Best platforms to sell your car online

Best Places and Platforms to Sell Your Car Online

10 Best Places to Sell a Car Online for The Most Cash

One of the best places to sell a car today is to do it online. This means that there is no in-person dealership involved, and all transactions occur over the Internet.

You can often upload your vehicle to car-selling websites from the comfort of your own home, and get an almost instant cash offer from a reputable buyer. All payments are facilitated through the platform, and you don't have to worry about advertising your car - online car-buying companies connect buyers and sellers.

One of the main benefits of selling a car online is its amazing reach. You are not limited to only local buyers; instead, you can be connected to buyers from across regions and states. This wider audience means that sales occur much quicker than having your used car stand at a dealership.

For this article, we've done a thorough investigation into the best places to sell a car online. Our ranking criteria included brand reputation, ease of the listing process, the website's reach, marketing features, and any fees to list and sell your car.

Our top pick as the best place to sell your car online is Sell My Car Online thanks to its amazing features, sterling reputation, and simplistic listing process. Read on to see how it compares to other places for online vehicle sales.

1. Sell My Car Online

  • Best overall

Sell My Car Online does not waste any time with its "Express Lane" feature, which allows sellers to get an instant free quote and sell their car for cash. It is completely hassle-free, but it is also obligation-free, which means you can get the best deal for your used car.

Once you accept the offer to sell your car, the process is quick.

In as little as 24 to 72 hours, you will have your money, and you don't have to stress about hidden fees or commissions to reduce that cash offer once the sale has been made.

How to list and sell vehicles

It really can't be easier to sell your car through this website:

  1. Input your vehicle details and VIN.
  2. Answer basic questions about the car.
  3. Get an instant (free) online appraisal.
  4. Potential buyers will make offers on your vehicle in an auction-style setting.
  5. Accept the best offer - you will have 7 days or 100 miles to think about it.
  6. The Sell My Car Online team processes the payment and schedules the removal of the vehicle.

Fees for sellers

There are no fees or commissions - you can sell your car at no cost to you.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

Sell My Car Online reaches a national audience. This means that sellers can really get the best value for their car, as people across the country will be able to see the listing and place a bid.

Unique and notable features

Sell My Car Online really stands out from its competition. The most notable feature is the Express Lane feature, which was mentioned above. Simply upload your car and get an instant cash offer, with payment occurring in as short as 24 hours. Payments are also completely secure and safe.

This website sells cars in any condition. Whether you have some minor body damage on the vehicle, or the car isn't running at all, you are guaranteed to find a seller with Sell My Car Online.

The small team behind the website means that you get a personal service and real care is taken to connect you to appropriate car buyers. Unlike many other online car dealers, with Sell My Car Online, you are more than just a number, you are a real person getting the best offer for your used car.

2. Cars.com

  • Best brand reputation

Cars.com is one of the largest online car listing companies. Their reputation is exceptional and thousands of Americans list their cars on this platform each year.

They have a vast audience, and the website also offers various tools for sellers to help them appraise and list their vehicles.

How to list and sell vehicles

Cars.com has a very user-friendly interface which means selling your car is not a complicated process.

You can decide to either get an instant cash offer or to list your car on the website.

Get an instant offer

You first complete all the information regarding the vehicle you wish to sell, including completing a free vehicle history report and an inspection using the Cars.com website or app. Next, Cars.com will connect you to your local dealership, which will make an instant, no obligation, cash offer. You will receive a full inspection report, and should you proceed, payment will be received directly from your dealership.

List on Cars.com

You begin by filling in information about your used car. Cars.com will then provide you with an estimated market value; however, you can set your own price.

Simply upload a couple of photos, create your free listing, and you are all set. Potential buyers will interact with your listing and contact you to make an offer.

Fees for sellers

Cars.com does not take any commissions on successful sales.

There are also no costs involved when uploading your car and creating your listing; however, "Plus" and "Premium" listings are available at a small fee.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

Thanks to its incredible brand reputation, millions of visitors scour Cars.com each year to find their next vehicle. This means that Cars.com has an incredible reach and you are almost guaranteed to find a car buyer who will be willing to pay your listing price.

