Used car sales in 2020 was the highest it has been in a ten year period at 39.3 million cars, according to a report by Statista. Although buying a used car may seem like a daunting task, it could save a pretty penny for consumers.
With quite a few used car lots, it may be tough to know who to trust and what steps you need to take to get the value you’re seeking.
In a recent comparison of the best used car websites by Investopedia, Autotrader ranked the best overall for 2022.
Besides its massive inventory across the nation, the ease and excellent organization of the website itself attracts countless sellers and buyers.
For other reasons as well, Autotrader is trusted by consumers. Let’s take a closer look at why and how they run their business.
Is Autotrader a Good Way to Buy a Car?
Considering it is highly rated by consumers, Autotrader seems to be a good way to buy a used car.
The business was born in 1997 as an online space to look for cars, both used and new.
It is an industry leader in that it was the first site that offered inventory across the country.
What Consumers Like Most About Autotrader
There are several features that make Autotrader a favorite. In order to be a successful online platform, it is important to cater to both highly-technical users and less technical users.
Autotrader has a website that is easy to use yet still has features that impress the tech-savvy consumers.
One thing people like the most about Autotrader is the search function. You can search for the most specific vehicle.
For example you could search Autotrader classic used cars or Autotrader used SUVs sale and narrow your search down to the smallest detail you want in the car.
It creates a user-friendly experience that gives people the results they want without hours of scrolling through vehicles they don’t want.
In addition to its precise advanced search features, Autotrader has one of the largest inventories. It currently has millions of vehicles for sale across the country.
With thousands of new listings every month, consumers searching for specific vehicles can scan through fresh finds each week.
If you don’t want to be overwhelmed by a nationwide search, you can designate areas, such as Autotrader Charlotte NC, to customize the search to your surrounding area.
Those two factors in combination with top-notch, detailed photos of vehicles, customers feel confident searching for vehicles on the site.
How do I Trade in My Car For Cash on Autotrader?
If you’re looking to use Autotrader as your platform for selling your car, there are a couple ways to do it. One way is to trade your car in to Autotrader for cash and let them handle selling it. The website makes it easy and straight-forward.
First you’ll give Autotrader all the details about your vehicle. They’ll want to know the VIN (vehicle identification number usually located on the dashboard just under the windshield) so they can identify the status of registration and insurance.
In addition, they’ll need to know any accidents it was in, any upgrades it has, and colors and materials of the exterior and interior of the vehicle.
After they’ve collected all that information, Autotrader will use Kelley Blue Book Value to determine the value of your vehicle. You can decide to accept or decline the offer and move forward with your decision.
If you’ve accepted the cash offer, Autotrader will send you the information of dealerships that they partner with. The list will include dealerships that are close to your location and can accept a used vehicle on their lot.
You’ll then choose a dealership. At the dealership, you’ll have to verify all the information you gave Autotrader so they can ensure it is the same vehicle. You’ll also give the dealership all the papers on the car including registration and title.
After all is verified and documents signed, you will be paid cash for your car. It takes a little bit of time, but much less time then going in person to a dealership. You’ll find the process is easy and worth it.
How Does Autotrader’s Trade-In Marketplace Work?
In addition to cash offers for your vehicle, Autotrader also features a trade-in marketplace. The process is very similar to the process of getting cash for your car.
You’ll offer all the details on the vehicle, Autotrader will assess the value through KBB and then offer you a price. In turn, you’ll use the cash offer to put towards a vehicle on Autotrader you would like to buy.
The system is streamlined to give clients a stress-free approach to swapping their vehicles.
How does the Autotrader Calculator Work?
When you are looking to buy a vehicle on Autotrader, one of the best features on the site is the calculator.
Whether you are trading in a car, working with a down payment, or want a zero-down loan, the calculator can give you exact numbers on the cost of the vehicle you want to buy.
If you are a budgeter, you can plug this number right into your monthly budget planner to figure out if it’ll work within your limits.
Check Out: Monthly Budget Planner Worksheet – Why You Need to Start Budgeting Today
The Autotrader calculator has seven areas for you to fill out:
- Car price
- Interest Rate
- Loan Term (months)
- Sales Tax Rate
- Down Payment
- Trade-in Value (if applicable)
- Amount Owed on Trade (if applicable)
Once you’ve filled out all applicable information, the site will generate a monthly payment estimate.
You can adjust the loan term length to determine what monthly payment will work best in your budget and you can decide if the vehicle is something you can afford.
The calculator also has a second tab titled “Affordability”. This allows you to enter the dollar amounts in the above sections that you want to see for your purchase.
If you have a number in mind for monthly payment, this will produce a price range for vehicles that you can afford.
To make it even more straight-forward, the site has a search feature that allows you to look at vehicles within your budget.
This is helpful for those who may have a tendency to go big and bust their budget. If you use that search feature, you won’t be tempted by vehicles that are too expensive for you.
Suggested for use along with the calculator:
Car Buying Budget and Milestones | Printable
Ready Made Checklist | Buying Used Car Checklist
Car Buying Budget Planner Bundle
In Conclusion: Online Autotrader is For Everyone
Whether you want to scan Autotrader used SUVs, Autotrader motorcycles, Autotrader used cars or even Autotrader classic used cars, there is something for every interest.
The site is user-friendly and geared towards creating a simple process for selling and buying vehicles of all types.
Don’t let the online process intimidate you when looking for a vehicle or looking to sell a vehicle. After your experience with Autotrader, you may never go through a traditional dealership process again.
Have you bought or sold a car using Autotrader? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below.