3 Car Search Websites You Should Actually Use

What vehicle are you interested in?

Last updated Apr 24, 2023

Car search websites are everywhere. Google search “cars for sale” and you’ll be greeted by tons of advertisements. It makes sense why — car dealers are willing to pay for leads, so in-turn car search engines are willing to pay to get car shoppers to visit their websites.

The issue with traditional car search websites (like AutoTrader, TrueCar, and CarGurus) is that they all prioritize the experience for their customers — the dealers that pay for those ads — and not the consumers (you and me). As a result if you try and use any of the name brand car search sites you’ll quickly realize you’re in for fake prices, spammy phone calls, and “sponsored” listings everywhere.

Today we decided to share the 3 car search websites we like to use to cut through the noise and actually get good information during our car search. No one has sponsored us or paid to be a part of this post.

Let’s dive in.

CarEdge – The best car search website

CarEdge-car-search-with-totalprice

CarEdge does a few things right when it comes to building a truly consumer friendly car search website. First and foremost, we like that there are:

  • No car dealer ads
  • No lead-gen forms
  • No spam calls
  • No fake prices

If you’ve ever searched for a car on one of the traditional car search engines you know how frustrating it is to see one price, fill out the form, get multiple phone calls, and then learn that the “real” price is much higher than what was advertised online. CarEdge solves this problem with their simple and intuitive car search site.

CarEdge has new, used, and certified pre-owned search filters. There are no sponsored listings or ads on the website. This might not sound like a big deal, but once you experience an ad-free car search website you won’t want to go back. The TotalPrice shows you how much you should really expect to pay for the car you are interested in, and the “coaching” from former dealers is useful and helpful.

CarEdge-car-search-TotalPrice

The negotiation insights and 4 step buying guide are really helpful, especially for car shoppers who want to get the best deal possible.

What we like

  • No ads
  • No lead-gen forms
  • We love the TotalPrice
  • The 4 step buying guide is super helpful (especially the email templates)
  • Seeing the extended warranty price is helpful

What we don’t like

  • We want to be able to save searches
  • No “favorite” vehicles option
  • It would be great to see what the TotalPrice would be with my trade-in

CarEdge – The best cost of ownership info

Many car buyers focus on performance, safety, tech, or comfort when it comes to their vehicle. CarEdge isn’t trying to change that, but they do want consumers to put a bit more focus on cost of ownership. Remember, cars (usually!) are depreciating assets! This means that after a few years of ownership you could be thousands of dollars underwater in your new ride.

CarEdge wants car buyers to make smarter financial decisions, and to do that they have invested a lot of time and money into building a great car search website with vehicle depreciation and cost of ownership data. CarEdge might not have the “sexiest” website, but their data is unparalleled in the industry. We don’t know of any other car search websites where you can get detailed depreciation, maintenance, and total cost of ownership data on a particular year, make, model, and trim of vehicle FOR FREE!

What we like

  • The depreciation calculator is super customizable
  • The maintenance and repairs estimates are detailed
  • The CarEdge Value Rating is a helpful “at a glance” indicator of a vehicle’s future resale value

What we don’t like

  • Ads … They’re EVERYWHERE. We get it, they need to keep the lights on, but the ads are everywhere
  • The user interface isn’t that pretty (but it is functional!)
  • Sometimes it can feel like information overload

AutoTempest – The best search for used cars

One of the most common questions we get at CarEdge is, “How can I find the exact used car I am looking for, with the right packages, options, etc?” The answer is, it’s really hard! We know a lot of car shoppers are looking for ways to get window stickers on used cars, and while AutoTempest doesn’t have a solution for that (no one really does), they do have a REALLY powerful used car search engine that DEFINITELY helps you zero in on the car you’re looking for.

AutoTempest is a car search aggregator. They pull together listings from multiple sources into one search. Think of AutoTempest like Kayak but for used cars.

Through their partnerships with Cars.com, TrueCar, Carvana, and more, AutoTempest is able to provide the most comprehensive used car search on the internet. Take a look at the initial search page … That’s a lot of options! AutoTempest is seriously the industry leader when it comes to filtering and options for used cars.

What we like

  • The most robust used car search website we’ve ever used
  • The filters! There are so many filters!
  • Listings alerts (you can get emails when your search updates)

What we don’t like

  • Ads … They’re not as prevalent as CarEdge, but they sure are there
  • Using the site at first can be a little intimidating (information overload)

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