The downside of this audience reach is that car sellers have a lot of competition with similar car models being listed.

Cars.com has the benefit of ranking very high on search engines. This means that if someone types into Google "used cars for sale", Cars.com will be one of the first search results.

Unique and notable features

If you like to keep it old school, Cars.com can put you in contact with local dealerships who will be happy to assist you with an offline sale.

Another notable feature is the free value estimator. Once you upload information about the car you wish to sell, Cars.com will provide you with the estimated market value for the car, allowing you to set your price accordingly and get the best deal for your used car.

3. Carvana

  • Best for convenience

Carvana makes it quick and easy to sell your car online thanks to its simple listing process and wide audience.

They offer a seamless car selling experience, with fast payouts and exceptional customer service, which supports you every step of the way.

How to list and sell vehicles

Carvana has created a very easy-to-use and intuitive platform, making it convenient for even the most tech-phobic people to upload their cars for sale.

  1. Start by entering your vehicle details, like your VIN or license plate number. This will bring up all the basic information about your car, like its make and model.
  2. Answer more questions about the car, like the mileage and additional equipment you may have installed.
  3. Decide whether you want an instant cash offer or a trade-in for a new car.
  4. You will have 7 days to consider the offer.
  5. Once you accept Carvana's offer, a representative will come to your house for an in-person inspection, to collect the keys and pay you for the car.
  6. If there is still debt on the car, Carvana will take care of the loan payoff process.

Fees for sellers

Carvana is very transparent in its transactions, and there are no additional listing fees or commissions. The offer you receive from Carvana will be inclusive of all fees.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

Carvana is rapidly growing, with more and more buyers and sellers visiting the site each month. This is thanks to the affordable cars on offer.

Since sellers and buyers do not interact, the reach of Carvana is not all that applicable to buyers, as Carvana will be making the cash offer and overseeing the vehicle sale.

Unique and notable features

Carvana has a checklist for cars that can be sold on their site. The most notable of these is that the odometer must be working and that the vehicle is not older than 1992.

If you decide to sell your car but have instant regret, Carvana does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee - no questions asked. You only need to contact customer support within 7 days of the removal of the vehicle. The return can be arranged for a future date.

4. CarMax

  • Best value

CarMax is the largest online car retailer in the United States. What makes them different from many of the other car-selling websites is that you can sell your car either online or in person through CarMax.

For an online car buying site, they offer very competitive prices for used cars. In fact, we found that they offer the highest prices of all the online car-buying companies. The downside to that is that selling your car to CarMax requires an in-person visit (which negates the convenience of the process).

How to list and sell vehicles

Selling your car to CarMax will require a bit of effort on your part, including an in-person visit, as mentioned above.

  1. Either book an appointment with your nearest CarMax dealer via their website or simply show up at the dealership.
  2. Chat with a salesperson who will check out your car and make you an offer.
  3. Alternatively, you can get an instant online quote for your car before going to the dealership as a ballpark figure if you wish to compare different online car dealers. This quote may differ from the in-person quote you will receive if you decide to go with CarMax.
  4. CarMax will complete the transaction, fill out all the paperwork, and purchase the car outright.

As you can see from the steps above, although you can get a price for your car online, you will still have to take your used vehicle to the dealership to complete the transaction.

Fees for sellers

The offer you receive from CarMax will include all listing fees and commissions, which means there are no fees involved for you as the seller.

Due to the in-person inspection, there is also no haggling from the salespeople, and the offer you receive will be final.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

The amount of physical CarMax dealerships nationwide gives this website a great reputation and the brand has a wide reach.

Thanks to its transparent process, CarMax is trusted by many - which is evident in its status as the largest car retailer in the country.

Unique and notable features

CarMax certainly does its research. Although going to a dealership is not very convenient if you wish to sell your used vehicle online, it does have the added benefit of providing you with a comprehensive vehicle inspection and history report.

Unlike with a private sale, you also don't have to worry about filling out and managing all your documents. CarMax takes on all administrative duties so that you can simply sell your car to them and walk away with the cash, without stressing about creating the listing yourself and interacting with car buyers.

5. Vroom

  • Best for simple process

Vroom has been designed for speed and simplicity. If you decide to sell your car to Vroom, you will receive a direct purchase offer - no need to haggle with car buyers.

