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Cars Review

Monday, April 15th

2024 Used Car Site Reviews

Cars Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Millions of vehicles listed from more than 20,000 dealers
  • Very detailed used car listings
  • Easy to connect with vehicles' sellers
  • Fun tool to help you find the right auto match for your needs

Headquartered in Chicago, Cars was launched in 1998 to connect car shoppers with sellers, primarily dealerships. With over 50,000 cars added to this site daily, it's a great way to find your next used car in a time when pre-owned vehicles can be hard to come by.

Searching is easy

To find your used car match here, you'll click either Make or Body Style to start. Other dropdowns include preferred distance, max price and location, or use the "advanced search" link to get really specific with mileage, deal rating, drivetrain, transmission, and interior/exterior colors. From there, your results are easy to sort by price, mileage and so forth. Plus, you can use the filters to narrow it down even further - in case you've got convenience or entertainment features in mind, or your car needs to have third-row seats.

Use the "matchmaker" if you need help

Totally unsure what you need? Cars has a fun tool they sometimes refer to as "Matchmaker" ; you might have seen humorous commercials showing how people and their vehicles "met" on this platform. You can get there by using the dropdowns under "Shop by what matters most" . Select the overall body style (car, truck, SUV, van) and your max price. Next, you'll use some sliders to indicate what matters to you, from roominess and cargo area to ride comfort and technology. We found our recommended vehicles to be absolutely spot on, and it was super-convenient to be able to click either on model details or local inventory to get the ball rolling.

Excellent info at a glance

We're very enthusiastic about the quality of the listings on Cars. Scrolling through your used car matches, you'll see at a glance exactly where each car is located, the price and mileage, a rating of whether or not it's a good deal (and a dollar amount for how it compares), a link to the free CARFAX report, the rating of the dealership, and quick-access buttons for calling or checking the car's availability. What else could you ask for?

Best Used Car Sites

Super attention to detail

When you look at a specific car's listing, all of your questions will probably be answered. From dealer ratings to customer reviews on the make and model itself, you'll be well-equipped to decide if you want to take the next step and contact the dealership. It's every bit as thorough as what you'll find if you see the vehicle's listing on the dealer website, plus you've got Cars' Deal Gauge that shows you how it compares with similar cars for sale. Plus, you can either use the Cars online form to ask about availability, or click the link to see the car right on the seller's website. Cars earns our appreciation for not making people do the guesswork to figure out how to reach the dealership directly.

Car buyers love this site

Cars gets plenty of love reputation-wise. The Better Business Bureau gives this platform a perfect "A+" rating and accreditation, and we were impressed to see just nine complaints registered there in the past three years. More than 80% of Cars users give it a 4- or 5-star rating, and people are especially happy with the way this service helps them compare different makes and models of vehicles and narrow down their options - and then see what's actually available near them.

Top-rated resource for buying used cars

The only reason Cars doesn't earn our first-place ranking is because you're still at the mercy of individual dealerships once you've chosen your car here. Cars doesn't guarantee that you'll have a good experience once you've left their site and moved on to the negotiation process. Still, that's a really minor issue. Cars is an excellent way to save time and hassle when buying used cars, and we give this service one of our highest ratings.

Where's the Best Place to Buy a Used Car Online?

No matter what, your first step should always be research. You should determine exactly what's going to fit your needs (or your wants!). Do you have a particular make and model in mind, or are features going to be king regardless of manufacturer? Whether you're all about safety or you feel the need for speed, it's well worth your time to dig into the details of price, reliability and availability, especially when used car inventory is at an all-time low nationwide.

Fortunately, there are many websites that help you do just that - and then make it possible for you to find your perfect new-to-you ride. Some of these platforms even let you buy your car online and have it delivered right to your house. Before you start worrying about the safety of such vehicles, rest assured that most companies selling used cars will include a detailed, independently-verified history report right in the car's listing.

