Automakers have been in the news quite a bit lately. The future of some is very much in doubt. And since the economy is hitting most of us quite hard, I thought it appropriate to take a look at sites that help us find high-quality used cars.
Many of the sites in this alphabetical roundup will provide the research and information you require before you buy a car. Others will allow you to find cars in your area or buy them right on the site. Either way, they're all worth a look.
AOL Autos AOL provides some of the best informational resources on the Web, if you're looking for a car. Whether it's reviews from some of its experts, information on sales, or news, the site has it all. It's a full-featured resource that you'll want to check out.
Automotive.com Automotive.com is a huge site offering car availability in your area, research pages, and loan information. But where it really shines is in its reviews, which provide everything from value and pricing to quality and miles-per-gallon information. It's a very useful site.
AutoTrader.com AutoTrader makes it easy to find used cars for sale and even lets you sell your own car right on the site. But if you're looking to research some models, the site's "Research and Compare" page enables you to find the right car for you based on its make, model, type, and price range. All of the reviews are informative.
Carfax Don't even consider buying that used car until you consult Carfax with its Vehicle Identification Number. Once you get to Carfax, you can input the VIN into the search field, and the site will return the vehicle's history report. The report details past owners, when it was manufactured, where it has been registered, and most importantly, whether it has been through a major accident. It's a paid service (one report will run you $29.99), but it's a necessary step in buying a used car.
CarGurus A community of car lovers combined with vehicle information, CarGurus is a nice site, if you want to find out about a car from those who already have owned it. The site has active discussion forums, which are helpful when you need to ask questions. And its research pages and automobile history reports are worth checking out. But the real value of CarGurus is in those forums.
CarMax Much like AutoTrader and Cars.com (below), CarMax provides you with research information on cars in which you're interested. It also allows you to find cars for sale in your area so you can find what you're looking for sooner. And if you're looking to get rid of your old vehicle, the site will buy your car from you for its estimated value. It then sells the car on CarMax to turn a profit.
Cars.com Cars.com is one of the best ways to learn about vehicles in which you might be interested. Its research menu boasts outstanding reviews on practically every car dating back nearly a decade. The site's shopping-advice page comes in handy when you want to determine the real value of a vehicle. It's a must-see before you start your search for a used car.
CarShopSmart CarShopSmart, affiliated with AutoTrader, is a nicely designed site that might be useful. If you want to research vehicles, it boasts some basic information. But the focus of the site is on finding a car in your area or locating dealers close to your home. Unfortunately, though, the size of its vehicle database is a little too small for my liking.
CarZen If you'd like some car-buying advice, CarZen may be the place to find it. From negotiating tactics to in-depth vehicle information, the site will provide you with all the resources you need to place a strong offer. It even helps you find the right car with the help of its fantastic tool, CarConsult. Try it out. You might be surprised by what you find.
Consumer Reports Consumer Reports provides outstanding car reviews, and its simple scoring system helps you quickly determine if a car is for you. The reviews aren't as in-depth as they are on other sites, but what Consumer Reports lacks in quantity, it makes up for in trustworthiness.
Craigslist Craigslist might be a classifieds site, but it's a great place to find cars that are available in your area. Whether you're buying a vehicle or are putting your own up for sale, you can do your research elsewhere and then hit the popular listings site. A variety of vehicles in any price range are always listed.… Read more