How to list and sell vehicles

The key to having a seamless selling experience with Vroom is to make sure you have your car's paperwork on hand.

  1. Enter your VIN, license plate number, odometer reading, and any extra features on your car.
  2. You will receive an instant appraisal based on the information you provided. The offer is valid for 7 days.
  3. Once you are ready to accept the offer, you will upload photos of the car, the vehicle registration, the title, and a photo of the odometer.
  4. Vroom will get in contact if they need any additional information and finalize the sale.
  5. Pick-up for the vehicle will be arranged. Make sure the collector provides you with a Bill of Landing.
  6. Once pick-up has been confirmed, you will receive payment.

Fees for sellers

You don't have to worry about any hidden costs if you decide to sell your car to Vroom. There are absolutely no fees involved - even pick-up of the vehicle is free of charge.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

Vroom is not yet a top contender in the online sales industry; however, they are seeing rapid growth. This is thanks to the convenience of the completely online process and the speed at which the transactions occur.

Unique and notable features

Vroom offers trade-ins on used cars. Once you have received your initial offer, you can check out the cars available for sale and select your desired replacement.

One of the best parts about Vroom is that you never have to leave your house to sell your car. Through Vroom's online services, all transactions are kept online, you receive your offer via email, and arrange the pick-up time and date.

6. CarGurus

  • Best for intutive platform

When you are trying to sell your car online, the last thing you want to do is to struggle with an overly complicated website.

CarGurus has created an incredibly easy-to-use website that can have you accepting an offer in as little as five minutes.

How to list and sell vehicles

There are two ways in which you can sell your car on CarGurus.

  1. List it for a private sale
  2. Receive a cash offer from CarGurus

Private sale

  1. Create a listing for your car by uploading images and all relevant information.
  2. Post the listing and wait for buyers to contact you.

Sell to CarGurus

  1. Add your car's license or VIN and select your state to receive an instant offer (this option is not available in all states - see below).
  2. You will have either 7 days or an additional 250 miles on the odometer to accept the offer.
  3. Complete further information on the car, and then arrange for collection.
  4. Receive payment within 2 days.

Fees for sellers

Getting an instant offer from CarGurus will not incur any fees.

Creating a listing is completely free. However, if you do complete the sale through CarGurus's website, you will be charged a flat rate of $99.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

CarGurus is quite popular as they offer comprehensive car reviews, helping buyers pick the best car for their needs.

CarGurus also offers a deal rating system that attracts many buyers who want to know whether they are getting a good deal or not.

Although it is not the biggest online car dealer out there, they do have a fairly big reach across the country.

Just note that the following states can't get instant cash offers on CarGurus: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Unique and notable features

This feature is aimed at buyers, but it also applies to sellers who opt for a private sale: CarGurus has a deal rating system, where they score listings with "Great Deal" or "Fair Deal" labels. If you decide to sell your car privately through CarGurus, you should try to set the price so you get the "Great Deal" tag, otherwise, you may struggle to find a buyer.

7. AutoTrader

  • Best for creating listings

AutoTrader is a great resource if you wish to trade in or sell your car. Along the sales process, AutoTrader will offer you lots of tips and useful advice.

You will receive a free vehicle history report that can help you generate sales interest, plus you can include up to 30 photos of your car in your listing so potential buyers can see exactly what you are selling.

How to list and sell vehicles

To sell your car on AutoTrader, you will have to create a listing at a small cost.

  1. First, enter your car's vehicle identification number.
  2. You will receive a free vehicle history report when you go through the sales process.
  3. You have the option of using the free "Value A Car" tool to determine how much you should sell your car for.
  4. Upload a detailed description and photos of your car to your listing.
  5. Prepare all necessary documentation, such as maintenance records, odometer disclosure, vehicle title, and bill of sale.
  6. Wait for buyers to begin contacting you.
  7. Once you find a buyer you are happy with and agree on a price, you can finalize the transaction via AutoTrader's website.

Fees for sellers

It costs $49 to create a basic listing, which you can leave up for a year and renew free of charge.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

AutoTrader started in 1997, which means that they have built up a vast audience of both sellers and buyers.

