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- Best Car Buying Sites
Best Online Car Buying Sites
Online car buying sites utilize intelligent search engines to help you compare multiple cars or trucks in your price range. Read our guide to research and discover the best car buying site for you. Plus, learn about what questions to ask before you purchase a car online.
- Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
- 4,367,188 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
Top 5 picks for online car buying sites
To determine our top picks, we started by comparing 17 popular online car buying sites and narrowing the list down to only the sites that offer a wide selection of vehicles at different price points. We also considered average reviews and ratings from verified consumers on ConsumerAffairs, only including car buying sites that had at least 14 5-star reviews in the past 12 months. Finally, we excluded any companies that don’t provide financing and customer service that’s available at least five days a week.
- 100-day/4,189-mile limited warranty
- 7-day return policy
- Fixed prices
- No minimum credit score for financing
We like that Carvana performs a 150-point inspection to make sure each vehicle is fit for purchase. The company has a policy against selling cars that have been in an accident, and it runs a CARFAX report on each vehicle to confirm this. You don’t get a traditional test drive, but you do get a week to return the car for any reason.
Generally, positive Carvana reviews mention how easy it is to buy and register a vehicle through the site. Some Carvana reviews mention changes to delivery date scheduling.
The prices on Carvana are fixed, so there’s no haggling. As you browse, listings have 360-degree photos to simulate the experience of seeing the car in person. Cars are sourced from auctions, trade-ins, dealerships and private sellers.
If you're near a Carvana vending machine, you can pick up your car for free. Alternatively, you can have your car shipped to you, though free shipping isn’t available for every vehicle. Shipping and delivery typically take less than 48 hours.
- 90-day/4,000-mile limited warranty
- Financing available for most credit profiles
Like Carvana, CarMax offers a wide selection of new and used vehicles at fixed, no-haggle prices. The company has both curbside pickup and home delivery services in many locations. The site makes it simple to find different autos by make, model, features, mileage and number of previous owners. Vehicle history reports are provided through AutoCheck.
CarMax offers an easy preapproval process for those who want to finance their purchase. It takes about 20 minutes, and the loan offer is good for three days. Most credit profiles can qualify. If needed, a co-borrower can sign on the finance application.
Shipping fees vary by location. Local shipping is free and takes about three days if you live near a CarMax location. It takes longer if the car must be delivered from another store. You can find information about shipping fees to your location on each car’s detail page.
Positive CarMax reviews describe good deals and helpful customer service. People seem to like the user-friendly site and the helpful sales staff. However, CarMax reviews sometimes describe long wait times to receive cars after purchase. For more, check out how CarMax stacks up to Vroom and Carvana .
- Warranties vary by car
- No return policy
- Negotiable pricing
- Financing available through LendingTree
You may be familiar with Autotrader as a popular print magazine. More recently, Autotrader has been expanding its digital presence in the online car market. Like the magazine, the website doesn’t facilitate the sale of cars but connects buyers with a range of options.
The website offers an intuitive search engine that lets you filter cars through dozens of criteria to pinpoint the exact vehicle you’re looking for in your budget. Autotrader also offers an app for Apple and Android phones that lets you search for cars, save cars to your favorites and connect with sellers.
Overall, Autotrader makes it easy to browse new and used cars that are available from dealerships and private sellers. Positive Autotrader reviews frequently mention finding a good price. Some customers have been using Autotrader to buy cars for decades, long before it launched as an online marketplace.
- Offers add-on warranties
- Verifies vehicle histories
- Offers financing for most cars on its site
TRED is a person-to-person used car marketplace. Its website helps you search for used vehicles, compare prices, communicate with sellers, schedule test-drives, apply for financing and set up delivery. You can also sell your current car on TRED.
While buying directly from another person can seem intimidating, TRED verifies the vehicles sold on its site by conducting identity checks on buyers and sellers and confirming the car’s ownership and accident history. All payments are made through TRED, so you can rest assured that your money ends up in the right hands.
- No warranties
- 7-day, 250-mile return policy
- Nonnegotiable pricing
- Offers Financing through OpenRoad Lending
TrueCar offers new and used cars online. With TrueCar’s new-car shopping program, you choose the vehicle make and model that you want and, optionally, filter for specific details. TrueCar then outputs a market average price estimate, the MRSP, your estimated savings and any vehicles for sale in your area that match your description. TrueCar’s used-car shopping program is similar, allowing you to choose the car make and model that you’re interested in before showing you local results.
TrueCar also offers a trade-in program. You can enter details about your car on its website to receive an instant trade-in estimate. TrueCar then helps you find local dealers that may be interested in your vehicle.
Questions to ask when buying a car online
Don’t feel awkward about asking questions before you buy.
Whether you are buying a new car or a used car, knowing the right questions to ask can help eliminate any concerns that you have around the vehicle you plan to purchase. Consider it a red flag if the seller can’t or won’t provide answers.
If you’re unable to find certain information about a car online, it’s always a good idea to first ask the dealership or individual seller, especially if the car you want to buy is used.
Questions to ask when buying a used car
When buying a used car , always ask the buyer questions about the service history, previous owners and past repairs. Having this information upfront lets you get a better idea of how the car has been maintained and the likelihood of future problems.
Aside from visible damage to the car, you can learn more about a vehicle’s accident history by reviewing the CARFAX report. You’ll need the car’s VIN to learn more about its service and accident history.
Some online car purchasing sites will provide an oil change and a car wash for a used car. Even so, it’s good to also check whether other important maintenance is up to date. A history of several owners on a relatively new vehicle might imply something is wrong with the car.
Asking if any features aren’t functional helps you fish out any details about how the car’s condition may be less than optimal. It’s vital you have a transparent history of a used car before buying.
However, not all car buying transactions provide an opportunity for a physical test drive. In this case, the seller usually offers a grace period for free returns. It’s a good idea to take the car to a mechanic for an inspection during the trial window.
