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I have been shopping for cars ever since I was an early teenager. I got my first car from a family member for $125 in labor, and have been shopping ever since.
Over the years, I have found some really great places to buy and sell cars, and that is what I have compiled in this list. This may not be all of them, but these are the places I have found good success, but also just good platforms as well.
The first, and easiest way to shop for a car is by shopping online. Most of these platforms compile tons of different vehicles in one place. Some of them are better for finding dealer’s inventories, while others cater more heavily to the private market.
Please Note: Always stay safe when buying a car. You should always look at private vehicles in a safe place, and take all needed precautions.
If you have spent much time shopping for cars lately, AutoTempest has likely shown up! It basically is a platform that brings together all of the cars from tons of different websites.
This includes Autotrader, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Bring A Trailer and more. I have found it isn’t too great for private parties, but does a great job of bringing together dealer’s inventories into one place.
It also is awesome for allowing you to find vehicles all over the USA, as you can filter it considerably higher than the competitors.
If you are looking for an extremely specific vehicle, with specific features, its going to be your best bet as well.
This company has been around for a really long time, and offers a great deal of vehicles for sale.
It is best I have found for finding dealer’s inventories, but not so great at private party sales.
3. Cars & Bids
This is a relatively new site that caters specifically to enthusiast cars! Of course that is a rather wide range of cars from rare, to cool, to just fun, or one-off vehicles.
Its engaging auction style buying process allows for your to bid until the last minute.
No list would be complete without the good ole’ CraigList.
You can easily find hundreds of cars, trucks and SUVs on this extremely simple platform.
I have spent years watching cars go up, and be sold on this platform and I’m sure you can find something.
Recently, CraigsList did add a $5 fee to sell your car on it, which unfortunately has caused the amount of listings to drop.
5. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook is a part of everything now isn’t it! However they have actually done a great job at helping you buy and sell a car on their platform.
You can easily filter out what you don’t want, and find the cars that you do want. Its build in messaging makes it easy to contact people and begin the process of negotiating the best deal possible.
6. Local websites
Of course, there are local websites that are likely in your area that will allow you to be able to buy and sell cars. The easiest way to find this is by searching something like “cars for sale near me” to find some local car listings.
Another easy way to find this, would be to visit listings on your local newspaper’s website.
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7. Side of the road
Now most of the options above are going to result in purchasing either from a private owner or a dealership, depending on the listing you find. However I have found you can actually get some of the best prices by finding cars for sale on the side of the road.
I’m sure you have seen it, that unofficial parking lot at a corner of main street where you see 5 different cars for sale. A lot of times you will actually find some great vehicles for a great price.
Drop by the vehicles, and call the number on the “For Sale” sign to start talking about the price you can buy the vehicle for.
8. Used Car Dealerships
Used car dealerships have gotten a bad reputation over time as being somewhere where you get a badly priced vehicle that is about to break down on you the moment you drive off the lot.
However if you are smart, you can actually get a great deal at a used car dealership.
Most of these businesses get their vehicles from auction, do basic maintenance and then resell them for a profit.
Because of this, I would treat them just like a private seller, and do your research on the vehicle, and even ask if you can have a 3rd party mechanic check the vehicle.
9. New Car Dealerships
This is by far, the most expensive way to buy a vehicle. However it is also by far the easiest method as well.
New car dealerships generally have all of their vehicles gone through and fixed to the best they can, and if they can’t fix them, they generally will just wholesale them via auction.
Generally you can trust the quality of the vehicles they have on the lot, and even more so if it is a certified pre-owned, or even a new vehicle.
Of course, there are always the lemons, but at least you have a physical business you can hold accountable if something goes wrong.
Regardless of where you buy a car, make sure to keep in mind that when you buy a used vehicle, anything after purchase is probably going to be on you, so make sure to do your due diligence in buying the right car for you.
These 9 different ways are some of the top ways to get into your next vehicle! I hope they have helped you find some ways to get a better car, for a better price.