Autotrader claims to be the most-visited of all the third-party car-selling websites, attracting more than 14 million buyers each month. If you want to sell your car quickly, AutoTrader is a good option.

Unique and notable features

Receiving a free history report when you list your car is a big help when it comes to attracting sellers. The "Value A Car" feature means that you can list your car at a competitive price that is similar to other cars of the same make and model that are currently for sale online.

8. Peddle

  • Best for junk cars

Peddle is willing to take your used car off your hands, even if it is in a really bad condition. They have streamlined their process, meaning you can receive instant cash offers as soon as you decide to sell your car to them.

As an added bonus, Peddle offers free pick-up once you accept the offer and on-the-spot payment.

How to list and sell vehicles

Selling your junk car to Peddle can be done in these easy steps.

  1. Complete a basic questionnaire with information on the used car you wish to sell.
  2. Receive an instant offer.
  3. You have 7 days to consider and accept the offer.
  4. Arrange free pick-up.
  5. The pick-up partner will briefly inspect the car, make the payment, and tow the car away.

Fees for sellers

There are absolutely no fees involved when selling your car to Peddle. The offer made is the amount of cash you will receive once accepted.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

Peddle is very popular with people who wish to sell their cars that no longer run. The seamless selling experience and hassle-free collection process mean that Peddle attracts thousands of sellers each year.

Unique and notable features

The most unique feature of Peddle is that they buy junk cars or cars that are in very poor condition.

9. eBay Motors

  • Best auction-based platform

To sell your car with eBay Motors, you have to create a listing. Your car will then go on auction where potential car buyers place bids in the hope of securing the purchase. Alternatively, you can opt for the fixed-price format.

eBay is a globally recognized brand, so if you are selling a collectible car, you may attract an international buyer.

How to list and sell vehicles

You have the option to auction your vehicle or go for a "Buy It Now" listing.

Creating a listing on eBay Motors is a straightforward process.

  1. Create your listing by describing your car, the terms of sale, and a competitive price.
  2. You can manage your listing by seeing how many people are interacting with it and updating it to attract more viewers.
  3. Establish contact with a potential buyer.
  4. You need to finalize the payment (via PayPal and eBay's Financing Center) and arrange shipping and title transfer (in accordance with your state's DMV regulations).

Fees for sellers

There are different package prices available for selling your car on eBay Motors. These prices apply to both the auction and fixed price formats:

  • Basic: $19
  • Plus: $49
  • Premium: $79

If you require a deposit for your car, you will also be charged a 2.8% deposit fee.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

eBay is a global platform with an established reputation, which means that it has a huge reach - millions of users buy and sell on eBay Motors each month.

Unique and notable features

The auction format on eBay Motors means that you have the potential to receive a higher price for your car than if you were to stick to a fixed price.

10. Junk Car Medics

  • Best for junk vans or trucks

Although Junk Car Medics accepts cars, this is a great website if you wish to make some extra cash by selling your junk vans, trucks, or SUVs.

The selling process is quick and uncomplicated, meaning you can easily get rid of your broken-down car and walk away with dollars in hand.

How to list and sell vehicles

Sell your car in three easy steps:

  1. Get your free offer by providing information on the car and its condition using the online form.
  2. Accept the offer and schedule collection. Junk Car Medics will review all paperwork to finalize the sale during this time.
  3. Removal specialists will arrive at the agreed-upon time to tow the car and pay you in cash.

Fees for sellers

There are no fees involved for sellers, and the junk car is towed away free of charge.

Audience reach and website traffic levels

Junk Car Medics have a niche audience, but they have access to hundreds of junkyards, buyers, and car dealerships who are willing to take your junk off your hands.

Unique and notable features

Junk Car Medics specifically specializes in poor-condition cars that other popular platforms may not be willing to accept.

Payment with collection is quick, and the car, van, or truck is towed away at no additional cost.

Should You Sell Your Car Online?

Selling your car online is usually a very quick process. It removes the hassle of going to a car dealership and haggling for a price, making it a very convenient option.

You are also able to reach a much wider audience if you decide to sell your car online. You're not only limited to people who can visit the second-hand car dealership or drive to your house to view the car. Instead, you can reach a national audience and find the best offer for your car.

