplace is you can look at the profiles of potential buyers. Looking at profiles can help you eliminate potential scammers and meet only with people who appear to be safe. If you are concerned about meeting a stranger to look at or test-drive the car, this can offer peace of mind.
You can also use Facebook to target a specific population, perhaps through private groups. For example, if you have a Ford Focus you'd like to sell, you can post your used car to a private Facebook group dedicated to Ford vehicles.
Some sellers report problems using Facebook Marketplace. For instance, the ease of browsing for items to buy on Facebook means you could run into people who are just window-shopping. They might set up an appointment to look at the car but fail to show up, wasting your time.
You should also be careful when using Facebook Marketplace because the platform does not offer protection for transactions. You must take care of the financial details on your own, which means you have no protection if a check bounces or a person lies about their information. You must vet your buyers carefully if you use Facebook to sell a car online.
Vroom is another way to sell your car if you're concerned about selling a vehicle to someone in-person. With Vroom, you can sell your car to the website and an employee will pick up your car and deliver it to a buyer.
Vroom requires you to fill out basic information about your vehicle before you get an instant cash offer. The offer appears quickly, often within an hour of submitting your vehicle's information.
Unlike some options, such as CarMax, Vroom takes care of everything online. You might not even have to leave your home to sell your car.
Keep in mind that Vroom will not buy every vehicle. If a car is not in good condition or is an old model, you might find yourself without an offer. You can also expect the quote you receive to be more in line with dealership trade-in offers than private party sales. The good news is you can get a direct deposit into your account from a reliable company, so you do not have to worry about dealing with cash or checks.
Bring a Trailer
If you have a rare or classic car, you might opt to sell it on Bring a Trailer. This is a good option if you have a car worth a significant amount of money. You'll also enjoy this platform if you prefer the auction format of selling a car. You can allow car buyers to bid on your vehicle, potentially increasing the cash you'll get for it.
One advantage of using Bring a Trailer is that the website vets the car seller list. This means buyers can trust sellers, which makes them much more likely to follow through with a transaction.
In exchange for this vetting process, buyers must pay a fee to list a vehicle. In fact, those who use Bring a Trailer are often car enthusiasts who know their stuff. The vehicles are generally well-maintained and geared toward collectors.
You might have seen what looks like a large vending machine for cars in your city. Carvana offers an easy way to access vehicles for sale, allowing buyers to test-drive cars for several days. For many buyers, this is an incredibly convenient way to buy a vehicle. The good news is sellers can also benefit from Carvana.
Many people have been using Carvana to sell their vehicles quickly. If you do not want to deal with taking your car to a dealership, Carvana will take care of everything for you. Buyers choose to purchase your vehicle, you get paid, and the car is delivered to the new owner.
The biggest downside to using Carvana to sell your car is familiar: You won't get as much money for your car because you are dealing with a company managing your transaction. You are sacrificing profits to sell your car conveniently.
If you own a collectible car you'd like to sell, Hemmings might be the best option. This website specializes in rare and collectible cars, which means those who frequent the website are very familiar with the vehicles they're looking at.
If you want to sell to fellow car lovers, this platform is ideal. Rather than selling to potential buyers who are looking for the perfect deal, you'll be selling to the people who are looking for the perfect car.
Like some of the other websites on this list, Hemmings gives you the option to auction your car, create a listing for a direct sale, or post a classified ad. The fee for posting on the platform depends on the option you choose.
This website is one of the pricier options for listing a vehicle, but you'll connect with other auto aficionados and potentially make a sale in a niche market.
Craigslist might be less popular than it once was, but the platform is still an effective place to buy or sell a car. One of the best features of Craigslist is you can post a listing in a matter of minutes, complete with photos of your car. The listings are easy to read, and locals can easily check the page throughout the day to get the most updated car listings.
If you want to sell a car with very little stress, Craigslist makes that possible. The platform lets you list the car, but you will ultimately meet the buyer in person to complete the transaction.
This might be appealing if you are a fan of the old-fashioned way of selling a car. For others, this might not be as desirable, especially because many people find it more difficult to vet car buyers with this website.
