5 best sites to sell a car

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In a Nutshell

What are the best sites to sell a car? The top choices offer excellent value and reach. Some options help you to make a quick, no-hassle sale.
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Though 2022 isn’t an ideal time to buy a used car, it’s an excellent time to sell one.

That’s because prices for used vehicles have hit all-time highs recently. If you’re selling your car, using an online platform allows you to take advantage of the reach of the internet when listing your vehicle.

  Autotrader Car Gurus Facebook Marketplace eBay Motors Carvana
Listing cost $49 $4.95 Free $19 to $79 No fee
Ability to add vehicle history report to listing X     X  
Cash offer or sell-to-dealer options X X     X
Trade-in option X       X
Seller tools and support X X X X  
Car pick-up   X     X

Autotrader: Great for getting eyes on your listing

Autotrader is a website that specializes in helping people buy and sell new, used and certified used vehicles. The site is an excellent resource if you’re looking to sell or trade in your car, with many tips that can help you navigate the process. Autotrader is owned by Cox Automotive and is part of a family of brands that includes Kelley Blue Book.

Vast audience of potential car buyers

If you’d like to sell your used car quickly and profitably, it helps if you expose your listing to many potential car buyers. Autotrader claims it’s the most-visited third-party car shopping site on the web and that it attracts more than 14 million qualified buyers every month.

Free vehicle history report

A vehicle history report offers insight into a car’s background. If your car has a clean history, this report can be a valuable selling tool. A vehicle history report gives a potential buyer transparency into the vehicle’s past. Autotrader offers a free report with each listing, and this perk can help you enhance your listing in a cost-effective way.

Free renewals

You may have to renew a listing if your car doesn’t sell. With Autotrader, you won’t have to worry about facing a renewal expense if your car doesn’t sell right away. The site offers free renewals for up to a year if your car doesn’t find a buyer after 30 days.

Include up to 30 photos of your vehicle

Photos can be vital marketing tools when selling a used car. Autotrader allows you to include as many as 30 photos of your used vehicle with each listing, giving you plenty of opportunity to showcase your vehicle to potential buyers.

CarGurus: Great for a quick offer

CarGurus launched in 2006 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded by Langley Steinert, who was previously the co-founder of TripAdvisor. CarGurus uses a proprietary search algorithm to help car shoppers find deals.

Useful pricing guidance

When selling a used car, pricing can impact the success and speed of your sale. Once you’ve provided details such as your car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, mileage and condition, CarGurus can give an estimate of the car’s market value. That data can help you make an informed decision when pricing your car.

Vehicle pick-up if selling to a dealer

If you’re selling your car to a dealer and would rather not drive it to a dealership, CarGurus offers a solution. When using the site to sell your vehicle to a dealer, you can schedule a pick-up. You can complete the necessary sales documents online, and a driver from the dealership will stop by your home or office to collect the car.

Free offers from dealers

CarGurus allows you to bypass the listing process and get a free offer from dealers. First, a potential seller should enter basic details regarding the car, such as its mileage and VIN. CarGurus will then share this information with its dealer network. The company claims it can get an offer for your vehicle in under two minutes.

Facebook Marketplace: Great for selling to a private party

Facebook Marketplace is affiliated with Facebook. This online seller has advantages that could be most helpful if you’re interested in selling your car to a private party.

 Ability to vet potential buyers

Getting some background info on a potential buyer can be helpful before moving further along with the sales process. When potential buyers respond to your listing, you can visit their Facebook profiles to learn more about them.

 Target specific groups of potential buyers

Facebook users sometimes form groups to discuss topics that are of common interest to them. Facebook Marketplace allows you to list your car publicly to everyone on Facebook, but you can also post a private listing to one or more of the site’s groups.

A private group listing allows you to pitch your car to a specific audience, which can be valuable if you have a vehicle that’s popular with a niche group of potential buyers. For example, if you’re selling a used Mazda Miata sought after by collectors, you could use Facebook Marketplace to post a listing in a private group made up of Miata enthusiasts.

Listings are free

With Facebook Marketplace, there’s no cost for listings.

eBay Motors: Great for marketing your vehicle to a large audience

eBay is a site connecting buyers and sellers in more than 190 markets worldwide. eBay Motors is a branch of this website focused on car listings. This site offers various packages that allow you to include anywhere from 12 to 24 photos with your listing. Pricing ranges from $19 to $79 and is partially based on the selling price of your vehicle.

 Sell by auction or fixed-priced

eBay Motors gives you different options for marketing your vehicle. With the auction-style listing format, buyers can bid on your vehicle with the sale going to the highest bidder.

The fixed-price format allows you to list your car at your chosen price, and the Best Offer feature allows buyers to submit their best offer in response to your selected starting price. Having these options available gives you flexibility in marketing your used car.

 Free vehicle history report with each listing

With eBay Motors, you get a free vehicle history report with each listing. You’re eligible for this perk if you’re a seller who lists less than seven vehicles per calendar year.

 Reach millions of potential buyers

According to eBay, eBay Motors attracts 7.4 million unique visitors per month. eBay Motors claims the site sells a car or truck every three minutes.

Carvana: Great for no-hassle selling

Carvana is a company that buys and sells used cars. You can use the Carvana website or app to sell or trade in your vehicle directly to the company.

Carvana promises quick offers

Carvana requires you to share details regarding your used car — such as the license plate number or VIN — to get the ball rolling on your sale. Once this information has been entered, the company claims it will extend an offer for your vehicle within two minutes.

 Free vehicle pick-up

If you’re selling your car, Carvana will schedule a vehicle pick-up at the time and place of your choosing. The sale or trade-in is finalized at the time of the pick-up. Carvana will give you the funds when collecting your vehicle if there’s a payment involved.

 Offers are good for seven days

Carvana’s sales process gives you breathing room to research and compare other options. Once the company makes an offer on your car, you have seven days to accept. You can use this time to field other offers if you choose.

Ask an expert about selling a car online

Meet the expert: Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader and spokesperson for Kelley Blue Book, has more than 12 years of experience as an automotive journalist.

What should I know before selling a car online?

“How you write the ad matters. Don’t write in all caps and don’t just list the basics. Tell the story of how great this car has been. Let the potential buyer see themselves in your car. Use lots and lots of photos. Before taking those photos, remove your stuff. Don’t take photos with your personal things in the car.”

Where is the best place to find out what my car is worth?

“There are many car valuation websites — Kelley Blue Book is one. You can also browse cars like yours for sale and see what the price range looks like.”

What’s the safest way to sell a car online?

“Make sure you use the selling website’s tools that make a potential buyer communicate with you through the site’s interface. Don’t give out your phone number or email address unless you personally know the person. Also, have a safe place to meet for the exchange of money or test drives if you’re selling a car yourself. Many police stations will let you use their parking lot for this purpose.”

About the author: Warren Clarke is a writer whose work has been published by Edmunds.com and the New York Daily News. He enjoys providing readers with information that can make their lives happier and more expansive. Warren holds a Bac… Read more.