Move over eBay. There's a new online auction marketplace in town, and it's taking the automobile sector by storm.

We are, of course, talking about Cars & Bids, the platform making waves amongst car enthusiasts for its wide selection of epic vehicles that are all being bid upon by thousands of dedicated community members. Although relatively new to the scene, the platform is shaping up to be the dominant website for buying and selling cars across the internet.

But why would anyone who has had success elsewhere move their new listings to Cars & Bids? What advantages does this platform have over the competition? How does it all work? These questions and many more are answered below in our in-depth review of Cars & Bids. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the platform.

Cars and Bids: Overview

At its surface, Cars & Bids is an online platform for buying and selling vehicles through the auction system, where interested buyers bid on a seller's vehicle until the auction closes and the highest bidder is found. Then the buyer ships the car to their driveway and enjoys their new ride..

But underneath the transactions exists a vast community of car enthusiasts that are having fun talking about, and fighting over, cool cars.

This community aspect arose in part from the niche in which Cars & Bids places itself: The Modern Enthusiast Car. These vehicles, manufactured anywhere between the 1980s, 2000s, and beyond, had been an underserved market in the online car auction space. That is until an influential figure in the auto industry decided to take advantage of it.

Star Power

Doug DeMuro is a famous automotive reviewer who has worked for top publications like Jalopnik and AutoTrader, and who has built a Youtube channel of over 4 million subscribers by talking about the interesting oddities of cool vehicles.

Deciding that the market for modern cars was ripe, he launched Cars & Bids in 2020. The first car ever listed and sold on the website was his own, a 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG Wagon, and he would go on to sell and review other vehicles on the thriving platform.

Cars & Bids was not without competition though. Another platform for buying and selling modern cars, Bring A Trailer was already established by the launch of Cars & Bids. To this day they remain their largest competitor but are losing ground against Cars & Bids due to having a comparatively unfavorable seller environment.

What They Offer

Cars & Bids aims to simplify both the buying and selling process so that anyone could use the platform effectively. Buyers pay one simple fee to the platform once they place a bid, and are provided all the information they need on a vehicle upfront so that they don't have to hunt for it themselves.

Sellers' listing fees are just as simple, and the process for submitting cars for the platform has been streamlined such that only crucial details are asked for by the Car's & Bids team. That way, anyone who desires to sell their car on the platform can do so quickly and easily.

Here is a quick list of the advantages Cars & Bids offers to its users:

  • Accessible & User Friendly
  • Streamlined Process
  • Chance of your vehicle being reviewed by Doug Demuro
  • Vibrant Community of like-minded Individuals
  • Low & Minimal Fees

How Cars and Bids Buying Process Works:

The first step in the Cars & Bids buying process is to browse the website and find a car that you want to purchase. There are thousands of listings for all kinds of modern cars available on the site every day, so you will have no trouble finding something to your liking.

Once you've found a car you'd like to bid on, the next step is to register a valid phone number and credit card with Cars & Bids. It's important to note here that a 4.5% buyer's fee paid to Cars & Bids is added on top of all winning bid amounts. Factor this cost into your budget before bidding.

Do Your Homework

Before deciding to bid on any vehicle, review the listing as well as you can. The seller will have provided photos, information about the vehicle's history and maintenance, and other useful information for you to review before placing your bid. It's also highly recommended that you arrange a vehicle inspection with the seller to ensure the car is up to standard.

The seller should also be available for any questions or concerns you may have about the vehicle. Cars & Bids is a vibrant community known for being full of happy car guys, so they'll be happy to talk to you about the car anytime.

Make Arrangements

Arranging logistics is a must for an easy, smooth transaction between you and the seller. Luckily, Cars & Bids helps make it easy through their recommendations of shipping services that offer free quotes. If instead, you prefer to pick up the vehicle yourself, talk with the seller to arrange it.

Vehicles sold on Cars & Bids are also able to be financed instead of purchased outright. If this is the route you intend to take, be sure that your financing is approved by your lender for the specific vehicle ahead of time. Problems with financing after winning the auction will only cause issues for all parties.

Time for Battle

Once you've found a car you're interested in, done your research, and arranged everything, it's time to place your bid. But before you do, there are three things to keep in mind:

  • The moment you bid, a hold for the buyer's fee will be placed on your credit card
  • Bids are legally binding. If you win, there is no going back and no refunds
  • Any bids placed in the final minute resets the clock by one minute

If you're still ready to move forward after understanding those rules, then place your bid.

