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Best Place To Sell Your Car Online for the Most Value


Oct 26, 2023 #car, #Online, #place, #sell

Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products below.

Crash Course:

  • Cars.com is our choice for the best place to sell your car online and it is free to use.
  • You can sell your used car for the most money with CarMax, based on our research.
  • Most online dealers provide instant offers and will pick up your car for you.
  • A private sale could bring the most value, but it takes more work on your end.

Today, the best places to sell your car offer instant cash offers in minutes and let you list and sell your used vehicle from your couch. Online dealers like Carvana and Vroom can pay off your old loan with the sale and can even deliver you a new vehicle if you trade in your old car.

Plenty of platforms will also let you privately put your car up for sale, and this may provide the best value overall. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s more important to have a painless transaction or to face some hassle but get a slightly higher cash value. We’ve investigated the best places to sell your car online and we’ll run through our top picks below.

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Best Places To Sell a Car Online: Top Picks

We found that the best places to sell your car online are Cars.com, Peddle, Carvana, CarMax, CarGurus, and Vroom. These sites all provide instant cash offers for your vehicle and are free to use. Some also come with private sales marketplaces and have helpful tools for valuing your car and completing the right paperwork. Others give sellers the choice to drive their cars to specific locations to sell the vehicles in person.

Where To Sell a Car Online

Below are 10 places where you can sell your car online that we’ll cover in-depth. Some of these options offer their services for completely free and some charge fees. In the table below, we have outlined our ratings for each site, the type of vehicle buyer they are, and whether their services are free:

Car Buying Options Rating Out of 10.0 Type of Sale Is It Free?
Cars.com 8.9 Online dealer Yes
Peddle 8.7 Online car buyer Yes
Carvana 8.7 Online dealer Yes
CarMax 8.6 Online offer, in-person sale Yes
CarGurus 8.5 Online dealer Yes
Vroom 8.2 Online dealer Yes
Facebook Marketplace Not rated Private sale, in-person Yes
eBay Motors Not rated Private sale, in-person or shipped No
Cars & Bids Not rated Private sale, in-person or shipped No
Craigslist Not rated Private sale, in-person No

Our rating system applies to online dealers and car selling websites that purchase your car, not marketplaces for private sale listings.

The main distinction is between online dealers that buy vehicles directly and marketplaces that have private listings. Online dealers have hassle-free sales, but may not offer as strong a value as private party car buyers.

Icons showing the factors that affect the value of used cars

How We Rated the Best Places To Sell Your Car

We consider five factors when ranking online car dealers and websites: overall cost, platform, transaction support, customer experience, and industry reputation. We also conduct secret shopper research and take customer review sentiments into account when rating companies.

10 Best Sites To Sell Your Car Online

Our list of the best places to sell your car includes online dealerships, car buying services, and platforms intended for private party sales. Let’s take a closer look at some top sites to consider.

Online Dealerships and Car Buying Services

You can often get an instant quote from an online dealership or car-buying service, and many will even pick up your vehicle for free.

1. Cars.com: Best Options

Online offer: Yes

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: Yes

A great option to sell your car is through Cars.com, which has a one-stop shop for offloading your vehicle. You can get an instant cash offer from the company’s dealer network, or you could try listing it for private sale. You can also research what your car is actually worth by using the market value tools found on Cars.com.

To get a cash offer, enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), find its license plate number, or look up the make and model. After providing contact information, you’ll get an instant offer that you can redeem at a local dealer in the Cars.com network. At this point, you’ll need to visit a dealer location to finalize your vehicle’s sale or trade-in.

2. Peddle: Best for Older Cars

Online offer: Yes

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: No

Peddle is an online car buying site that operates in all 50 states. The company has a 4.6-star rating out of 5.0 from over 110,000 reviews on Trustpilot. Peddle only buys cars, so you can’t trade your current vehicle in for a new one with the provider.

To get an offer, simply describe your vehicle and its condition on the website. An offer from Peddle is good for seven days. If you accept it, Peddle will pick up your car for free and either hand you cash or a check. You may need to upload photos for a visual inspection if the offer is over a certain amount.

One unique thing about Peddle is that it focuses on old cars and even buys junk vehicles for car recycling. In fact, the company started under the name Junk My Car in 2004 and then began Peddle in 2011. Unlike Carvana or CarMax, there are no age requirements for vehicles and the company welcomes scrap cars.

3. Carvana: Most Convenient

Online offer: Yes

Trade-in option: Yes

Private sale option: No

After comparing multiple online car dealers, Carvana came out ahead of the pack in terms of convenience. We noted that Carvana supports you very well throughout the entire transaction. For example, when you use Carvana to sell a car, the company sends an inspector to your location and picks the car up for free if everything looks good. Carvana offers quick payment for your vehicle and can cover your remaining loan balance directly. You also have the option to drop your car off at a Carvana location.

