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      February 23, 2020

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Cars vs Edmunds

To help you find the Best Used Car Sites, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Cars and Edmunds.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Used Car Sites, please Click Here

Buy Your New Car with True Car Today! When people need to buy a vehicle, many prefer to buy a used - or "pre-owned" - car. Why? You may be familiar with the idea of depreciation, or the loss in value of an item. According to the experts, the simple act of driving a brand-new car off the dealer's lot leads to a depreciation of as much as 11% of the car's value.

For that reason, buying a used car is often an attractive option for those customers who don't mind having a vehicle with a few miles on the odometer. Of course, buying a used car also comes with several considerations that you won't find when purchasing a new vehicle.

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Best Reviews

2020

Used Car Site Reviews

4 stars
Cars

CARS

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With a name like Cars, it's no surprise that they are a solid resource when looking to buy a used vehicle. Although they do not offer any guaranteed pricing or discounts when using their service, what we love about their website is the anonymity they give to people using their site.

Many used car websites require you to enter your contact information in order to see detailed pricing on the vehicles that interest you - and we all know how that winds up with phone calls and emails from eager salespeople who want to convince you not to miss out on a hot deal, "available today only!" The Cars site asks you to enter the make and model of the pre-owned vehicle you want, along with a zip code and a desired search radius - and that's all!

Your results page will then show you exactly what is in inventory within the distance you specified. You can sort by price, year, distance, photos, and date listed; also, you can filter by several parameters such as exterior color, trim, drivetrain, and more. From there, it's completely up to you: you can see a vehicle's details, including the VIN number and how many people have viewed that particular car in the last 30 days, or you can request a free CARFAX report detailing the vehicle's history.

If you decide you'd like to contact the dealer, click on the green "Check Availability" button and enter your name, email and ZIP code (phone number is optional) to be connected with the dealership. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the vehicle listing: there you'll find reviews of not only the car but of the dealer itself, along with links to further information about the make and model year of the used car you're considering.

You may also be interested in the News section at the top of the Cars website. There you can find the latest car news and reviews, get information about top auto shows, and even get help for first-time car buyers if you need it. We also like that Cars has a resource for Service & Repair that includes safety and recall notices, Car Maintenance 101, and links for finding a service center if your pre-owned car needs an oil change or other work.

We recommend that you check out what Cars has to offer when you're ready to buy a new car. With an "A+" rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, helpful resources for car buyers, and a no-contact-required method of browsing vehicles available nearby, Cars easily earns a high rating among used car websites.

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3 stars
Edmunds

EDMUNDS

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Edmunds began as a newsstand publication in the 1960s and has come to be a household name when it comes to all things automotive. If you're looking to buy a used car, the Edmunds site might help you get a great price.

From the Used Cars page, select the make and model you're looking for and then enter your zip code. (Or, if you prefer to shop by car type, click on "Shop by type".) From there, you'll be taken to a results page that shows all of the available pre-owned inventory in your area; you can sort those results by distance from your location, lowest price, or lowest mileage.

On the left-hand side of the page, you can also filter your results by price range, year, or mileage; click on the "Advanced Search" link for more options. When you've selected a vehicle that interests you, you'll see more details about the car and dealership, along with links to get a free CARFAX vehicle history report or an insurance agent.

We also saw that certain dealers participate in a special offer program called "Used + Perks". While the offers vary, many of them include benefits like a $100 gas card. Unfortunately, that was as far as we were able to go. When we went to enter our name, email address, and phone number to get the special offer and its details, we got an error message asking for a valid email address. We tried several accounts (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) but had the same issue every time. As a customer, you can still contact the dealership directly if you find a vehicle that interests you, but it looks like you'd probably lose the Used + Perks offer if you can't get the site to accept your email address.

That was hugely disappointing, especially since Edmunds offers several resources that other new car sites lack. We especially like their True Cost to Own calculator, which can be found under the headings for both New and Used Cars. This gives you an estimate for what to expect over five years with respect to depreciation, taxes/fees, financing charges, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

Edmunds also has a fantastic wealth of additional resources, from Tips and Advice to Car Videos and Forums for true aficionados. All of those can be found in the Car Research section in the upper right-hand corner of the site.

We have hopes that, in the near future, the site difficulties we experienced will be resolved and we'll be able to move them much higher in our rankings, because of Edmunds' great site features and solid reputation in the automotive community.

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First, there may not be a warranty on a pre-owned car. The typical warranty is three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. So, if the vehicle you're considering has passed one of those thresholds, you may want to pay for a separate warranty to cover any surprise repairs that may happen in the future.

Also, you'll want to check the history of the vehicle you hope to buy. It may have been in an accident, had flood damage, or some other incident that may not be visible on the surface. There are a number of free services that allow you to get the full report associated with the car you're looking at.

Finally, be sure to check if there are any manufacturer recalls that haven't been addressed with any used car you wish to purchase. Whether you buy your used car from a dealer or from an individual, there's no guarantee that they've taken care of the repairs necessary to fix the problem, which could be dangerous.

Shopping online for a used car makes it very easy to see what's available in your local area without having to drive to multiple dealerships and car lots. Most websites for buying pre-owned cars are relatively similar: enter the type of car you're looking for, along with your ZIP code, and get quotes from dealers in your area that may have your vehicle in stock.

So, what factors should you keep in mind when choosing the best website for your used car purchase? Consider these three criteria:

  • Information. Will the website give you details that can help you with your decision? Will you be better-informed with respect to the costs of owning the vehicle you choose? Do they offer other details on current trends in the automotive marketplace?
  • Price. Does the site offer you a way to get the best possible price for your car, either through a discount or through a relationship with a network of trusted dealers? Or does it just tell you where to find the car you want while leaving the haggling up to you?
  • Extra Services. Can the site connect you with resources for getting auto insurance, an auto loan, or other relevant products and services?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Used Car sites available today. We hope these reviews will get you behind the wheel quickly in a vehicle that will last for years to come!

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