The common way to win an online car auction is to simply have the highest bid by the end of the auction. Cars and Bids, however, gives its sellers the option to set a hidden reserve price threshold that must be achieved for any bid to win. If you win, you'll be connected to the seller to finalize the transaction.

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How Cars and Bids Selling Process Works:

Much like the buying process, Cars and Bids streamline and simplifies the selling process. Being a seller on this platform is heaven compared to other online car auction websites, as the founders behind the platform know that their business model hinges on a seller-oriented community.

Submitting your car to be considered for listing on the platform is completely free. Cars & Bids will ask for details about the car, photos, and some follow-up questions about the vehicle if need be. They will also ask you for and suggest a reserve, or minimum price that you would sell your vehicle for.


After your submission clears the initial screening, the Cars & Bids team will ask for and verify additional information about you and the vehicle. This information includes things like:

  • Ownership History
  • Title Transfer Process
  • Platform Exclusivity

The final step in this process is to pay a small listing fee of $49, or $89 for first-time sellers with a reserve.

Once you've paid the listing fee, had all necessary information verified by the Cars & Bids team, and provided enough quality photos of your car, you will be presented with a draft of your future listing that you can approve. If you decide to go through, then congratulations. You're going to auction a vehicle online.


However, your work does not stop there. Cars and Bids is a community, not just a used car site. Sellers are expected to be present throughout their auctions, answering any questions people may have about the car and contributing to the discussion. This participation is fun for everyone and will drive additional interest and higher bids to your listing.

When the timer winds down and the highest bidder is found, your auction will be complete. At this time, Cars & Bids will connect you and the winner to finalize details about the transaction. And in the case that you had a reserve price that was not met, the team will work with you and the buyer to negotiate a favorable deal for everyone.

Post Auction

Anyone that buys a car through Cars and Bids must pay the full amount within a week of the auction closing. So you need not worry about hunting down fickle buyers. To make the process easier, the platform recommends that a bill of sale be created and signed by both parties that describes all the transaction details, and that payment happens by wire transfer or cashier's check.

Only when you've received your payment in full and without issue should you hand over the title. Prior arrangements for pick up or shipping of the vehicle will likely have been set between you and the buyer, but if not, now is the time to iron that out. Once you are paid and the vehicle leaves your possession, the sale is complete.

Our Thoughts

Ultimately, there is a reason why so many people deem Cars & Bids as the best online car auction website: Everything from the buying process to the selling process is short, simple, and sweet. Anyone can truly use the platform to meet their needs without hassle.

That being said, the platform is not for everyone. If you prefer cars of an older generation, pre-1980, then you'll be out of luck here. Also, anyone looking to find a great car with a budget of less than $15,000 might find better results on other platforms.

The Face Of Cars & Bids

In terms of its famous founder, Doug does a great job of lending his credibility and automobile expertise to the Cars & Bids brand. Without him at the head, the platform would not be nearly as successful as it is either in terms of revenue or community.

But when it comes down to actual listings and transactions, Doug's influence is minimal at best. Reviews of listings are few and far between, and cars that are reviewed would likely have done well in an auction with or without Doug's help.

While personal help from Doug may not be all that useful, the assistance and recommendations from the platform are. Whether you are the buyer or seller, the team behind Cars & Bids walks you through the entire process. Nothing is left unclear, and they are always there for you if you need it.

Use At Your Discretion

However, the responsibility for ensuring a safe and fruitful transaction always falls to the user. If as a seller, you place a reserve price that massively over-values your vehicle such that no one wants it, that's on you. And if you're a buyer who bids on a car without doing your homework, and end up winning a car you don't want, that's on you too.

Alternatives to Cars and Bids like Bring A Trailer, eBay, or other online auction marketplaces are available if you are unsure if the platform is right for you. The danger though, is that you would lose out on the advantages that Cars and Bids offers by being a dedicated car marketplace made by a passionate car guy (see advantages above).

And above all else, you would use out on the one thing which sets Cars and Bids apart from the rest: The Community. After all, the only thing better to a car guy than geeking out over an awesome whip is geeking out about that car with someone who loves cars just as much as they do.

Ready For Your First Online Car Auction? Here's What's Next...

Buying or selling in an online car auction can be a tough process. At times, it can feel overwhelming with all the things you have to keep track of, whether it be transferring titles, managing listings, or even just contacting people about the vehicle. And if you're not careful, the stress can cause deals to fall through. Or even worse, cause bad deals to go through.

Why not make things easier for yourself? Use our service to take care of transporting your vehicle wherever it needs to go and gain a bit more peace of mind during your auction experience.

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