Best Used Car Websites 2021
We’re counting down our favourite Used Car Websites in the UK
The recent pandemic, and the overall trend of things moving online, is leading to a change in our shopping habits. Beyond just clothes and shoes, we’re now able to buy almost anything from our phones or laptops, and that includes used cars.
While it might seem a bit odd to buy a vehicle online (after all, aren’t dealerships and test drives involved?), it’s actually something you can do very easily.
If buying a used car online has you wondering where exactly to start, don’t worry – we’re listing the best-used car websites and marketplaces where you can find your next motor. We’ll cover the top used car buying sites here in the UK as well as the likes of Facebook and eBay seeing as there’s a lot of used-car buying activity happening on these platforms.
Known for: extensive stock
If there’s one company that dominates the used car space, it’s Autotrader. With decades of reputation on its side and the UK’s most extensive catalogue of used car classifieds, Autotrader’s main USP is that it really is the largest and most visited vehicle buying site in the UK.
The reason it’s able to attract so many visitors comes down to its technology and powerful search filters. Buyers can specify their search by fuel type, size, economy, even emission levels. Those are only a few of the filters you can adjust to see a list of cars that are an exact match of your criteria. While you’re at it, you can also apply for insurance or finance. Most cars advertised here are sourced from franchised and independent dealers, although many private sellers use the site as well.
Known for: User-friendliness
Second to Autotrader, the best used car website, is Motors. While it trails Autotrader in terms of stock size, the site has improved a lot over the past few years and boasts a host of clever, user-friendly features.
Setting search filters is a breeze with attractive graphics, well-organised by criteria such as budget and practicality, and interiors. There’s also a feature to help buyers price and advertise their own car. Just like Autotrader, Motors provides car reviews so you can get a better idea of running costs and pricing. However, these can be somewhat misleading as they’ll often be for an older model, although the image shown is for the latest one. Sellers come from across the board, ranging from franchised dealers to private sellers (though the latter are few and far between).
What sets heycar apart is that it partners with only selected franchised dealers. As a result it tends to list the best quality used cars and claims that “Buying a used car never felt so good”. All cars are under eight years old and have fewer than 100,000 miles on the clock. Every car also gets a 10 day money back guarantee. The site aims to raise the bar when it comes to trust between consumers and dealers when purchasing a used car or van. It also has in-depth reviews for more than 550 different models that guides you through the process of buying, owning and selling each particular car.
Known for: Great bargains
Bargain-hunters delight – CarGurus is the place to go! Not only does the site rank ads depending on price and dealer reputation, but it also informs buyers of real market values. Additionally, you can see how long vehicles have been listed on the site along with records of their price fluctuations. The bottom line? It puts all the information you need at your fingertips to negotiate a great price on the vehicle you want. It will even label price drops as ‘Fair’ or ‘Great’ to tell you what kind of deal you stand to make.
While car-buying sites are the traditional port of call for most buyers, it’s important to note that Facebook has its own Marketplace for car buyers. Along with other classified sites like eBay and Gumtree, there are plenty of other places you can find good car deals.
6. Facebook Marketplace
Who knew you could use Facebook to buy and sell used vehicles? Indeed, the social media giant isn’t just a place to connect with friends (or play Candy Crush Saga relentlessly).
Facebook Marketplace launched in 2016 as its own version of Gumtree where you can buy and sell just about anything, including used cars. All you need to do is to click on ‘Go To Marketplace’ and then type in ‘used cars’ in the search box.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of using Facebook Marketplace is that you can access it across devices. It’s also relatively safe compared to other listing sites given the sellers aren’t anonymous (every seller on the Marketplace has to have a Facebook account).
Like most platforms, however, it’s not entirely free of fraud. That’s where using a separate vehicle history checker alongside the Marketplace, to cross check vehicle details can be incredibly helpful.
7. eBay and Gumtree
Sites like eBay or Gumtree can be another excellent source for finding used cars. eBay, in particular, boasts some cool and insightful features. These include their virtual showroom and seller feedback but also some smart safety features like their ‘ask a question’ mailing system. What’s interesting about eBay is that unlike other marketplaces like Facebook’s, it offers protection to buyers against fraud.
Though another great marketplace, it can be tempting to ‘panic bid’ on eBay. While it’s important to act when you do find a deal, time, patience and some initial research can make all the difference when it comes to landing a bad or good deal. The same goes for Gumtree as sellers can be more anonymous on these sites.
Use Car Guide to check your next used car
As with Facebook Marketplace, or any other car buying platform for that matter, it’s essential to use a car checking website to verify any vehicle’s details.
While it may look like a seller has included all the information you need, a comprehensive car check will reveal if anything is missing or incorrect. That’s vital given that a patchy or false vehicle history can indicate there’s a more severe problem with a car, like a stolen or write-off status, outstanding finance or mileage anomaly.
Free car checks only scratch the surface of what’s really going on. Our AI-powered car checking website offers something a little different: an in-depth Buyer’s Report of the vehicle, including its MOT history, past owners, valuation and more. Find out if a car has been stolen, written-off or still has outstanding finance. On top of that, we can also tell you about future running and repair costs. Sign up for your account today.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Online selling platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or eBay
- Buying a car without a logbook
There are a number of common scams to watch out for when buying a used car. With the right research and a decent vehicle history check you will save yourself a headache. Find out more about buying a car here.