Questions to ask when buying a new car
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new car online or in person and forget to ask the right questions. Make sure you know how to best take care of your car and that it fits your current needs.
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Online car buying site reviews
Autotrader has millions of vehicles to choose from. The Car Research and Review section of the site helps car buyers calculate how much they can afford to spend on a car. The site is also full of helpful educational resources to inform users on every aspect of buying and selling a car, including finding the right insurance, tips for getting a car sold and comparison photos. In addition to buying vehicles, you can also sell or trade in your car on the site.
The prices on CarMax are non-negotiable, meaning there’s no need to haggle. The site exclusively offers used vehicles. However, there are a moderate amount of cars with very low mileage. CarMax spends an average of 12 hours prepping each vehicle for purchase — each car must pass a 125-point inspection and undergo a thorough cleaning before being put up for sale.
CarsDirect has both new and used cars for sale. The site is able to provide auto financing for those with poor credit, no credit and any other level of credit. Leasing and refinancing are additional options. Because this site works with a high number of diverse dealerships nationwide, a wide range of cars are available to customers.
CarFax is well known for providing comprehensive vehicle history reports that detail all previous damage and ownership history. It works with over 28,000 dealerships nationwide to sell a variety of used cars. You can sign up for alerts on recalls and necessary maintenance reminders to make sure your car is in tip-top shape. The accompanying mobile app receives strong reviews from users.
Cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles are available on this classic bidding site. You can either bid on a vehicle or, if available, buy at the set price. You can also look at satisfaction ratings to see if a seller has a history of satisfied customers and is legitimate. Daily deals on car parts and other accessories also provide opportunities for savings.
CarSoup offers both new and used vehicles. Multiple search options and filters make finding the perfect car easier than ever. The site uses referral tools to connect individual sellers to local dealerships. Informative articles and research tools also help consumers broaden their knowledge on all subjects automobile related. Last of all, their accompanying app serves as a helpful resource to search for cars wherever you may be.
Enterprise Car Sales lets customers buy, sell and trade new and used vehicles online. Customers can search for nearby vehicles, use car buying calculators and obtain financing through Enterprise.
Bring-A-Trailer is an online car auction platform for buyers and sellers. Customers first submit their vehicles for approval and are paired with an auction specialist. Buyers are responsible for arranging and paying for shipping.
Autotempest is a third-part online aggregator that also provides tools to compare quotes and calculators to estimate trade-in values. It does not facilitate transactions but directs buyers to sites such as Carvana, TrueCar, Detroit Trading, eBay and craigslist.
Hemmings is an online marketplace to sell, buy and trade classic vehicles. Find cars for sale, parts, services and real estate.
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AutoCheck vs. Carfax: Which Vehicle History Report Is Best for You?
See what the full report says about your car's history.
Vehicle history reports, such as those from AutoCheck or Carfax, have become an integral part of any used car purchase. They are one of the best ways to learn about a given vehicle's history and help make your search for a used car much easier. Most importantly, the report tells shoppers if a car has been in an accident and or given a branded title. Branding means an insurance company has declared the vehicle a total loss and given it a salvage title because of an accident, flood damage or other catastrophic event.
The car's vehicle identification number (VIN) is the key to the vehicle history report. The 17-digit VIN is like the car's Social Security number: It's used to note nearly every major event in an auto's lifetime. Typically, the information on a vehicle history report includes a summary and an overall evaluation of the vehicle, supported with details, dates and locations. The report makes it easy to see if the car has been registered in numerous states. Other information can include a description of the vehicle, the number of previous owners, accident information, verification of recent mileage (which could include an alert for an odometer rollback), and lemon-law and recall checks. For definitive information on recalls for any used car that you're considering, use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's free VIN lookup tool .
Several companies sell vehicle history reports, promising to reveal the past of any given vehicle. Keep in mind no report is perfect. It's only as good as the incidents that have been reported to the database. If, for example, someone gets into a minor accident and decides to repair the car without involving an insurance company for fear of rates going up, the accident will not be reflected in the report. Similarly, if the body shop handling the repairs does not share its data with the vehicle history companies, it will not appear on a report either. So a vehicle could have frame damage and you would not know it by just reading the report. That said, we still recommend running a vehicle history report before driving across town to see a car in person.
Vehicle history reports list salvage titles and other potential problems with used vehicles. The information is a good first step for used-car buyers, but it's critical to have a mechanic inspect the car, too.
Can you get a free vehicle history or title report?
The reports from the biggest players — AutoCheck and Carfax — are expensive, ranging from $25 for one report to $100 for five. And if you're shopping for a used car on the private-party market, you'll likely be the one paying for the reports. But if you're shopping at car dealerships, it's a different story. Most major used car dealers and some car-selling sites will provide a free Carfax report or AutoCheck report. You can find many of these vehicles on the Edmunds used car inventory page or on dealership websites.
If you find yourself on the used car lot and want to know the history of a particular vehicle, just ask for a report. All dealers have vehicle history report subscriptions, usually for either AutoCheck or Carfax, and will run a free report for interested buyers. This report becomes a valuable source of third-party information. If the dealer refuses to run a vehicle history report or provides an outdated report, it could be a red flag.
No matter whether you're shopping private-party sellers or at a dealership, it's good to know what you'll get — and what you won't — in these reports. Here's a look at AutoCheck versus Carfax, along with some other providers, and our experience in how they stack up.
See Edmunds pricing data
Has Your Car's Value Changed?
Used car values are constantly changing. Edmunds lets you track your vehicle's value over time so you can decide when to sell or trade in.
Carfax is the most well-known provider of vehicle history reports. It dates back to the late 1980s when it faxed reports to its customers. It is also the most expensive. A single Carfax report costs $44.99. Three will cost you $64.99, and five sell for $99.99.