When we compared direct offers from multiple websites, Carvana provided a middle-of-the-road offer. Other sites may give you better value for your used car, but Carvana’s easy process and reliable service are hard to beat.

4. CarMax: Top Value

Online offer: Yes, requires in-person finalization

Trade-in option: Yes

Private sale option: No

As you do the research before selling your vehicle, CarMax should definitely be part of your search. In our secret shopper comparisons, CarMax gave us the best value for our vehicle. While it’s worth getting quotes from multiple sources, our team found that CarMax offers competitive rates for used cars.

The downside is that you’ll need to bring your car into a physical location if you want to use CarMax to sell your car. The online offer is good for seven days, so during this window you’ll need to bring your vehicle in, have it inspected, and complete all paperwork. This might not be a viable option if you live far from a CarMax dealership.

You can sell your car outright or trade it in for another with CarMax. The company can pay your lender directly if you have a balance, and it offers trade-in options if you have negative equity.

5. CarGurus: Strong Platform

Online offer: Yes

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: Yes

With CarGurus, you can get offers online in mere minutes. CarGurus works with a network of dealers that buy cars, but you don’t need to go to a dealership in person. You can sit back as CarGurus arranges the pickup for your car after you’ve accepted the company’s offer.

Like other companies on our list, CarGurus can pay the lien holder directly if you owe money on your vehicle. This includes transferring the car title from your lender to the purchasing dealership.

CarGurus has a highly rated platform that makes selling your car easy. You can either sell the vehicle directly to a dealer or list it on the CarGurus private sale marketplace. However, you can’t trade in a vehicle to CarGurus since the company connects sellers to dealers rather than buying cars itself. You may find dealers on the online marketplace that take trade-ins, but you’ll need to contact them directly.

6. Vroom: Easy Process

Online offer: Yes

Trade-in option: Yes

Private sale option: No

Vroom is another online company that purchases vehicles directly. You can get an instant offer that’s good for seven days after providing basic details about your car. If you like the offer, Vroom will even pick up the car from your house for free.

The Vroom online offer tool may not work for all vehicles, however. If that’s true for your model, a specialist from Vroom will evaluate your car and promptly email you an offer.

You can also trade in your vehicle with Vroom. After you get an offer, simply shop Vroom’s online inventory and pick your desired replacement vehicle. If your state has a car sales tax, your trade-in value will reduce the sale value and save you some money.

Online Private-Sale Platforms

Now we’ll take a look at some online platforms for private sales. You can typically get better prices with private sales than when using an online dealer, but it takes more work on your part.

7. Facebook Marketplace

Online offer: No

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: Yes

Facebook Marketplace is one of the best places to sell cars locally if you don’t mind meeting up with strangers to allow for a test drive.

There’s no fee to list a car on Facebook Marketplace, and there’s no selling fee since you arrange payment with the buyer directly. It’s your responsibility to evaluate potential buyers, though, as you can sometimes come across scammers on the site.

The nice thing about private sales is that you can set the asking price based on the car’s value. Drivers can either wait until they get a top-dollar offer or negotiate directly with potential buyers. Most online dealers, on the other hand, won’t budge on their instant cash offers.

8. eBay Motors

Online offer: No

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: Yes

With eBay Motors, you can advertise your car to prospective buyers across the U.S. The site charges listing fees of up to $79 depending on your chosen package, but there’s no fee when your vehicle sells. eBay partners with a number of car shipping companies such as uShip to make shipping your car easy. You can choose to have the customer pay for shipping as well.

eBay Motors works best for selling the types of vehicles people would want to have shipped. Recent model year cars in excellent condition perform well on the site, as do classic and enthusiast cars. If you’re selling a common vehicle with many miles on it, you might wait longer to sell. On the other hand, you can use eBay Motors’ local classified ad service to sell your car in town and avoid shipping it altogether.

9. Cars & Bids

Online offer: No

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: Yes

Cars & Bids is a private sale platform that specializes in nonvintage enthusiast vehicles. If your car model has a dedicated fan base, this may be the site to check out. You can sell enthusiast cars from the 1980s to the 2020s on Cars & Bids. Most buyers and sellers on Cars & Bids meet in person, though you can also choose a remote sale and ship your car to the buyer.

One nice feature about Cars & Bids is that it’s free to list your car. You also don’t pay any fees when your car sells. Instead, the buyer pays a 4.5% commission fee that’s capped at $4,500.

10. Craigslist

Online offer: No

Trade-in option: No

Private sale option: Yes

No list of the best places to sell your car would be complete without at least mentioning Craigslist. The site has been around since the dawn of the internet and remains a popular choice for vehicle shoppers. Craigslist charges $5 to place a vehicle advertisement, which helps to reduce the number of scammers on the site. However, you should still be wary of scams from illegitimate buyers when either buying or selling a car on Craigslist. 

Where Can I Sell My Car?

The best places to sell your car can typically be divided into online dealers, private sale platforms, and local car dealerships.