One downside to using Craigslist is your listing is not going to get the same national pull it would on some other listings. You will mostly reach people in your area, which means it can take longer for your car to sell.
Additionally, the ease of access means Craigslist sellers might experience the same issue they face with Facebook Marketplace: scams and car buyers flaking on meetings.
The good news is selling a car on Craigslist is completely free. You do not have to pay to list your car, which means you can at least create a listing with little risk.
Tips for Using These Websites to Sell a Car
If you want to sell your vehicle online, there are a few things you need to know. While these websites offer a straightforward way to list vehicles online, you can make the process even easier.
Write an Effective Advertisement for Your Car
If you want to sell a car quickly, you must know how to write an effective ad. While nobody wants to read a life story when they're looking for a car to buy, you might find it beneficial to provide background information about the car.
For instance, how many owners has it had? How long have you owned the car, and how well does it run? The buyer wants to know more than the basics.
Additionally, make sure you write the listing with proper grammar and spelling. Avoid writing in all capital letters. Posting a listing with mistakes might turn away some buyers.
Take Many Photos of Your Car
If you want to make sure you get lots of clicks fast, take lots of photos of the car. Shoot the exterior from many angles, and ensure you capture the fine details as well. Show off the trunk, the back seats, the driver's seat, and the engine. Remember to remove your belongings first so the buyer can envision themselves in the car.
Some people choose to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of a car they want to sell. This can be an especially good idea if you are trying to sell a sports car, rare car, or collectible car. Classic car listings often benefit from interesting camera angles and playing with the background colors.
Value Your Car with Helpful Resources
You might have an idea of what you think your vehicle is worth, but you should back up the asking price with factual information.
For example, you can use Car and Driver's car value estimator to find a price range you believe is fair. This will help you ensure the platform you use to list your car also recommends a fair asking price for your car.
Meet With Potential Buyers in a Safe Location
When you sell a car online, you are often still meeting with strangers if you choose to sell to a local private party.
You might even be in the car with a stranger for a test drive. This means you must vet the people you are meeting carefully. Plan to meet buyers in the parking lot of your local police station to protect yourself.
Keep Your Car in Great Shape
When you list your car online, you might find you get a lot of last-minute requests to check out your car.
You never know when somebody will want to pop over and look at the car, so you might have to take extra care to ensure it is always clean from the inside out. Now is the time to go all out with a car wash, making sure you get your wheels and rims clean, too.
Identify the Right Audience for Your Car
The trick to choosing which of these platforms is the right option for selling your car is to determine who is your ideal buyer.
For example, say you are trying to sell a classic Chevrolet Corvette in pristine condition. You would be less likely to list this car on Craigslist when you know the right audience is on a platform that focuses on classic car enthusiasts.
Be Honest about Your Vehicle's Condition
You do not want to catfish potential buyers about the condition of your car. Instead, make sure you are honest about how well the car runs or what kind of work it might need.
Some buyers are open to a car that might need work if they know the car's condition in advance. The same applies to getting an instant cash offer from a dealership, as your offer could decrease based on the actual condition of your vehicle.
Should You Use the Internet to Sell a Car?
If you want to sell a used car, you might be uncertain about whether the web is the best possible place to do it. You might wonder if your vehicle would make a better impression in person than online.
While posting your car online can help you reach a large, and potentially national, audience, you might have qualms about shipping your car a long distance. You might simply feel more comfortable securing a local sale.
There is nothing wrong with selling a vehicle in person, especially if you want to park your car somewhere public with a phone number written across the back window. This is an old-fashioned but effective method. You might be less likely to run into a major scam because you are catering only to a local audience.
Still, the internet has a lot to offer. You can reach a large audience, including local dealerships that might offer you a convenient way to sell your car quickly. Many of these websites also offer a secure way to complete the transaction, which prevents scams, bad checks, and other financial issues associated with auto sales.
Finance & Insurance Editor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer with more than three years of experience covering personal finance and insurance. She has extensive knowledge of various insurance lines, including car insurance and property insurance. Her byline has appeared in dozens of online finance publications, like The Balance, Investopedia, Reviews.com, Forbes, and Bankrate.
What is the most effective way to sell a car? ›
- Word of Mouth. This can be one of the best, easiest ways to sell a car or truck. ...