The Carfax report is the benchmark for all other vehicle history reports. If a vehicle has had multiple owners, the information is clearly labeled and organized in different sections. Carfax also has more detailed maintenance records. This information can serve as a guide to what issues the vehicle might have had. It also is an indicator that a prior owner took good care of the vehicle.
We ran a report on a 2008 Lexus ES 350 that spent its life in Texas. Carfax had 25 service records, including one to replace the drive belts. That's an expensive repair and good to know about as a buyer. AutoCheck only had four service records and did not have the information on the drive belts.
Our opinion: Carfax is pricey but worth it given that it has the most detailed and user-friendly reports. For many, a clean Carfax report is the first step in getting a good used car.
AutoCheck, owned by Experian, is notable for providing a vehicle "score" — a number and a range — such as 85 out of a range of 70-90. The company says that this score is a number that helps you forecast the predicted reliability of a vehicle at a glance. It is meant to be a quick way to identify and eliminate vehicles that might have issues, ranging from high mileage to reported accidents.
AutoCheck's scale isn't zero to 100, which can be confusing. We ran the VIN of a 2015 Honda Civic, and it received a score of 82. Sounds like a good car, doesn't it? But this Civic was in a major accident, declared a total loss and issued a salvage title, according to the report. The numbers that matter are the range and, from there, where the particular car scores. In this case, the range for similar Civics was 88-93. The one we were checking, with a score of 82, was 6 points below the bottom of the range — not a great bet for a used car, in other words. We also ran the VIN of a 1992 Honda Prelude with a salvage title. It scored 25 out of a range of 31-53. Six points seemed to be the deduction for having a salvage title, but the numbers weren't clearly explained.
AutoCheck charges $24.99 for a single report. But few people consider only one used car when they're shopping, so you'd likely opt for the higher-tier plan at $49.99, which gives you access to five reports in 21 days.
Our opinion: Although it doesn't quite have the name recognition of Carfax, AutoCheck is worth a look. It's a less expensive alternative for shoppers who plan on running numerous reports. The vehicle score is nice as a quick reference, but don't put too much stock in it.
National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)
The title information in the NMVTIS comes from participating state motor vehicle registries. Run by the federal Department of Justice, the system is the only one that's publicly available in the U.S. to which all insurance carriers, auto recyclers, junkyards and salvage yards must, by law, report on a regular basis. The NMVTIS web page has a list of third-party companies that provide history reports. The prices range from free to about $20. It is a less expensive alternative, but based on our experience, you get what you pay for.
You won't find any fancy scores or detailed entries of any type in these history reports. These sites should only be used to determine when and where the vehicle was registered and to find out if a branded title was issued.
Our opinion: We would only recommend using this resource to determine if the car you're interested in has a branded title. And even then, it is best used as a secondary check. Save your money for a report from AutoCheck or Carfax.
Test-driving the reports
We tested more than a dozen vehicles to see if we could spot any differences and comment on which was the easiest to use. Here's what we found:
In our checks, AutoCheck's data was less comprehensive and detailed than Carfax's. For example: We ran a report on a 2015 Kia Optima with a salvage title. AutoCheck showed that it had two owners. Carfax listed three owners and caught an accident that hadn't appeared on the AutoCheck report. In comparing the two reports side by side, the AutoCheck report did record the DMV event that began the third owner's tenure, but the report hadn't yet factored that into its at-a-glance owner count. We found it difficult to determine when and for how long each person owned the vehicle on the AutoCheck report.
We also tried out two of the NMVTIS vehicle history reports with our test VINs and came away largely disappointed. Neither the free nor the $7 reports told us anything beyond whether the vehicle had a branded title and how often it was issued a title, presumably to a new owner. These reports do little to flesh out the actual backstory of a car.
A good start for used car shopping
A vehicle history report isn't going to guarantee you're getting a good used car. A mechanical inspection is still a good idea. And if you suspect structural damage, a body shop visit could save you from making an expensive mistake. But running a report is a valuable first step that will save you time and money. It could also protect you from buying a car with a checkered past.
How can I check a car's history for free?
How do i get a carfax for free, what is the vehicle history, can i run a vin number for free.
(NOTE: Although "VIN" technically includes the word "number," people frequently use the phrase "VIN number" in their searches, which is why we're following that convention here.) Yes, but it depends on the information you're looking for. If you want to check for any open recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's VIN lookup tool is free to use. If you're simply looking to decode your VIN to find out where it was made and other pieces of trivia, take a look at this article on Edmunds. Finally, if you need a full vehicle history report, you'll have to either find a used car on a dealership website or pay for the report yourself.
Ronald Montoya has worked in the automotive industry since 2008. He has written over a thousand car related articles and bought and sold over 100 vehicles over the course of his career. Ronald is a senior consumer advice editor and content strategy at Edmunds and has also contributed to the Associated Press. He has also been featured on ABC, NBC and NPR on a number of car shopping topics. He got his start in the auto industry by taking a part-time job at a car dealership, where he worked in the service and accounting department.
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The Top Car Review Sites
Buying a new vehicle can be a major process, starting with research. You want to find a vehicle you like, one that fits your needs, but also one that will be reliable and safe for you and your loved ones. While it’s wonderful to have so much research, ratings, and reviews available at your fingertips, it can also be overwhelming. Where should you even start your research? Which websites should you trust? Luckily for car buyers today, there are actually a lot of reliable car review sites, but here is a list of our top review sites to get you started.
The Best Car Review Sites
- U.S. News & World Report – U.S. News is well-known for its rankings and reviews. This is a favorite car review site because it provides tons of detailed (and trusted) information and reviews. If you’re not sure where to start, they can even help with that! Let’s say you’re thinking of a midsize SUV, then you can look at their list of top 10 midsize SUVs. They have dozens of categories to choose from, including ones like “Best Cars for the Money” and “Best Cars for Families.” What’s more, when you look up a specific vehicle, they will also tell you which lists that vehicle is on.
