10 Best Online Car Buying Sites of 2022

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If you’ve ever spent an entire weekend car shopping, you know what a hassle it can be. Few car buyers enjoy dealing with a pushy car salesperson or visiting five different dealerships before finding a car you like.

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Fortunately, it’s now possible to buy a new or used car entirely online. You can find your dream car, negotiate pricing, and work out the financing from the comfort of your own home. The ten best car buying sites listed below will simplify the car buying process for you.

1. Carvana

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Overview

Carvana is an online-only used car dealership that lets you purchase a new car from the comfort of your own home. You can browse through the company’s online inventory, apply for a car loan, and even have the vehicle delivered to your home.

To buy a car through Carvana, you need to have a minimum annual income of $4,000. The APR range is between 3.90% and 27.90%, depending on your creditworthiness. However, there is no minimum credit requirement, and Carvana is willing to lend to borrowers with less-than-ideal credit.

Pros

  • No minimum credit score to apply.
  • All vehicles come with a seven-day “test own” period.
  • Every car comes with a 100-day warranty.
  • If you live in a local market, your vehicle will be delivered for free.

Cons

  • Pricing is non-negotiable, though this could be an advantage if you hate negotiating.
  • You can’t test drive the car before buying it.
  • If you’re trading in your car, you’ll have to deliver it to one of Carvana’s local markets.

Check out our full review of Carvana

2. Vroom

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Vroom is another platform that lets you buy or sell a car entirely online. You can browse through thousands of different vehicles on Vroom’s website. Once you find something you like, you can look through photos, see a list of features, and even read through the CarFax vehicle history report.

Once you buy a car on Vroom, you have a seven-day return window. And the company provides a 90-day warranty as well as a year of free roadside assistance.

Pros

  • Vroom makes sure that every car it sells passes multiple inspections.
  • You can finance the sale on the company’s website.
  • Once you purchase the car, you can try it out for seven days.
  • The car comes with a 90-day warranty and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Cons

  • Vroom charges a $499 delivery fee.
  • The company doesn’t have the same robust selection as other online car buying sites.

3. CarGurus

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CarGurus offers both new and used vehicles on its website. You can search for cars by model, body style, and price. And you can even specify whether you want to see local options first.

Every vehicle comes with a summary, and the website even tells you whether the listing price is a good deal or not. This information can be helpful if you’re not interested in checking the Kelley Blue Book value on every car you look at.

Pros

  • If a car you like is priced high, you can sign up for email alerts and the company will let you know if the price drops.
  • The website enables you to see if you’re getting a good deal on price or not.
  • You can find both new and used cars on the website.

Cons

  • You’ll have to pay to see the full report for the vehicle.
  • The site will post sponsored vehicles at the top of every search.

4. Facebook Marketplace

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Is there anything you can’t do on Facebook? In addition to selling old baby clothes and household items, Facebook Marketplace sellers can also list a car. Facebook has become a more popular option for buying and selling used cars online in recent years.

The biggest advantage of Facebook Marketplace is buying a car from private sellers. You’ll have to do your due diligence, but it’s a more personalized experience than using Craigslist.

Pros

  • You can see exactly who you’re buying a car from.
  • It can be easier to avoid scams than sites like Craigslist.
  • You can negotiate the price with the seller.

Cons

  • You’ll have to do your homework and make sure it’s a good deal.
  • Your options will be more limited than sites like Carvana.

5. CarsDirect

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CarsDirect helps you find the best deal on new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles. Like other online car buying sites, you can quickly browse the available cars by model, make, and price.

Once you find several cars you like, you can set up a side-by-side comparison. This information can help you determine which car is right for you.

Pros

  • The website provides detailed information about each car.
  • On the company’s home page, they feature some of the best auto deals of the month.
  • CarsDirect provides a wealth of information about the car buying process.

Cons

  • The website won’t necessarily show results from local dealers.

Check out our full review of CarsDirect

6. TrueCar

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TrueCar allows you to shop both new and used vehicles. You can also trade in your current vehicle for a new car if you prefer. You can search by model, price, or mileage.

TrueCar also shows you what other people have paid for the car you’re considering, and whether the price is above or below market value. This information helps you know whether you’re getting a good deal.

Pros

  • Transparent pricing.
  • You can trade in your current vehicle.
  • Browse through both new and used cars.

Cons

  • You’ll have to pay to view the CarFax report.
  • The car buying process is not entirely online—once you’re matched with a car, you’ll have to finish the process with the dealer.

7. Craigslist

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If you’re looking for a peer-to-peer car buying site, Craigslist is probably the best-known option available. Private sellers can post their vehicles on the site, and you can browse through thousands of local options.

However, you may find some of the information lacking in comparison to what other websites provide. And Craigslist doesn’t vet any of the cars listed on their site, so you’ll have to do your homework and make sure you’re not getting scammed.