- Instant Cash Offer. Kelley Blue Book's Instant Cash Offer is a great, hassle-free way to sell a car or truck. ...
- Trade-in. ...
- Sell to a Dealership. ...
- Sell Privately.
- Kelley Blue Book and other car value providers quote both dealer and private salevalues. ...
- Retail value is how much dealers want for the car. ...
- Public libraries. ...
- Large retailers. ...
- Supermarkets. ...
- Travel plazas. ...
- Liquor Stores. ...
- Mall parking lot.
Regardless of the age of the vehicle, we again found that Carmax is the best bet for a seller looking to get top dollar. The difference in offers is particularly pronounced for vehicles produced in the last six years, as well as those from 2009 and earlier.What is the fastest way to sell a car for money? ›
- Understand your car's value.
- Know where the best place to value your car is.
- Decide whether a fast sale or the maximum amount of money is a priority for you.
- Make sure you understand the pros and cons of each route to sale.
- See car selling deals online.
- Prepare your car for the day of sale.
Cash and bank drafts that are delivered in person are the best and most secure forms of payment to accept when privately selling your used car. Avoid personal cheques or wire transfers as these are more susceptible to fraud. More tips on avoiding used car fraud.Is Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer legit? ›
The Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer is a real offer for a specific amount to purchase a consumer's car or apply the amount toward another car. The Offer is valid for 7 days and can be immediately redeemed during business hours at any Participating Dealer, pending inspection.How do you avoid getting scammed when selling a car? ›
- Meet with buyers in person, preferably with someone you trust. When you speak with someone online, they could be on the other side of town or the other side of the world. ...
- Only accept cash or certified checks. ...
- Consider an escrow account for out-of-area buyers.
Sell your car for free on Auto Trader.Which is more accurate Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds? ›
Many experts believe Edmunds' values are more accurate than KBB's.How do I protect myself when selling a car online? ›
- Screen Callers Thoroughly.
- Take Precautions with the Test Drive.
- Ensure a Safe Transaction.
- Maintain a Paper Trail.
- Block Out Your Personal Information.
- Complete the Title Transfer.
- How to Avoid Scams and Fraud When Selling Your Car.
What app can i use to sell a car? ›
CarWale is the most trusted car discovery portal in India and is visited by millions of verified car buyers every month. It can be done in just few simple steps and is 100% FREE.Does Carvana pay more for cars than CarMax? ›
Key findings. Carmax offered the highest prices for used cars among its competitors, nearly $1,000 more than both Carvana and Vroom.What website will give you the fair price value for your car? ›
Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book has been one of the most trusted names in the auto industry. You might say we literally "wrote the book on car values". And today there's no better place to find the value of your current car than KBB.com.Which is better CarMax or Carvana? ›
Which Is Better: Carvana or CarMax? Carvana is a better option if you look for convenience and ease of use in your purchases and trades. On the other hand, CarMax is ideal for people who want to test drive the car beforehand and who do not mind going to their nearest CarMax location to do it.What is best time to sell a car? ›
Sell in spring or summer: People tend to be looking for cars to buy in the spring and early summer, when they're ready to do more pleasure driving, go on road trips, or take family vacations. It's also when tax refunds come in and well before major gift-giving seasons.What is the safest form of payment when selling online? ›
The most reliable way of accepting a payment when selling something online is cash. If the item is of significant value, a cashier's check should also suffice.What is the safest way to accept payment on Facebook marketplace? ›
Don't transfer money directly into a seller's bank account. Instead, offer to use a secure person-to-person payment site, such as PayPal or sending and receiving money in Messenger.What is the safest way to receive money from a stranger? ›
- Use an online money transfer service. ...
- Compare money transfer services.
- Transfer to a cash pickup location. ...
- Send via mobile wallet. ...
- Use a money order. ...
- Use credit cards. ...
- Use prepaid debit cards. ...
- Mail the cash directly.