- edmunds – Edmunds is another well-known car review site that has been around for a long time. They offer an abundance of information for vehicle reviews. They provide information on everything from a car’s handling to its ownership costs over five years to its reliability.
- Kelley Blue Book – Kelley Blue Book may have made its name in providing monetary values for both new and used vehicles, but their website also provides a lot of information and reviews on vehicles.
- NADA Guides – NADA Guides has a solid reputation for both car reviews and vehicle value assessments. Their website includes both expert and consumer reviews, as well as the ability to compare vehicles you are considering purchasing.
If you’re shopping for a new (or used) vehicle, looking at any one of these top car review sites should help you find the right vehicle for your needs and budget!
After Your Purchase: Consider an Extended Vehicle Warranty
When you do finally decide to buy, I advise you to think about an extended car warranty, especially if you buy a used vehicle! An extended vehicle warranty or vehicle protection plan can benefit all vehicle owners! It’s best to buy an extended auto warranty while your vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. This ensures you get the lowest price possible. If your warranty has expired or you buy a used vehicle, you can still get a competitive price! An extended vehicle warranty or vehicle protection plan covers the cost of many repairs once the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired. There are many benefits to having an extended car warranty, including the peace of mind of knowing that your vehicle will be covered in case of a mechanical breakdown.
If you want to learn more about your choices for an extended vehicle warranty , start by seeing what autopom! can offer you.
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The best used car websites in 2023
EVs are selling like hotcakes, and as such, it can feel like it’s a little hard to get your hands on one. Add in the fact that most of the decent EVs cost more than $40,000, and you might find that a used car is more compelling than ever. Shopping used is a great alternative to long waiting lists and inflated prices, and a used EV may even be eligible for tax rebates if you read the fine print.
Kelley blue book, cars & bids, car-enthusiast forums.
But where should you look to find one?
The best used car sites offer a user-friendly interface that provides shoppers with comprehensive details about the car they’re looking at, like high-resolution photos showing the interior and the exterior, its service history, plus its standard and optional equipment. Some even use historical data to tell you if you’re looking at a great deal, or if the price isn’t quite fair.
We’ve put together a list of the classifieds and auction sites you should browse when shopping for your next used car online. Alternatively, if you’re buying new, automakers and dealers are increasingly making the buying process digital .
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These sites are useful, but remember that it’s always wise to check out a used car in person (and, if possible, take it for a thorough test drive) before you hand over a big wad of your hard-earned cash.
The best well-known site
Few sites surpass AutoTrader when it comes to advanced search tools. Like most sites on our list, AutoTrader’s initial search lets you choose the make, model, and price of your desired used cars. It also lets you filter your results based on fuel economy and a host of other parameters. Do you want a car with an intuitive navigation system? How about a sedan with four doors and keyless entry? Tick the options you need and let the results come to you.
The best site for the basics
Simple and straightforward, CarsDirect is all about the basics. You can search for used cars within a specific area based on body style, price, make, and model. Search results include offerings from both dealers and private owners, with an option to view your desired car’s Carfax report. When you find what you’re after, you can submit an inquiry about it to receive more details from the seller or request special financing if needed. CarsDirect provides links to car dealers’ websites, as well as comprehensive maps with directions to each store’s location.
Most convenient used car site
If you’re looking for the most convenient end-to-end used-car-buying experience, then Carvana is the way to go. Carvana is known for its massive car vending machines and for dropping off cars right to your door, making it perhaps the best choice for those who don’t want to trek long distances to get a new car. In fact, Carvana will deliver cars right to your door, if you live in the U.S. If you sell on Carvana, the process is also incredibly convenient — Carvana will pick up the car you’re trying to sell, straight from your door.
The best site for classic car lovers
Hemmings is a classic car collector’s dream. The site is a blast from the past, reveling in everything from 1960s Chevrolet Impalas to Studebakers from the 1930s to newer classics from the 1980s, while offering tools for locating specific parts and services pertaining to a car you already own. It publishes a daily newsletter, a fascinating blog that’s regularly updated by a team of knowledgeable writers, and several other resources aimed at the classic car owner. It even touts an online store where you can buy die-cast models, books, or wall calendars.
The best site for browsing on the go
Autolist may look similar to other sites here at first glance, but it has a leg up on the competition when it comes to mobile connectivity. Although the Autolist website is attractive and easy to use, it’s the accompanying mobile app for Android and iOS that makes it a standout. The intuitive software allows you to quickly scour the databases of other shopping apps, as well as various dealer websites. It also provides helpful information, such as how long the vehicle has been on sale, how its asking price has fluctuated over time, and what its Carfax report looks like. If you prefer to shop for your next ride on the move, this is the resource for you.
The best site for finding a bargain
If you’re looking for a bargain, CarGurus is your best bet. It ranks ads based on dealer reputation, when applicable, and price. The site goes a step further to educate buyers with information about a vehicle’s market value. That way, you’ll know whether now is the best time to shop or if you need to expand your search area. You can also see how long a vehicle has been listed on the site and how its list price has changed over time. This gives you negotiating power on cars that have been listed for a while, or lets you know when it’s too soon to ask for a price cut.
The best site for cross-site comparisons
If you’ve ever used sites like Kayak or Sky Scanner, AutoTempest will be right up your alley. The site combines search results from eBay Motors, Cars.com, AutoTrader, CarsDirect, and others, casting an all-encompassing net over a smattering of other used car sites on our list. AutoTempest’s homepage also features buying guides, checklists, and advice, as well as tips on negotiating and how to avoid purchasing a lemon, among other topics. The site provides specific guides for a selection of makes and models, along with car reviews and a compilation of frequently asked questions. And, it saves search results for easy access later, while offering suggestions for top-notch shipping services.
The best site for an all-inclusive experience
The Kelley Blue Book is a car buyer’s best friend. It provides accurate estimates of what your car is worth, how much you should pay for a used car, and a deep selection of used and new car listings. You can browse top picks and tips, calculate a monthly car payment, and compare several cars. Expert and consumer reviews are also available, along with options for finding local dealers and checking your credit score. You can browse an assortment of awards pages, too, giving you a way to quickly peruse the best of the best.
