The best sites for online car buying and selling

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In today’s world, you don’t have to visit a dealership to buy, or sell, a car. But deciding whether to go the online route, can be a tricky task.

Buying or selling, whatever the case might be, you will find hundreds of websites. It is really about choosing the one that works for you the best and starting the process. Certainly, making that choice can be tiresome and confusing. Therefore, we decided to shed some light and give you a few great options of sites that make the process easier.

In this post, we will go over what an online car buying/selling site is, how it works, and the pros and cons of doing it all online. We will also include a list of 7 best sites for online car buying and selling. And finally, we’ll share some tips on how you can ship a car you bought or sold online. We hope it helps you!

Online car buying

An online car buying and selling site is where businesses and private customers list their cars for sale. Meaning, this is the place to buy a car. Such a website is where most of us today start the car buying process.

Hundreds of car buying and selling websites make the process easier. Most of them will even let you list your car for free. They can offer guidance and help you close a deal. This guarantees an enjoyable experience to both the buyer and the seller.

Once you know which site you prefer, the process becomes even easier. To sell your car online for instance, first, you need to gather all the necessary documentation. It’s easy to think of this step as the last one, but if you need to sell your car quickly, you need to do this as early as possible.

Each state has its own documentation requirements when selling a car. But in general, make sure you have the following:

  • The Bill of Sale / The Title
  • Release of Liability
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • Maintenance records
  • As-is documentation
  • Warranty Documents

After you do that, you can proceed with the car preparation and cleaning, taking photos of your vehicle, and finally, putting it up for sale online.

The pros of buying or selling online:

As with anything in this world, buying a car online also has its pros and cons. Among some of the benefits of buying a car online are:

  • Freedom to reach and explore outside of your local area, and the ability to access a larger pool of cars are the obvious benefits. If you are trying to sell your car online, you will also be able to reach a larger number of people and get more offers. You will also have more control, more time to compare offers, and more time to pick your favorite car.
  • Avoid annoying salespeople. When you buy a car online, the process is easier, you can check the price in real time, and no one will try to push you into paying more than you should. Moreover, you will be able to compare various sites and prices across the country until you narrow down a few top choices. By not going to a dealership, you will also save yourself some valuable hours and you won’t have to pay any hidden car dealership fees.

The cons of going the online route

Among the cons, of buying or selling a car online is the fact that you will have to secure your own financing, and make sure you are not dealing with a scammer or a fraudulent association.

On the same note, you will have to make sure you are not purchasing a lemon car. To prevent this, you will need to order a car history report before buying it to make sure you don’t end up with a faulty vehicle.

Going the online route, you will not be able to see and test the cars for yourself. If you are buying a car far from home, and want to check it with a professional mechanic, you will have to commission a trustworthy mechanic at the seller’s location.

If you are careful, you will be able to avoid all the cons and enjoy all the benefits.

The 7 best sites for online car buying and selling

Craigslist

I know what you might be thinking: Craigslist is where scams and suspicious schemes thrive. But that is not generally the case. If you have never sold or bought a car online, Craigslist is the perfect place for you to start your online car buying or selling experience. Every private persona and every business, as well, utilize this site!

Craigslist celebrates 24 years this year, so it is one of the long-standing veterans in the world of online buying and selling. If you are careful enough and request a car inspection before you make the payment, you will be alright. Invest some time in research and learn all you need to do before selling or buying.

eBay Motors

eBay, just like Craigslist, is another veteran among online car buying and selling sites. Unlike Craigslist, eBay is not only focused on local vehicle search but also gives you the opportunity to buy/sell cars nationwide.

It also offers buyer protection, in case you are not satisfied with any transaction, and gives you access to seller ratings. If a particular seller has a better rating, you will feel more secure in your decision and will be able to compare seller ratings in real time as well.

Autotrader

Autotrader is one of the most popular places to list your car or buy one. The website is easy to navigate and allows you to narrow down your search with various filters. Autotrader does not offer sellers an option to list their cars for free, but it guarantees you lots of attention from potential buyers for a small fee.

Vroom

Vroom is one of the best sites for certified used cars. Some vehicles only have a few miles on the odometer. All cars listed on Vroom must first pass a 126-point inspection, otherwise, the site will not allow you to list a car for sale. This site is also one of the best online places for buying a used car because it also offers a 7-day or 250-mile test drive. This way, you can make sure the car you are buying is right for you.

CarGurus

CarGurus, one of the most visited online car marketplaces in the US, has been around for quite a while now. You can find various listings on CarGurus, including used, new, and certified pre-owned cars. What is great about this particular site, is that its listings are ranked based on the seller’s reputation and the market value of any particular car at any time. You can use this site to list for free, but once your car is sold, you will have to pay a fee of $99.

Carvana

To list a vehicle on Carvana, your car should pass a 150-point inspection and an Experian auto-check. If you are interested in buying a vehicle on Carvana, you will have the chance to test drive it for seven days. If you don’t like the car after 7 days, you can easily return it.

Bring-A-Trailer

Looking to sell or buy a classic and vintage vehicle? Bring-A-Trailer is the perfect site for you. All the cars listed on Bring-A-Trailer are reviewed by the website’s moderators in advance. Like eBay Motors and CarGurus, this site is auction-based and will charge you a commission, once you sell your car.

How to ship a car bought or sold online?

You just need to pick one of the sites we listed above, and you will be all done, right? Well…not so fast! After you purchase a new or used car, you will have to figure out a way to ship it to a location of your choice.

Thanks to the modern era of the internet, it will not be hard to ship your car. All you have to do is research thoroughly until you pick 2-3 trustworthy companies.

Read their online reviews, call them to get to know the people behind the company, and request a car shipping quote. Once you pick a company, you will have to decide between an open car carrier and enclosed auto transport. We, at Corsia Logistics, offer both options. Please, review our website to learn all about how shipping a car works. We have developed a thorough web guides library to help people understand the process.

Give us a call and our experienced agents will be happy to walk you through the car shipping process and answer any auto transport questions you may have. Whether you are shipping a car from New York to Florida, or anywhere else in the U.S., we will help you bring your new vehicle home. Thank you!

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About the Author:

Juxhina Malaj - a wanderluster and bibliophile who loves photography, nature, documentary films, re-watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and drinking green tea while listening to Indie Folk, Delta Blues, Jazz and all the good vibes.
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