Online Dealers

If you want to sell a car for a good price quickly and easily, try an online dealer service like Cars.com or Vroom. With websites like these, you can get a cash offer for your vehicle in the time it takes you to type out your VIN. Most of these dealers will buy your car remotely, though companies like CarMax and AutoNation require you to close the deal in person.

While a private sale could give you the best price for your vehicle, you can still get excellent quotes from many online dealers. Some dealers actually make more money on back-end financing, and these dealers may give you a great price for your car. If you have a loan, many online dealers will pay your lender directly and offer you the difference.

Private Sellers and Buyers

Instead of selling your car to an online dealership or a car buying website, you can sell it directly to an individual buyer through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. The main advantage of doing a private sale is that you can get the full value of your vehicle. An online or local dealer needs to resell your car, so you might not receive the highest possible price from them.

A private sale takes much more work than selling to an online dealer. Buyers need to trust that the vehicle information is accurate before they make a purchase. Because of this, you’ll want to have the following documents prepared:

  • Maintenance history
  • Vehicle market valuation
  • A bill of sale ready to be filled out
  • Vehicle history report from CARFAX
  • Vehicle title or payoff letter from a lender

To get more eyes on your vehicle, you can post the listing across multiple platforms and just remove it when the car sells.

You also must decide which types of payment you’ll accept. Cash and cashier’s checks are two common and secure payment methods for private sales. After the sale, you’ll need to transfer the title to the buyer, remove your old license plate, and cancel your registration with the department of motor vehicles (DMV).

Local Dealers

Local dealerships make up the last category of the best places to sell your car. In this case, you could work with a name-brand dealer, like a BMW dealership, or a used car lot. How much you’ll receive for your car varies greatly depending on the specific dealership you get a quote from.

The main reason to use a local dealer is if you plan to trade in your car for a vehicle in the dealer’s inventory. You’ll get a better value on a trade-in car compared to an outright sale. Trade-ins also help you to avoid sales tax where applicable because you only get taxed on the remaining value of the new car after your trade.

Local dealers can also be convenient, as you’ll be working with a real person who can walk you through the process. This is something that many online-only dealerships cannot provide with only a phone number or an email address.

Best Place To Sell My Car: Conclusion

Our top pick for selling your car online is Cars.com and the best sites where we recommend selling your car are as follows:

  1. Cars.com: Best Options
  2. Peddle: Good for Junk Cars
  3. Carvana: Most Convenient
  4. CarMax: Top Value
  5. CarGurus: Strong Platform
  6. Vroom: Easy Process

However, you have plenty of options, ranging from local and online dealers to private-sale marketplaces. We recommend that you compare offers from multiple companies to get the best value for your car.

Best Place To Sell a Car: FAQ

Below are a few frequently asked questions about the best place to sell your car.

What is the best place to sell a car?

We found the best place to sell a car was Cars.com for its variety of vehicle options and good selling prices overall. Customers also report great service with the company, making it a good option for selling a vehicle.

What are the best websites to sell a car?

Our top six picks for selling a car online are:

1. Cars.com: Best Options
2. Peddle: Good for Junk Cars
3. Carvana: Most Convenient
4. CarMax: Top Value
5. CarGurus: Strong Platform
6. Vroom: Easy Process

Where can I sell my car for the most money?

Our team compared cash offers from online car dealers and found that CarMax gave us the best value for our vehicle. CarMax offered about $1,000 more than any other website for a 2014 Subaru Forester.

Is Kelley Blue Book cash offer legit?

The Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer is a legitimate offer to purchase your car. It is contingent on an inspection that a participating dealer will perform before purchasing your vehicle in person. This offer is also available on the Autotrader website.

What is the best website to get the value of my car?

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is the tried-and-true way to determine the value of your vehicle online. Dealerships and other prospective buyers often look at KBB’s value first. You can also use other sites such as Edmunds.com or NADAguides from J.D. Power.

Our Methodology

In order to help people make informed decisions about where and how to sell their cars, our expert review team is committed to providing precise, accurate, and objective information. For our research, we evaluated each company on the same criteria across the following categories:

  • Cost: Our team conducted a secret shopper study to assess the offering prices of each provider. We also considered any fees or additional costs charged by companies during transactions.
  • Platform: We evaluated each provider’s online platform, rating them based on ease of use, speed, and available options. 
  • Transaction support: Because there are many other steps involved in selling a car online beyond simply listing it and accepting an offer, our team evaluated companies based on their support for transactions, such as whether they require a seller to travel for an in-person evaluation, if they manage loan payoffs, and more.
  • Customer experience: We scoured online reviews on websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot in order to gauge the opinions and experiences of real customers. Our team used proprietary metrics to normalize ratings across the industry in order to assess customer sentiment in context.
  • Industry reputation: To assess their standing within the auto sales industry, we considered each company’s rating with the BBB along with its years of service. We evaluated these factors using proprietary metrics to get a more accurate representation of specific company reputations compared to industry norms.


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