The best auction site for enthusiasts
Launched by Doug DeMuro in the summer of 2020, Cars & Bids quickly became the go-to destination for enthusiasts looking to buy or sell a car. If you want a 2018 Corolla, you won’t find it on this platform. If you’re after something a little bit more special, like a low-mileage Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG or a one-year-only BMW L6, the site has you covered. Each auction includes a full gallery of the car (including close-ups and service records when they’re available) and a thorough description that highlights its main features, its ownership history, and its known flaws. Carfax is included as well. Many sellers include videos, too, which takes some of the stress out of buying a car sight unseen.
Although it’s easy to search by make, model, and year using any of the aforementioned sites, there’s no harm in concentrating your search. If you’re looking for something specific, don’t be afraid to check out the online car owner and enthusiast groups associated with what you’re seeking. If using Google, tack on “forums” or “owners club” to whichever vehicle you’re searching for. Whether you’re seeking vintage Porsches or cars from the late AMC brand, there’s a community for almost every vehicle out there — even unloved ones. Browsing the classifieds section on these sites increases your chances of finding what you’re looking for. Plus, most of the listings are from experts who not only know what they are selling but are also invested in not getting a bad name in their respective communities.
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General Motors on Wednesday announced an online used-car sales platform called CarBravo. Scheduled to launch this spring, GM says it will offer a transparent and streamlined buying experience.
CarBravo will pull from dealership inventories and a "national central stock" of used vehicles that will include non-GM models, according to a company press release. All vehicles will be "inspected and reconditioned to meet standards set by GM," according to the automaker, and will get some form of warranty coverage. SiriusXM satellite radio and OnStar telematics trials will also be available in applicable vehicles.
- Audio / Video
The Amazon Music app for iOS and Android now comes with an optional car mode that offers up a simplified interface that can automatically launch as soon as you connect to your car's Bluetooth system.
It looks like the ideal solution for those who don't have an infotainment system that's compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but want to stream music from Amazon Music while driving. According to an email from Amazon's PR partner, the new feature was designed "to limit extensive browsing while driving." Curiously, however, on the webpage that promotes car mode, Amazon warns its customers that they should not "interact with this app while operating your vehicle." Which naturally raises the question: Why give the app a car mode at all?
Long miles are often put on commuter cars, making drivers want a vehicle that is both fuel-efficient and fun to drive. While big SUVs might be enticing for a weekend trip to the mountains, a commuter car is best when it's compact and packed with plenty of comfort and tech features.
While Honda dominates our picks for the best overall commuter cars, we also suggest some sporty and luxury options to make sure there’s a choice for everyone. Check out our favorite commuter car if you have a little extra money to spend below. Honda Civic
Best car rental sites to book your next road trip
When it comes to booking rental cars, there are quite a few websites to choose from. If you're not set on booking directly with one of the big national chains like Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz or Alamo, you could potentially save even more money by using one of the options below.
Whether you have elite status with a car rental company or not, there are different ways to compare rental companies and find the best pricing for your next rental.
We always recommend pricing a rental directly with a national chain website so you have an idea of the going rate before moving on to the aggregator sites that compare multiple offers.
For Costco members, this is a no-brainer. Costco negotiates rates on everything from vacation packages and cruises to car rentals for its members. The site allows you to compare prices from participating Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise locations and shows a grid of available car types and prices across those companies so you can make the best decision.
For the purposes of pricing, an airport was chosen below, but once you enter your desired city, you can select different locations within that city from a map and compare pricing.
There are a few rules for renting with Costco: The primary renter needs to be a Costco member, but additional drivers do not, and drivers must be 25 years of age or older.
Once you've selected your car and are ready to place a reservation, you'll need to provide your Costco membership number. One of the perks of Costco Travel is that you can make a reservation without worrying about paying until you pick up your rental car.
AutoSlash is a car rental aggregator, meaning it pulls information from many different rental sites to allow you to compare pricing. One of its interesting features is that it allows you to enter any memberships, credit cards or frequent flyer programs you belong to, and it will search for applicable discounts.
TPG's Katie Genter wrote a comprehensive guide to using AutoSlash for rental car shopping.
Once you enter in all relevant information, AutoSlash will email you a link to view your quotes. You can then choose to book now and pay now or pay later.
One of the interesting features that AutoSlash offers is the ability to track rental car prices. Once you've made a reservation with free cancellation, go back to the AutoSlash website and fill out the form to track price drops for your rental . You will need your current reservation information to fill out the form.
You will then be able to check the boxes for any of the rental car companies you'd like to track and also choose only to receive an email alert if the price drops below what you have currently reserved. This could potentially save you money and allow you to rebook at a lower rate.
Often referred to as the "Airbnb of rental car sites," Turo has definitely caught on in cities across the U.S. and even some Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom. In short, Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental site that can also be accessed and managed through an app.
Many TPG staffers have used Turo and share positive experiences in the TPG guide to renting with Turo . Some of the advantages of using this service include the lower fee for drivers under 25 years of age, that delivery service can sometimes be available, and renting from a local could be more convenient than seeking out a rental car location.
Related: Renting a car in Hawaii with Turo
The one downside would be that you usually have to return the car to the same location where you picked it up, so if you're looking for a one-way rental, a traditional rental car site might work better for you in that situation.
A few quick test searches found rental prices equal to or less expensive than traditional rental car companies. The handy map will show you the locations of all the rentals available in your area for the dates that you search.
While Turo doesn't have airline partners like the big car rental companies, there are still opportunities to earn points and miles on your rentals . Since Turo codes in the travel category, be sure to use a credit card that earns you the most points for travel.
Related: Are Turo car rentals covered by credit card insurance?
