12 Best Websites to Sell a Car to Maximize Your Profit

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George Arkin
George Arkin is an experienced writer focusing on online car auctions and the full car transportation process.
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The coronavirus pandemic changed just about everything in 2020, and the used car market was no exception. During this time, used car sales soared all over the U.S., as people were more sensitive to the cost of buying new cars and also looking to avoid mass transportation.

There are a million different reasons you might be thinking about selling your car, whether you’re ready to trade it in for a newer model or if you’re looking to start driving a more eco-friendly option.

Nowadays, you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to how to sell a car. Gone are the days of putting an advertisement in the classified section of the newspaper!

What are the best online car selling sites? Let’s take a look at 12 of the most popular places to sell your car online.

1. AutoTrader

There are a number of reasons that AutoTrader is popular with both buyers and sellers. For buyers, the advanced search tools make it simple to find what you’re looking for. For sellers, some of the listing package options come with a money-back guarantee, meaning that if you don’t make a sale, you won’t be charged.

Another thing that makes AutoTrader one of the best websites to sell a car is that you have the option of selling it to a dealership or even getting an instant cash offer. This can be useful if you’re more concerned with selling your vehicle fast than squeezing as much profit out of it as possible.

2. eBay Motors

Not that long ago, most people you run into would find the idea of buying or selling a car on eBay pretty appalling. These days, however, it’s become incredibly normalized to do so.

Are you trying to sell your car locally? If you are, eBay Motors is one of the reasonable options on the table. It can also be a good platform to use if you’re already familiar with how to go about selling things on eBay.

It’s simple and easy to set up online car sales listings on eBay Motors. When you’re making a local listing, there isn’t any fee. If you’re planning on listing your vehicle nationally, it’ll cost somewhere between $60 and $125. Learn about how transport works for selling cars on EBay here.

One of the downsides to using eBay Motors is that the bids aren’t binding. Basically, this means that the buyer who won the bid on your car can back out at any time, for any reason.

3. Craigslist

When you think about how to sell a car online, Craigslist might be one of your first thoughts. Craigslist has been around for just about forever, initially starting as an email distribution list in 1995. It’s come along way since then, with listing sites in 70 different countries.

If you’re looking for one of the best websites to sell a car locally, Craiglist is an obvious option. This is a great way to create a listing rich with photos in order to create the outcome of a low-to-no-stress sale. When you’re selling locally, you don’t have to worry about coordinating the logistics of car transport and payment.

However, Craigslist doesn’t give you a national audience the way some of these other online car sales websites do. That means that it might take longer to sell your car, depending on the make and model as well as your location.

Location has a lot to do with how long it will take to sell your car locally, as well as the demand for the vehicle.

Where occasionally some fears pop up in the general psyche about how safe it is to meet strangers online to sell items, particularly when they involve large amounts of cash, there are ways to help make sure you’re as safe as possible.

When engaging in a Craigslist interaction, plan out your meeting place in advance. Pick a public location and bring a friend with you. In some areas, police stations actually encourage people to meet in their parking lots so that everyone involved feels safe and protected.

(Are you buying a new car? Learn everything you should know about depreciation here.)

4. Cars.com

If you’re looking for the best way to sell a car online, check out Cars.com. This site is still considered to be basically the gold standard when it comes to auto sales online. The reason for this is because their listings are so widely syndicated that their inventory is humongous.

When you’re going to sell your car online through this website, you have both free and paid options for listing. You listing then might be syndicated on one of their other websites, which include NewCars.com, PickupTrucks.com, and Auto.com. ON top of that, it can get listed on their affiliate sites.

Through this site, you also have the option to sell your car quickly to a dealer. If time is more important than money to you, this is a reasonable option.

One of the downsides, though, is that the huge inventory means that there’s more competition and it’s harder to make your vehicle stand out. Unless you’re selling a model that’s in high demand or you have to-die-for photos of your vehicle, you might find that it’s hard to get your vehicle the attention you feel it deserves.

5. Hemmings

Looking for car selling sites that specialize in collectible and classic cars? Hemmings is the spot for you.

Hemmings is one of the most popular sites for classic car enthusiasts. When you make a listing, it has the potential to reach millions of prospective buyers. This site is a bit different from the others, in a good way, because the people who visit are super into cars and therefore know exactly what they’re looking for.

When you sell a classic or collectible car through this site, you’ll be dealing with a person who understands the car and how it needs to be transported. This can be a weight off compared to some of the annoying potential interactions with people who are buying a car they know nothing about for practical reasons.