How do I get paid for my car? You will leave with payment in hand the same day you sell us your car. We pay with a bank draft, which is a type of check where payment is guaranteed to be available by the issuing bank. A bank draft must be deposited and cannot be cashed.Do sellers prefer all-cash offers? ›
A cash offer is an all-cash bid, meaning a homebuyer wants to purchase the property without a mortgage loan or other financing. These offers are often more attractive to sellers, as they mean no buyer financing fall-through risk and, usually, a faster closing time.
Do all-cash offers ever fall through? ›
All-cash offers are typically preferred by home sellers since they're pretty close to a sure thing. Without the need for a lender to approve a mortgage, the deal is all but guaranteed to go through.Is it safe to give out VIN number when selling a car? ›
It is completely safe to give out your VIN (it is within plain sight, after all). Sharing your VIN when selling your car is critical to you getting the best value for your vehicle. Being transparent with buyers is how you get top dollar for your car and avoid any legal snafus in the future.Should you accept a cashier's check when selling a car? ›
Personal and Cashier's Checks
Besides cash, a certified cashier's check is the most secure way to accept payment during a private sale.
The most common reasons for car registration theft include: Obtaining the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Gaining access to your VIN may help thieves register illegal vehicles. They could also file claims on totaled cars or even create duplicate car keys.How quickly do cars sell on Auto Trader? ›
With Auto Trader, it's simple
If you have a popular model, it can sell within 24 hours!
There could hardly be an easier way to sell your car than on Auto Trader. Not only does our site put your car in front of more buyers than any other, we're top ranked for customer satisfaction, and you're twice as likely to sell your car within a week when you advertise with us.Is there a better site than Auto Trader? ›
The best alternative is eBay, which is free. Other great sites and apps similar to Autotrader are craigslist, Particl Marketplace, Cars.com and EpicVin. Autotrader alternatives are mainly Classified Ad Services but may also be Job Search Services or Online Shops.Can you trust Edmunds? ›
Today, Edmunds maintains an excellent reputation as an independent source of car information, vehicle reviews, and vehicle pricing. They offer many resources for helping consumers buy a car, including their well-known “Secrets of a Used Car Salesman” articles.Is Edmunds owned by Carmax? ›
The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains an office in downtown Detroit, Michigan. After making a minority investment, Carmax purchased the whole company at an enterprise value of $404 million in 2021.What is better than KBB? ›
Consumer Reports: Consumer Reports is a trusted, unbiased website that includes pricing for used cars, as well as important information on reliability. Edmunds: Edmunds offers a free appraisal tool that provides accurate True Market Value (TMV®) for your vehicle.
How can I sell my car online without getting scammed? ›
- Profile the buyer. If your buyer is legit — and reasonable — the sale will flow smoothly. ...
- Follow the money. ...
- Don't be overeager. ...
- Meet in a 'safe zone' ...
- Avoid buyers with too many stories.
- CarBrain. CarBrain is a mobile platform that boasts cutting-edge valuation technology and specializes in less-than-perfect cars. ...
- Autotrader. ...
- Instamotor. ...
- CarGurus. ...
- Cars.com. ...
- Carvana Copilot. ...
- Edmunds. ...
Besides cash, a certified check is the safest way you can receive a payment to your business.Should I accept a cashier's check for my car? ›
Personal and Cashier's Checks
Besides cash, a certified cashier's check is the most secure way to accept payment during a private sale.
If you decide that you'd like to sell your car privately, then Auto Trader is a safe and reliable place to do this. Not only do you have the potential to receive a lot of visits to your advert, but you'll also have greater control over the information that's displayed than some of the alternatives.Can you get scammed on Autotrader? ›
Don't respond to any email that appears to come from Autotrader (for example, by displaying our logo) and urges you to complete the sale or purchase of a car listed on our site. Such emails are a sure sign of a scam. Other signs of fraud are emails that: Claim the security of a transaction is guaranteed by Autotrader.Who gives best car value? ›
Kelley Blue Book
Whenever you're looking to value your used car, Kelley Blue Book is the place to start. KBB has been valuing cars for the last nine decades and has an enormous amount of data to figure out the most accurate value of your used car.
The app "Car Valuation" is a great app to avoid getting ripped off by either paying a high price for a used vehicle or selling the vehicle at a lower price. Get the real car valuation for your car and instantly know the right worth of your car!