Maybe you've only searched Expedia for hotels or flights, but it also offers rental cars and the option to book all trip components together if you'd like. When searching for hotels, you can check the box to add a flight and add a car.
Expedia's car rental interface is pretty straightforward and convenient. You can use filters to search for options like refundable rentals and the ability to pay at the counter. It's also a transparent booking site, meaning you will see the company you're renting with before deciding to book.
In 2022, Expedia Group announced a new rewards program called One Key which would unify rewards across its family of brands: Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz and vacation rental site Vrbo. There's still no official launch date in 2023 for this new program.
If you are a AAA member, check the AAA website for your area to see if there are car rental deals. The AAA site will search multiple car rental sites for you to find the best deals. If you aren't already a AAA member, you can read the TPG guide to AAA membership to learn more about the benefits and determine if it's worth it for you to join.
Some of the exclusive member benefits for car rentals include up to 20% off the base rate in the U.S. and Canada, up to 10% off the base rate on international rentals, free use of one child safety seat, and no charge for up to four additional drivers who are AAA members.
There are additional exclusive benefits through AAA's partnership with Hertz , such as 10% off a tank of gas when purchasing gas at local prices, and you can return the vehicle with any amount of fuel. The young renters fee is also waived for members ages 20-24.
To start the search process, I had to enter my Hertz membership number, and then it asked me to verify my full name and ZIP code to validate that I was a AAA member. The search feature offers pay-now and pay-at-the-counter options as well as AAA member rates and standard rates. You can even filter by car company, and the top of the search screen shows you what discounts are available with each company.
Related: The complete guide to car rental elite status matches
There are many search options available online for finding rental car discounts. Each site has its pros and cons, so we recommend finding a site that works best for you, and that leverages any elite status or membership that you might already have.
And no matter what, make sure you have car insurance coverage through your credit card or insurance agency, or purchase it through the car rental company.
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The Best Car Insurance Advice from Reddit
Looking to save on your next car insurance policy? Here’s what the experts on Reddit have to say.
At Compare.com, it’s our mission to find simple ways to help our customers save money on the things they need. While we partner with some of the companies and brands we talk about in our articles, all of our content is written and reviewed by our independent editorial team and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn about how we make money , review our editorial standards , and reference our data methodology to learn more about why you can trust Compare.com.
Reddit is a popular social media platform — the ninth most visited website in the world . Its users share insights, real-world experiences, support, and opinions across thousands of topic-specific communities called “subreddits.”
People looking to save money on car insurance can find a ton of valuable information on Reddit — the best of which we’ve shared below.
But there are good ways to use Reddit and better ways to use it, so we’ve also included our best tips for getting more from the “front page of the internet.”
- Always follow rules, guidelines, and best practices on Reddit.
- Subreddits such as r/Insurance, r/CarInsurance, and r/PersonalFinance are filled with helpful insurance advice.
- Shopping around for car insurance is a common piece of advice from Redditors.
Popular Reddit Auto Insurance Subreddits
Subreddits — formerly known as communities — are places where you can ask questions and get answers from people interested or formally trained in a subject. You’ll also find conversations, questions, ideas, and more from the people within the community.
Here are the four best subreddits for information about car insurance and saving money on your policy.
r/Insurance is the “all things insurance” subreddit. You can expect to find conversations about car insurance from industry insiders (insurance agents and brokers) as well as consumers. You’ll also find broader information about the insurance industry as a whole, including conversations about other insurance products (home, life, etc.) and insurance companies of all sizes.
This is a great place to spot broader trends in the market, like rate increases and non-renewals. But, as Reddit’s most active insurance community, it’s also a great place to ask questions and get advice from insurance professionals and experienced policyholders.
This subreddit exists specifically for “Questions and Help” regarding topics such as:
- Shopping for car insurance
- Understanding how car insurance works
- Submitting car insurance claims
- Managing your policy after an accident
You’ll also find wider information about the car insurance market specifically. The insurance market is experiencing a lot of changes at the moment, including more extreme weather patterns, automobile technology advances, and population changes, to name a few. This is a great place to see how these changes affect your premiums and what you can do about it.
The r/PersonalFinance subreddit is a huge community (18 million members — the 35th-largest subreddit of all) interested in improving financial well-being. You’ll find coverage of a wide range of topics, including:
- Improving your credit score
- Getting out of debt
- Personal budgeting
- Saving money
- Retirement planning
And you’ll find information about consumer products — especially auto, life, and homeowners insurance.
This is a great place to see how your car insurance policy fits into your wider financial picture. It’s also an excellent venue for asking questions about managing your car insurance costs against other financial obligations.
You might, for example, ask if you should downsize your car or look for other cuts in your budget. The users on r/PersonalFinance will have a wealth of ideas (and opinions) you can draw from.
One more broad-ranging subreddit — r/Frugal — focuses on helping people become more intentional in how they spend their resources. And not just money, but time too. You’ll find nuanced discussions about how to determine when to splurge versus when to make do (plus lots of tips about making do and splurging well).
You won’t find as many professional insiders here. Instead, you’ll find like-minded people who know how to save well to live better. This is the place for you if:
- You’re looking for a change toward a more money-conscious lifestyle.
- You’re working toward large financial goals (paying down debt, funding retirement, etc.).
- You need motivation and ideas to stay on track financially.
Top 8 Reddit Tips to Save Money on Car Insurance
So, what do the experts on Reddit have to say when it comes to auto insurance shopping? Here are eight ways to save on your next policy.
Shop around and compare auto insurance quotes
Someone posed a question about how to save on auto insurance when you’re under 25 years old . This is a common question for young drivers because this age range tends to pay the most for auto insurance.
Here’s what u/sephiroth3650 had to say in response to this question.
One of the best things you can do to save money on your auto insurance is to compare quotes. This message is in response to a driver under 25 years old who wants to know how they can save money. Not only does the responder share that your auto insurance is likely to be higher when you’re in this age group, but they recommend getting quotes from several auto insurance companies to see if you can save.