6. CarGurus

On CarGurus, it’s free to make your vehicle listing. However, if you’re successful in selling your car on the site, you’ll be charged a flat rate of $99. That means that it doesn’t matter if you sell your car for $500 or $50,000, you’ll be out $100 on the deal.

On this site, there are somewhere around 20 million buyers per month. One of the reasons that this site is popular with buyers is because every listing is assigned a “deal rating.” Basically, each listing states whether this is a “great deal” or “overpriced.”

As you can imagine, this is a very helpful feature for buyers but a disincentivizing one for sellers. If you know how much your car is worth and you’re not willing to budge, you might find CarGurus to be a frustrating place to sell your car online. It’s possible you’ll find that one of these other sites will be more suitable for properly marketing your vehicle.

7. Facebook Marketplace

When you first start thinking about how to sell your car online, Facebook Marketplace might be one of the first things that pops into your mind. If your plan is to sell your vehicle locally, then listing it on Facebook Marketplace is a pretty reasonable place to start.

One of the best things about Facebook Marketplace is that pretty much everyone in your community, or at least a big proportion of them, is already on Facebook. In fact, as of 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that 69% of American adults say they use Facebook.

Making an ad on Facebook Marketplace is also very easy. If you already have a Facebook account, you’re basically halfway there.

It’s free to list on this site which is great. You also have the opportunity to look at the profile of your potential buyer to get a sense of whether or not they seem legit and whether you’d be comfortable meeting them for a test drive.

With lots of these online marketplaces, though, it’s worth knowing that there are quite a few flakes out there. Anyone who’s ever sold something on Craigslist or even given something away for free has probably dealt with their fair share of no-call no-shows.

8. TrueCar

TrueCar has traditionally been a site for buyers. Filled with information analyzing comprehensive and timely pricing information from a variety of dealers and then publishing it in an easy-to-digest format, their mission is to make the buying process more transparent.

With all of this available information, it creates a scenario where buyers can approach TrueCar Certified Dealers with certainty and confidence.

This is also a great resource for sellers as well, though. However, this is one of the car selling sites that is best used by people whose biggest priority is selling their car fast.

On this site, you can get a True Cash Offer which is a very easy process. You’ll get an offer right on the site and you can then go to a Certified Dealer in order to cash out.

9. Carvana

This is a site where you can sell cars and trucks fast and not have to deal with the delivery or transport. This is basically a site where buyers can buy a vehicle that is then delivered right to them. If you’re just trying to get rid of your car in the most convenient way possible and quickly, this might be an option that suits your needs.

10. Vroom

Where is the best place to sell your car? Well, as you’ve probably figured out at this point, that depends on what is most important to you.

If you’re looking to squeeze out the highest dollar amount for your vehicle, places like Carvana and Vroom probably aren’t your best bet. However, if you value convenience and speed in this process, these sites might be just what the doctor ordered.

On this site, you can enter information about your car and receive an offer in 30 minutes or less. If you choose to accept the offer they make, they’ll come to pick up your vehicle and direct deposit the payment right into your bank account.

11. CarMax

CarMax will give you an offer for your vehicle online, but you need to go to one of their stores for an in-person appraisal in order to complete the sale. Just like with Vroom and Carvana, you’re not going to get quite as much for your vehicle as you might selling through other means. This is because they are buying your car to sell it again, and you are presumably accepting a lower price for the convenience and time-savings.

12. Bring-A-Trailer

If you’re an auto enthusiast and you’re looking for the best place to sell a car to like-minded people, check out Bring-A-Trailer. This site is full of a wide range of vehicles, from rare antiques to souped-up sports cars. It costs $99 to make a listing, but other than that buyers pay most of the fees on this auction site.

If your vehicle is vintage, this is one of the best sites to sell your car. This is because the website gets a lot of high-quality traffic, meaning that the people who go there are often actively looking to buy.

Should You Sell a Car When You Move or Ship a Car?

When it comes time to sell a car, there isn’t one set answer that makes sense for everyone when deciding which website to use. If you’re looking to make as much money as possible, you’ll likely want to use one of the sites that receives national traffic and where you deal with the transaction yourself. If you’re more interested in selling the car and moving on with your life, there are a number of options where you can keep the process as quick and simple as possible.

Are you choosing between selling your car and taking your car with you on a long-distance move? If so, it might make more sense to ship your car than to sell it and buy a new one in your next location.

Curious about the cost of shipping your car? You can get a free quote here!

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