The Best Used Car Sites Compare Used Car Sites Compare Used Car Site Reviews What are the best Used Car Sites Best Used Car Site Reviews

Used Car Site FAQ

They say that a new car depreciates, or loses value, the second you drive it off the lot. That's true! When you buy a used car, you're getting a better value: not everyone can afford a brand-new car, but there are plenty of affordable "pre-owned" vehicles within most budgets.
There are pros and cons to each one. When you buy from a dealership, you usually get certain assurances: that the car has been inspected from top to bottom, maybe some fixes for minor items or even bigger ones like new tires or brakes, and the ability to return it within a certain timeframe if you don't like it or something malfunctions. However, you're paying for those perks: comparing apples-to-apples, a private sale will almost always be cheaper than getting the same car through a dealership.
Absolutely! There are many services that make it easy to find the car you want, and some of them will even bring the vehicle to you for a test drive and/or let you buy it online and have it delivered to your home. It's a great idea to do your research before you buy a used car, even if you're planning on going to a dealership.
As a buyer, you absolutely want an inspection before buying a used car from a private seller. Most private sale contracts are "as-is" , so unless you have a lot of automotive expertise, we don't recommend you try to determine for yourself if a car is road-worthy. A professional inspection can save you a lot of time and hassle if things aren't as they appear - or give you the peace of mind that you've found a great vehicle. If you're selling a used car, it may not be worth it to provide an inspection: your buyer(s) will probably want to have one done by a mechanic they trust, rather than taking your (mechanic's) word for it.
Yes! Selling your car online is a fantastic way to reach more potential buyers. You can add photos, provide a detailed description and contact information, and voila: you should have no shortage of interested customers, without having to put a "for sale" sign in the car window.
That depends on the site. You can often list your car for free, with premium "upgrades" if you want to add pictures, a car history report, or have your vehicle featured above others in your category.
Most sites serve as a go-between and don't guarantee that the car will sell - or that the car you buy will be problem-free. Be sure to read customer reviews of any used car service you're considering, and see if the Better Business Bureau has anything to say too.
There are almost too many to list! Any used car site that offers easy navigation with useful filters, tools that help you accurately gauge a vehicle's fair market value, and simple (and non-intrusive!) ways to connect with the vehicle sellers is a good choice. For extra reassurance, you can see if the BBB has given the used car service high marks for excellence.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

You can see how many owners it's had, any accidents reported, and sometimes the service history detailing oil changes and other routine maintenance. Buying used cars online is a huge time-saver too: you don't have to make a long drive to a dealership hoping they'll have something on the lot that you'll like, and you can avoid a lot of the "pushy salesperson" experience.

Most sites that sell pre-owned vehicles also have tools for determining how much you can afford and prequalifying for financing - which is one less thing you'll have to do in person (assuming you don't take the 100% online route from the get-go).

Which site should you use for buying used cars? There are a lot of similarities among them, and among the highest-rated services you can choose fairly freely without worrying about missing out. But, here are some things to consider about any used car website you're looking at:

  • Types of Used Car Sellers. Are you interested in buying from a private seller or a small, lesser-known local car lot? Or are you more comfortable with a big-name dealership? Are you interested in an online-only experience? Some sites for buying used cars give you listings from all four types, while others specialize just in partnerships with dealers.
  • Research Tools. Not every platform gives you research tools, but there's no reason you can't use one site to gather information and another to actually find a car. If you're at the earlier stages of the buying process, you should at least start with a site that lets you see reviews and get an idea of the pros and cons of many different makes and models.
  • Detailed Information. The best sites give you lots of information - almost to the point of it feeling like overload. We prefer services that offer free, detailed vehicle history reports and are completely transparent about who is selling the car - without having to use a contact form and subject yourself to spammy texts and emails.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best online services for buying used cars. We're confident that this information will help you get your next pre-owned set of wheels at a price you'll love!

The Best Reviews of Used Car Sites