When getting quotes, you’ll learn that rates can vary drastically for the same coverage, so you’ll likely be able to secure coverage with a different company at a lower rate without sacrificing quality.
Another important point to note is that you need to be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If you ask a friend how much they’re paying, but you have different coverage levels, you’re comparing apples to oranges, so it doesn’t tell you if their insurance company will get you lower rates.
The best thing you can do is use an auto insurance comparison calculator to compare rates and see which company can offer you the best price.
Find Your Cheapest Rates in Minutes
Don’t allow your insurance to lapse
A driver posed the question, “Should I cancel my auto insurance for a couple of months since I won’t be using it?” This is a thought that I’m sure has gone through many people’s minds when they knew they wouldn’t be driving for a certain period. While it sounds easy enough to cancel your policy and start it back up when you’re ready, it’s not that simple.
Here’s what u/t-poke had to say in response to this question.
Going any period without auto insurance can be costly. Let’s say you know you won’t be driving for several months and choose to cancel your policy. You’ll find that once you replace your policy, you’ll pay more than you did in the past. That’s because auto insurers now see you as a high-risk driver and will set your premium accordingly.
Instead of canceling your insurance altogether, it’s often better to decrease your coverage, see if your insurance company offers a storage-only policy that you can use temporarily, or keep your coverage as is. Otherwise, with your rates increasing, you’ll likely wind up paying more in the end.
Also, keep in mind that if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your finance company will still require you to carry the appropriate level of insurance to protect your interest, so in this case, you don’t have much of a choice.
If you’re at fault, you can’t choose whether the other party uses insurance
One driver came to Reddit wondering if they could convince the driver they were in an accident to skip out on filing an insurance claim.
u/nails_for_Breakfast had the perfect response to this dilemma.
Let’s say you rear-end someone, but the damage is minuscule (or so you think). You’d rather pay for the damages out of pocket, but the driver you hit wants to go through their insurance company. Ultimately, you have no rights in this situation. The other driver who’s not at fault doesn’t have to skip insurance and let you pay for the damages. That’s why auto insurance exists. Whether damages are great or small, your insurance is there so drivers don’t have to work with the other drivers directly, and instead, their insurance company can offer financial protection while being the go-between for the two parties.
Look at pay-per-mile insurance
With increased auto insurance prices over the last few years, everyone is looking to save money, and the driver who asked this question is no different. They were looking for ways to save and when the topic of pay-per-mile insurance popped up, u/mrandre3000 chimed in about how it saved him big time over several years.
Thankfully, some auto insurance companies are using technology to help you save on your auto insurance. There are telemetric programs and pay-per-mile insurance programs that allow you to pay based on how much you drive instead of paying a flat monthly fee no matter how much you’re behind the wheel.
With most pay-per-mile insurance programs, you’ll be assigned a low flat monthly rate. Then, you’ll pay an amount for each mile you drive that month. So, if you have a short commute, work from home, or don’t drive your car often, you might find great savings by switching to one of these programs.
Consider the financial risk you’re willing to take
It’s common to question whether you have too much or not enough auto insurance coverage. While all states have minimum auto insurance coverage requirements, any additional coverage you select is up to you.
u/inthe801 gave a pretty good response to the question that makes you consider how much risk you’re willing to take when considering how much auto insurance to secure.
While we know it’s annoying to pay for insurance you might not use or rarely use, in many cases, it’s worth the protection you’re gaining. If you’re asking yourself whether you should drop coverage to save on your premium, you have to ask yourself whether you can financially handle the worst-case scenario.
For example, if you drop collision and comprehensive coverage , can you afford to pay for all your medical and vehicle-related expenses if your car is totaled? In that case, you might choose not to continue to carry coverage. However, if you know it would bankrupt you, it’s probably a good idea to maintain these coverages because doing without isn’t worth the financial risk.
There are several ways to save on your premium
There’s more than one way to save on your auto insurance premium. Yes, you can shop around and compare rates, but it doesn’t stop there. Another option is to increase your deductible. In agreeing to pay a high deductible, you’ll lower your insurance premium. Why? Because auto insurance companies know you’re agreeing to pay more before your insurance coverage kicks in. So you’re less likely to file a claim, decreasing how much they’ll pay while you’re covered under them.
This is a much better way to save on your insurance than dropping collision/comprehensive coverage or decreasing your coverage limits.
The only thing you have to remember is that you need to be able to afford to pay the deductible before your insurance protection kicks in. So, if you know you won’t be able to come up with $1,000 if you’re in an accident next month, don’t set a $1,000 deductible.
Cancel your policy in the right order
Having a lapse in your auto insurance is easier than you might think. Let’s say you’ve decided to cancel your policy. You might think you can cancel your plan and sign up with a new policy the next day. Even one day without insurance is considered a lapse and makes you a high-risk driver in the eyes of auto insurance companies.
The best thing you can do is sign up for your auto insurance and get the date your new policy will become active. Then set the cancellation date for your current policy to a couple of days after the new one starts. This allows you to be safe and ensure you won’t have a lapse on your policy.
Get the most coverage you can afford
When you’re left wondering how much auto insurance you should get, the best thing you can do is secure the max amount of coverage you can afford. That’s because, as the respondent said, you never know whether you’ll be involved in an accident with a brand-new Tesla or a $1,000 Honda Accord. Either way, even if the vehicle isn’t damaged, with the rising cost of healthcare expenses, you could be on the hook for expensive bills if you don’t carry enough coverage to pay for the bills through your insurance policy.
Navigating Reddit for Auto Insurance Information
There’s so much knowledge waiting for you on Reddit, but how do you find it? Luckily, it’s not hard. Below, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to get the most out of your Reddit search.
How to search for relevant posts
The search feature on Reddit works much like a search engine. Here are the steps to get the best results:
- Enter your search term (e.g., “ cheap car insurance ”) in the search bar and hit enter to get results.
