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Edmunds Review

Tuesday, March 28th

2023 Used Car Site Reviews

Edmunds Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In-depth car research
  • 50+ years of experience

Edmunds knows cars. You'll have a hard time finding any other site for buying used cars that goes the extra mile (pun intended). For example, their editorial team test drives more than 300 vehicles a year, driving a half-million miles to provide in-depth reviews (even videos). You can put Edmunds' 50+ years of expertise to work for you as you decide which car is best for you.

Straightforward vehicle search

Ready to find your next vehicle? Click on the "Used" tab and then choose how you want to search: by make/model, type, or price. Next, click the button to indicate if you prefer listings of vehicles that are in-store or that can be purchased online for home delivery (or don't click either one if you'd like to see results for both). Once you've entered your zip code you'll see all of the matches near you.

The filters you'd expect

From there, feel free to use the filters button if you've got further preferences. You can choose color, safety features, vehicle history, package options, and more to help narrow down your search. Finally, the "sort by" dropdown is helpful for prioritizing whatever you want to see first: lowest price, lowest mileage, year, date listed, or value.

Not as much detail provided

There's not a ton of information in the basic results list. You'll see price, distance from the zip code you entered, mileage, value assessment, and a photo. But, once you click on a used car that interests you, you'll be able to see more - some of the features and specs, detailed analysis of the price, how long the listing has been on Edmunds and any price changes in that time, and so on. We would have liked to see greater details in the features/specs department, and we were disappointed that prospective car buyers only get a limited vehicle history through AutoCheck unless they pay for a full history report. Many of Edmunds' rivals offer complimentary reports from CARFAX right on their vehicles' listings, so this drops Edmunds in our rankings.

Best Used Car Sites

See consumer reviews on dealerships and car makes/models

We like that used car listings on Edmunds incorporate both dealership and vehicle ratings/reviews from customers. We thought it was interesting that those didn't necessarily line up with buyer feedback in other places, but that's not something we'd worry about.

Terrific reputation as a research tool

You won't find too many negative comments about Edmunds. The Better Business Bureau gives this platform an "A+" and accreditation, with only three complaints filed there in the three years prior to this evaluation. Most people say that Edmunds is an excellent option for researching cars prior to purchase: they're informative, detailed, and accurate without being pushy.

Cars listed might not be available

Besides the lack of a free, comprehensive vehicle history report, Edmunds also comes up a little short when it comes to vehicle availability. You'll either have to fill out the online form on the Edmunds site to send in an inquiry, or you'll have to visit the site using the dealer's link waaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the listing. That's not uncommon, but on one vehicle we liked we saw that right in the featured photo, the dealer had attached a "pending sale" banner. Buying a used car can be frustrating, and having to take that many extra steps to then find out it wasn't actually available for purchase? Not our favorite.

Great for research, just okay for car-buying

Edmunds is a world-class resource for learning more about any cars you're considering for your next purchase. No matter where you buy your used car, we recommend you stop here to get the most in-depth information out there. But, should you rely on this service to actually connect you with your car once you've chosen? It's not the worst thing you could do by any means, but other platforms do a better job of giving you up-to-date listings and thorough vehicle histories too.

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!

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