It wasn't that long ago that the best way to buy a used car was via local newspaper classifieds. Now, the Internet is the only place to shop for a used car. The primary reason is the search capability of the worldwide web. It allows you to precisely determine what you are looking for, what price you want to pay, what features you want, and how far of a net you want to cast in terms of distance.
One thing I want to add, though, is don't overlook your local newspaper's website for used car shopping. It is still a good source of listings for used cars and it is, not surprisingly, extremely local to help narrow your search.
Here's a look at what I consider the six best places to buy a used car online.
AutoTempest.com is an aggregator of used car websites. AutoTempest searches Autotrader.com, Cars.com, eBay Motors, Cars Direct, Automotive.com, Oodle.com (which itself pulls in listings from multiple smaller sources), and craigslist. It's not a perfect site by any means, but it does make initial used car shopping a lot easier. Put it on your To Do List when shopping for a used car.
This is an evolving site that just continues to get better and better. It's not a household word yet in the used car shopping marketplace, but it's bound to become one. The premise is simple and it works well.
According to AutoTrader.com, it aggregates in a single location more than 3 million vehicle listings from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners, which provide the largest selection of vehicles attracting more than 13 million qualified buyers each month.
What I like about it is its simple search engine. Within just a few clicks I was able to find a 2005 Chevy Malibu. The search engine also allows me to find certified pre-owned vehicles with a couple of clicks.
AutoTrader has its roots in print, which warms the cockles of my heart because I have my roots in print. However, the future is on the Internet, isn't it?