- Review your search results page, which will show you posts, comments, subreddits, and users related to your search.
If your search results are too broad, try narrowing your search (e.g., “cheap car insurance AND Indiana”). You can also filter your search by time frame or sort by a variety of factors (such as relevance or popularity). And if you don’t get any relevant hits, try broadening your search (e.g., “car insurance”).
Finally, don’t shy away from subreddits. There, you can find answers to questions you wouldn’t know to ask.
Engaging with the Reddit community
Reddit is a great place to learn new things, hear new viewpoints, and share what you know. But there are some formal and informal standards you should know. Here are some best practices.
- Read the rules and guidelines: Each subreddit has a unique set of rules and guidelines. Before posting or commenting, be sure you understand what’s allowed and what’s not allowed to avoid getting your content removed.
- Be helpful: Share your thoughts when you have something to add to the conversation (avoid “lol” or emoji-only responses). Share who you are or what you do if it’s relevant to the discussion.
- Be authentic: There’s no need to sound overly professional. Write like you’re having a conversation with friends you don’t know yet. If you’re using words like “nor” or “thus,” you can probably get more conversational.
- Site your sources and provide links: If you’re making a compelling point, backing it up with evidence and additional resources is a great way to add value to your posts and comments.
- Upvote and downvote responsibly: Use the upvote and downvote buttons to highlight quality content and discussions. Reserve downvotes for irrelevant or inappropriate content, and avoid using them for content that you disagree with.
Verifying user credibility and expertise
On a site where users can remain anonymous, it’s hard to tell whether content is coming from a trusted source. Here are some indications that you can trust the person offering advice.
- Post history: Frequent, high-quality posts — especially on relevant topics — may indicate expertise. Check the user’s post history to see what kind of content they contribute and which conversations they participate in.
- Karma and awards: High karma points and awards (such as Reddit Gold, Silver, or Platinum) suggest that other users find their contributions valuable.
- External links and credentials: Occasionally, users may link to their personal websites, portfolios, or social media profiles, which can provide additional context and information about their expertise.
- Consistency and depth: Look for users who consistently provide well-reasoned, in-depth responses with supporting evidence or sources.
If a Reddit user meets all four of these criteria, they’re likely a trustworthy source. But it’s still a good idea to do wider research when making financial decisions.
FAQs About the Best Car Insurance Advice on Reddit
Want to learn more? Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions by drivers like you.
How reliable are Reddit auto insurance recommendations?
Reddit auto insurance recommendations vary. Some users offer valuable insights, while others lack expertise. Upvotes and downvotes are good indications of a post’s quality, but consider multiple opinions and verify information with reputable sources before making insurance decisions.
Who pays the most for auto insurance?
People considered high-risk — especially young or inexperienced drivers, people with poor driving records, and people in high-risk areas — typically pay the highest auto insurance premiums. So a young driver with multiple serious driving incidents (DUI, accident , etc.) in a high-risk area would pay the highest rates on average.
Do auto insurance quotes hurt credit?
No, most insurance companies perform “soft credit” inquiries for quotes, which won’t affect your credit score. A hard credit check performed during your policy application may have a minor impact. But the impact is temporary and should resolve in one to three months.
Are online auto insurance companies legit?
Yes, you can find legitimate car insurance companies offering reputable coverage online. It’s still important to research and verify credibility before buying your policy. Read reviews and check their financial stability.
- Semrush, “ Most Visited Websites by Traffic in the world for all categories, June 2023 ,” Accessed July 30, 2023.
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The New 2024-25 FAFSA is Open. Intermittently.
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA ) for the 2024-25 academic year has soft launched, following a three-month delay and its most significant redesign since the 1980s.
On Dec. 30, the Education Department opened the form to students and families "periodically" while it tests functionality and site performance during planned pauses for maintenance. It urged students and families to continue checking FAFSA.gov for updates.
Anyone who plans to attend college between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025, should submit the new FAFSA as soon as possible. The sooner you apply, the more money available to you.
The form unlocks federal, state and school-based financial aid, including federal student loans, need-based grants, work-study and even some scholarships. Some of this aid draws from a limited pool and is first come, first served.
How the FAFSA 'soft launch' will work
The Department said it will save the information of anyone who submits the form during the soft launch and will not require resubmission when the form is formally launched. Those who submit the FAFSA should receive a confirmation email with preliminary financial aid eligibility information.
The Department said it will provide FAFSA eligibility information to schools and states in late January. Until that time, schools will not be able to answer questions about aid eligibility or status.
In late January, it said, students and families will be able to check the status of their FAFSA form on StudentAid.gov.
Request your FSA ID now
Before you can submit the soft-launched FAFSA, you’ll need an FSA ID . Each person who submits financial information for the new FAFSA is called a “contributor.” This could include the student, the student's spouse, one or both biological or adoptive parents or the parent's spouse. Each contributor needs a unique username and password — an FSA ID — to log in and complete their portion of the form.
Request your FSA ID on studentaid.gov and plan for a three-day turnaround time to receive it. Students won’t be able to submit the FAFSA until every contributor has their FSA ID.
What's new with the new FAFSA
Those who filled out the FAFSA in recent years will find that the 2024-25 edition looks much different. As a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act , signed into law in late 2020, the form now contains fewer questions, a direct data exchange with the IRS and new rules for divorced parents of college students .
The fresh FAFSA formula could impact students' financial aid packages . An additional 610,000 students from low-income backgrounds are expected to qualify for the Pell Grant, which gives students up to $7,395 that doesn’t need to be repaid.
The new formula, however, eliminates the so-called “sibling discount,” so parents no longer get a break for having multiple children in college at the same time.
If you’re a current college student and need help completing the 2024-25 FAFSA, reach out to your college’s financial aid office. If you’re a prospective college student, contact your high school college counselor or the financial aid offices of the schools to which you’re applying.
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