Pros

  • A peer-to-peer auto buying option.
  • You can browse through thousands of used cars for sale.
  • If you’re knowledgeable about cars, you could find a good deal.

Cons

  • Craigslist doesn’t vet any of the vehicles.
  • Unlike Facebook Messenger, you have no idea who you’re buying from.
  • If you aren’t knowledgeable about cars, you could get taken advantage of.

8. Bring A Trailer

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Are you looking to purchase a vintage car or motorcycle? Then Bring A Trailer might be a good option for you. The website operates as an online auction space for rare and classic cars.

Sellers submit their vehicles to be posted on the company’s website. Bring a Trailer vets every single car that is posted online. And then, buyers can bid on the car they are hoping to purchase.

The auction lasts for seven days before closing. Once it’s over, you’ll finalize the sale of the car with the seller, not Bring A Trailer.

Pros

  • A good place to find rare and vintage cars.
  • Every car is vetted thoroughly.
  • Not all cars are accepted for auction, so you know that you only see the best options.

Cons

  • There are no “buy now” pricing options.
  • Car prices are often high, so it’s not ideal for bargain shoppers.

9. Authority Auto

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Are you looking to buy a car from a dealership, but hate negotiating on price? Then Authority Auto could be a great option for you. You simply let the company know what you want, and they consult with multiple dealerships to find you the best deal on a new car.

Authority Auto will allow you to be as hands-off as you would like. The company will review the final contract and even deliver the car to your home once the deal is finalized.

Pros

  • A simple, hands-off way to buy a car online.
  • The company doesn’t take commissions from car dealers, so the process is unbiased.
  • Authority Auto will find the right car for you, which will save you a lot of time.

Cons

  • Any money you save on the vehicle purchase will likely be paid to Authority Auto in commissions.

10. AutoTempest

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Instead of browsing through 10 different auto websites looking for the best deal, why not try AutoTempest? The site pulls listing from major auto sites, including Carvana, CarsDirect, AutoTrader, and more.

AutoTempest provides tons of different options when it comes to car buying. You can find local options, new cars, used cars, and choose whether you want to buy from a dealership or an individual.

Pros

  • A one-stop shop for car listings.
  • Each search result provides detailed information about the vehicle.
  • You’ll receive a free guide on negotiating the price.

Cons

  • The site pulls from a bunch of different sites, so there’s no consistent standard for the information provided.

Tips for Buying a Car Online

If you’re looking to bypass the high-pressure sales tactics of a traditional car dealership and buy a car online, there are some things you should know. It’s important to understand these tips so you can find the best car deals when car shopping online.

1. Set a Budget

The first step is to determine how much you can afford to spend on a new car. Set your budget and stick to it. Don’t forget to include fuel, car insurance, down payment and other factors that contribute to purchase price and monthly payment of a car loan.

Your budget should also consider the interest rate you’re given and the interest you will pay since it has the biggest influence on your monthly payment and the overall cost. The higher your credit scores, the more competitive interest rates you’ll be offered.

2. Get Preapproved for a Loan

To get the best deal on a car loan, research your options and get preapproved by a lender before you start the online car shopping process. You don’t want to find the perfect car online, only to find out that you can’t get a loan for it. So, get preapproved. You can also use the preapproval as leverage when negotiating a deal.

3. Begin Your Research

Browse through some of the sites listed above and take the time to learn about the features they offer. Bookmark the sites you like the best.

Then, it’s time to start finding out as much as possible about the make, model, and options of that cars that you’re considering. From there, you can start to narrow down the cars that meet your goals and fit your price range.

Once you find the car you want, you can start comparing prices.

4. Consider a Test-Drive

After you’ve found the car you want to buy, if it’s possible, schedule a test-drive. Even if it’s not the exact car that you will be buying, visit a local dealership to test-drive one that is similar, so you’re certain that it’s the right car for you.

5. Get a Vehicle History Report

When it comes to vehicle history reports, CARFAX is the standard. A CARFAX report will tell you how many owners the car has had and how many accidents the car has been in. Most dealerships offer these reports for free. However, if you’re dealing with a private seller, if they don’t have the CARFAX report, you may have to purchase the report for yourself.

6. Negotiate the Price

You’re ready to negotiate the price of the car. Always remember that you are in control, and if you don’t get the price you want, you can take your business elsewhere.

7. Sign and Drive

Once you’ve found the best deal, you’ll need to finalize the bill of sale, and sign any required financing paperwork. Then, you can pick up the keys and drive away in your new vehicle.

Remember to review the final contract carefully. Check all the numbers and ask for explanations of anything that looks questionable. You may also want to consider having a mechanic check the car over before you finalize the deal.

Jamie Johnson
Meet the author

Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who has been featured in publications like InvestorPlace and GOBankingRates. She writes about various personal finance topics including student loans, credit cards, investing, building credit, and more.