The only downside of selling your car online is that you do not get to interact with the buyer face-to-face. Although this is convenient, some people may be ready to scam you.

Tips for Using These Websites to Sell a Car Online

Creating an effective listing

The first step to attracting buyers is to create an eye-catching and detailed listing.

Buyers browse by pictures, which highlight the importance of high-quality images that show both the inside and outside of the car.

You should also ensure that the description accurately depicts the condition of the car, and provides as much information as possible, including make, model, mileage, and any damage or extra features.

Setting the right price

If the website you decide to sell your car on does not have a price estimation tool, it is up to you to do market research to find the best price. Check out other cars of a similar make, model, age, and mileage to get a vague idea of which price to list it for to ensure you set the right price.

Taking appealing photographs

As mentioned above, people often make their decision on whether or not they want to purchase a car based on the images. For that reason, you should ensure the pictures are crisp, clear, and accurately depict the car's condition.

Take pictures of the outside from all sides, as well as inside. Make sure you get a picture of the dashboard, seats, steering wheel, and any extra features. If there is damage to the car, clearly document this with photos.

If applicable, also take a picture of the spare wheel and any extras, like a jack or jumper cables.

The goal is to highlight key features of the car with a good-quality camera.

Writing a compelling description

The description can close the deal. Make sure you are honest about the car's condition but also highlight any of the great features that can convince someone to pay the price.

If there are any flaws, mention these, but also mention what makes it such a good deal.

Handling negotiations with potential buyers

When it comes to interacting with potential buyers, you will have to be open to negotiations. It is very rare that you will receive your listed price for an online sale.

However, make sure you set yourself a minimum price, below which you will not go.

What is the safest way to sell a car online?

The first step you should take to ensure your safety is to only list your car on a reliable and secure platform. The 10 websites listed above are all safe to use and make use of secure payment gateways to finalize transactions.

If an in-person meet-up is required so that the buyer can inspect the car themselves, do this in a public space with other people around.

Alternatives to Online Car Selling

Dealership

This traditional method requires you to go into a dealership and negotiate face-to-face with a salesperson. They will give you a price based on how in-demand the specific car is as well as the condition and mileage. Because of this, you may be offered lower prices than an online platform.

Trade-in

You can either trade in online or in person.

Trading your car in for a newer car means that often the sales price of your old car will be much lower than if you were to sell it outright.

However, if you only want one transaction to sell your car and purchase a new one, then this is a good option.

Newspaper classifieds

Placing an ad in your local newspaper is very limiting. You're limited by the amount of photos you can add and the length of the description. You will also only be able to reach a local audience, and interactions can be tedious until you settle on a sales price.

Craigslist

Craigslist certainly has its pros and cons. You can reach an incredibly wide audience, but there is no vetting process for buyers (or sellers). There is always the possibility of scams.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has certainly become a popular spot for buyers and sellers in the auto sales market. It provides you access to buyers in your area and a bit further afield. It is completely free - you just need a Facebook account.

Facebook Marketplace also has an integrated chat so you can easily communicate with buyers.

Exploring auctions

Auctions are especially great for collectible cars or unique vehicles. Often an auction fee will apply.

FAQs

How can I ensure I get the best price for my car when I sell it online?

The first step is to determine the current market value of your car and price it accordingly. To prevent buyers from negotiating too much, ensure your car is in excellent condition and all paperwork is up to date.

Are there hidden fees for selling cars online?

Some websites may have hidden fees or commissions, so you should do your research before choosing a platform to sell your car. The websites listed above have no hidden fees and are transparent with their fee structures and commissions.

How can I protect myself from scams when I decide to sell my car on an online platform?

If it is possible, ensure the buyer is genuinely interested. This can be achieved with a phone call to garner interest and test how serious they are. If the buyer has any strange requests or your intuition tells you something is off, it's best to wait for a different buyer.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to selling cars on the Internet, it can be risky. From scams to difficult websites, finding the perfect platform for your needs is a challenge.

The list above includes the 10 best places for online car sales. Sell My Car Online comes out on top as the very best site to sell your car thanks to its excellent customer service and seamless selling experience.

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