Technology has drastically changed how we research, shop, and buy cars. Whether you’re buying brand new or new-to-you, some online car tools are better than others. Here are the best car buying sites (& apps!) to use when shopping for a new car.
Kelly Blue Book
Kelly Blue Book is the gold standard to consult when you’re buying a car. Be sure to compare the list price of a vehicle against the Blue Book value.
When it comes to their website vs their mobile app, each is useful in its own way. The app is easy to use, focusing on car reviews and pricing for specific models. It can also help you locate nearby dealerships. However, you’ll still have to visit the Kelly Blue Book website if you want access to the full range of car buying tools.
Similar to Kelly Blue Book, CarFax is quickly establishing itself as another standard unit of measurement for car buyers. If you’re buying a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealership, they should offer a CarFax Report.
The CarFax app can also help you find helpful information even without a report. You can scan the VIN or license plate to find information such as previous accidents, number of owners, and more.
In addition their inventory of over 40,000 cars for sale, CarMax offers the added benefit of upfront pricing. They assume you’re going to do your research with the tools on this list before you buy and they want to offer haggle-free prices for stress-free car shopping.
As far as the app goes, you can search CarMax dealerships, compare vehicles, receive notifications if a price does drop, and access free vehicle history reports.
Can’t choose which app or website you want to go with? No problem. Autolist pulls from thousands of used car listings across a variety of websites, apps, and other local listings. It offers a “Buyer Intelligence” tool to compare a car with others in your area, evaluate the vehicle’s pricing history, and receive notifications when a price changes.
TrueCar breaks down your car search based on what other users have paid for the same make and model. They connect with over 13,000 certified TrueCar dealers to offer exclusive incentives for their users as well.
AutoTrader searches new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, allowing you to connect directly with dealerships and private sellers. You can also read reviews and access a vehicle history report.