6 best sites to sell a car online

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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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If you’re selling your car, using an online platform can be a convenient way for you to list your vehicle.

Here are our picks for the best places to sell your car online.

AutotraderCar GurusFacebook MarketplaceeBay MotorsCarvanaCarMax
Listing cost$49$4.95Free$19 to $79No feeNo fee
Ability to add vehicle history report to listingX  X 
Cash offer or sell-to-dealer optionsXX  XX
Trade-in optionX   XX
Seller tools and supportXXXX 
Car pick-up X  XDepends on location

Autotrader: Great for getting eyes on your listing

Here’s why: 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. 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 selling process.

  • 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. Autotrader offers a free report with each listing.
  • Free renewals Autotrader 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 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 prospective buyers.

CarGurus: Great for a quick offer

Here’s why: CarGurus uses a proprietary search algorithm to help car shoppers find deals.

  • Useful pricing guidance — 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 When using the site to sell your vehicle to a dealer, you can schedule a home pick-up for your vehicle.
  • Option to sell to a private buyer or dealer CarGurus allows you to bypass the listing process and get a free offer from dealers. If you opt to sell to a dealer, the company claims it can get you an “instant” offer for your vehicle.

Facebook Marketplace: Great for selling to a private party

Here’s why: Facebook Marketplace could be most helpful for you 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 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.

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

Here’s why: EBay Motors is is an online marketplace that has a wide audience and offers various packages that allow you to include anywhere from 12 to 24 photos with your listing.

  •  Sell by auction or fixed-priced listing 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 an offer in response to your selected starting price.
  •  Free vehicle history report with each listing If you list fewer than seven vehicles per calendar year, you get a free vehicle history report with each listing.
  •  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

Here’s why: 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.

  • 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 your vehicle information has been entered, the company claims it will extend an offer for your vehicle within two minutes.
  •  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.

CarMax: Great for same-day payment

Here’s why: If you take CarMax’s offer on the spot, you have the option to leave with a check in your hand — or you can consider the offer for the next seven days.

  • Online and in-store appraisals are the same — Whether you want to go to a CarMax facility to get your appraisal or input your car’s info from the comfort of your own home, CarMax uses the same appraisal criteria, so your offer will be consistent.
  • Selling a leased car — CarMax will buy vehicles that are leased from select companies.

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.