The process of buying or selling a used car has gone through significant changes over the years. It is safe to say that gone are the days of buying a car off the side of the road with a simple sign that says ” used car for sale .” Gone are the days of spending days, or weeks of valuable time and energy driving from dealer to dealer with the hope of finding something you ‘might’ be interested in buying. Thankfully, with technology, every aspect of a car transaction can be handled from almost anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Here are a few of the most popular websites for buying and selling used cars.
TrueCar prides itself on making sure consumers know the actual price they will pay for the vehicle they’re considering when they arrive at their dealership of choice. TrueCar works with over 12,000 Certified Dealerships around the country. You’re able to see what people are paying across the country, across town, or around the corner.
For any car you’re considering, TrueCar provides the exact price, which includes all fees, accessory costs, and incentives upfront. TrueCar has partnerships with a number of prominent companies, including American Express, Sam’s Club, USAA, U.S. News & World Report, and Allstate.
Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book has been providing consumers with information pertinent to the auto industry, and the car-buying process for more than 90 years. The company brags about “writing the book on car values” on its website. And indeed, KBB provides extensive information relevant to the car-buying process.
The Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price helps consumers determine what they should pay for a vehicle.
The Kelley Blue Book Fair Market Range takes several factors into consideration, including consumers’ preferred features, as well as options, market conditions, real-time transaction data, and industry knowledge. Analyzing this data enables KBB to provide consumers with the projected price of their ideal vehicle in their area during the week in which they are conducting their used-car search.
The Kelley Blue Book Typical Listing Price gives consumers an idea of what prices they can expect from their dealership of choice.
The Kelley Blue Book Private Party Value is typically lower than the KBB Fair Purchase Price. Since the seller is a private party rather than a dealership, dealership-related costs do not factor into the transaction. The KBB Private Party Value provides consumers with the information necessary to begin negotiating a purchase price.
The RelayCars tagline, “the new way to experience cars” sums up its vision of using cutting-edge technology in providing consumer information. RelayCars has integrated virtual reality into the car-buying process.
Once consumers have decided on basic information, such as year, make, and model, they can enter the VR library and engage in a virtual, 360-degree, 3D experience with that specific car. Additionally, consumers can further customize their experience by selecting options such as American Muscle, Virtual Showroom, and Virtual Test Ride. As the name implies, the Virtual Test Ride allows drivers to experience a virtual test drive in a specific location. You can take a drive in the mountains, along the coast, or around your local city.
RelayCars’ latest technology, RelayCars 7, affords consumers even more state-of-the-art VR experiences with prospective vehicles. Consumers will now be able to change the paint color of their prospective vehicle. The virtual paint color is designed to the exact specifications of the car’s actual paint color. Consumers will also have access to a Featured Vehicle Showroom that’s comprised of what the company deems “new and exciting” vehicles. The inventory is provided on a rotational basis, giving consumers a look at a variety of makes and models.
The RelayCars technology is available for iOS, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard for Android, and Microsoft SR. For consumers who do not have access to or do not prefer using a headset, they can access the VR technology via the Magic Window view, which is available in the iOS and Android app stores.
Vroom provides consumers with access to a 3,000-plus inventory made up of more than 400 different makes and models. Each vehicle undergoes an in-depth inspection and reconditioning process. Additionally, Vroom provides free vehicle-history reports and a complimentary 90-day or 6,000-mile warranty. Vroom also provides a 7-day or 250-mile money-back guarantee. However, the most unique guarantee Vroom offers is the convenience of having your vehicle shipped to your home or a convenient nearby location. Now that’s ultimate convenience.
Carvana has created a five-step process when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.
First, every vehicle undergoes a 150-point inspection for certification purposes. Carvana prides itself on being honest and transparent with consumers upfront regarding the vehicle’s condition, including whether the vehicle is subject to any open safety recalls.
The next step gives consumers the opportunity to take a 360-degree view of the vehicle, both inside and outside. The view hones in on vehicle highlights and any existing imperfections.
The third step of Cavana’s car-buying process focuses on the financial aspect. Consumers are able to select the best down-payment and monthly-payment options. If you need or want to trade in a vehicle, Carvana touts a two-minute assessment process. The fourth step is when consumers decide if they would like to pick up their vehicle or have it delivered.
Carvana can deliver your vehicle to your home, or you can pick it up at a Vehicle Vending Machine. Yes, you read that correctly. Carvana has vending machines for cars. It is worth visiting the company website to see the process. It’s the same technology that delivers candy, cookies, and potato chips at your office. The difference is these vending machines allow you to select from real vehicles.
The final step of your car-buying process is actually a Carvana guarantee. You have a seven-day, money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase.
Cars.com brings the relationship between the buyer and the seller to the forefront of the car-buying process.
Founded in 1998, Cars.com was one of the first sites to offer digital ads. From then to now, Cars.com has developed a four-prong approach to car buying that focuses on the 4Ps, which are product, price, place, and person. In addition to providing consumers with information pertinent to the car-buying process to make an informed decision, Cars.com also puts consumers in touch with local dealerships to complete the process.
Cars.com has expanded its family of companies to also include DealerRater, DealerInspire, PickupTrucks.com, and NewCars.com.
CarMax affords customers the ability to handle used-car transactions totally online, in-person, or a combination of both. The company wants every customer to have a personable experience that is respectful and transparent.
Consumers can save online search features and set up alerts to receive specific information regarding a vehicle when that information is made available. If consumers select a vehicle, but they are not able to immediately visit a CarMax location to gather additional information or take a test drive, they can place a hold on the vehicle and set up an appointment online or in-person to complete the process at a convenient time. CarMax states financing is usually a 20-minute process.
Every CarMax vehicle comes with a five-day, money-back guarantee, and a 30-, 60-, or 90-day warranty depending on the state you reside in.
Each of the previously discussed websites brings its own unique perspective to buying used cars. However, collectively, they share a common goal. Each website is designed to streamline the car-buying process and allow customers to gather information wherever they are most comfortable, thanks to technology. So when it’s time to purchase your next used car, save time and gas. Check out one or all of these sites to determine the best path to obtaining your dream vehicle.