Best Car Search Engines

This is a comprehensive list of search engines that allow car buyers to find cars, trucks, SUVs, and other types of vehicles online.

Some of the web sites listed here only return automobiles that were posted specifically to each respective site, while others aggregate listings for sale from various other places and display them in one central location. Dealers can also use some of these resources to submit their available inventory for sale or lease.

Top 10 Car Search Engines

Search EngineAlexa Rank*Unique Visitors**
autotrader.com14565.5 M
cars.com15014.4 M
edmunds.com16015.8 M
cargurus.com36183.8 M
rentalcars.com4013735 K
carmax.com46612.3 M
motortrend.com54971.8 M
carsdirect.com155068 M
hemmings.com16275614 K
Autobytel.com20788721 K

*Alexa Traffic Rank (global). **Monthly Unique Visitor estimates from Compete.com (U.S. only). Updated for 2015.


Summaries

AutoTrader.com – Established in 1997, it’s the leading online vehicle marketplace and information website. Auto dealers and private sellers can list cars and trucks for sale. Consumers can read reviews, connect with lenders and insurance companies, and research deals on all types of vehicles.

Cars.com – Created in 1998, this is a top search engine for online car shoppers, offering information from consumers and experts to help buyers determine which vehicles to buy. The site allows people to search millions of used listings, get pricing details, dealer quotes, read expert reviews, and sell their own . It provides a side-by-side comparison tool, photo galleries, videos, editorial content and has a large selection of new and used inventory.

Edmunds.com – Launched in 1995, Edmonds claims to be the first automotive information Web site. It’s a car buying guide that lists new and used prices, comparisons, buyer’s advice, ratings and values. Consumers can also get price quotes and find vehicles in their area.

CarGurus.com – Created in 2000, this website provides over 750,000 vehicle reviews with photos and opinions from real people. It offers the DealFinder search engine that analyzes millions of active listings to give purchasers instant access to the best promotions in their area. It also creates records for private-sellers and dealers.

MotorTrend.com – Launched in 1996, MotorTrend is the Official Motor Trend magazine web site. It features new and used vehicles, concept cars, road tests, auto shows, and a ton of additional buying info. MotorTrend.com also provides a news blog, events, videos, forum, classifieds, price comparison and shopping tools.

CarMax.com – Launched in 1996, it’s the front-end website to the CarMax automotive dealer chain. Users can research all types of models, view detailed specifications, compare ratings, or sell their vehicle to the dealership. It offers payment calculators, financial tools and allows users provide feedback.

CarsDirect.com – Started in 1998, this is one of the best online car buying services. It provides used and new automobile info, plus extremely helpful financial-related content. People can search vehicles by make and model, sell a used vehicle, and get help with financing.

Hemmings.com – Auto classifieds that allows you to view thousands of classic cars, parts and service available for sale. It has an online auction, provides helpful content, and is a huge community of automotive enthusiasts.

Autobytel.com – Since 1995 Autobytel has been providing innovative products and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell, more used and new cars. Shoppers can browse hundreds of thousands of cars for sale, and read their car buying cuide with vehicle reviews, videos and pictures.

Automotive.com – Started in 1996, it’s one of the Internet’s leading auto buying portals. You can locate autos in the classifieds, find trade-in values, and insurance quotes. Consumers can receive information on recalls, safety-ratings, resale valuations, and use the available tools to help during the buying process.

Keep in mind this top ten list of car search engines is based on Alexa Traffic Rank only; not necessarily which ones are best from a user’s perspective. If you’d like us to review another search engine missing from our one of lists don’t hesitate to send us the web site information via our contact form.

3 thoughts on “Best Car Search Engines

  1. John

    MotoMiner.com is one of the newer car search sites. It is an ACTUAL search engine, in that it goes out and gets vehicle information from dealer websites, so it has a lot more available cars to search through than the other search sites (like Cars.com or whatever). You should check it out and maybe include it in your list.

  2. Wes Post author

    I do like your site, John! Especially the above and below average information on the results page which sets it apart for me. Plus it’s fast. For now I’m just approving the comment with a link back – which I never do – because our top 10 list is primarily based on traffic stats. Traffic is a pretty good indicator of what people like and we get 100’s of requests from lesser known site each week, most of which disappear after a short while. So we’d be updating our lists every 5 minutes otherwise.

  3. John

    Great to hear, Wes, thanks for the feedback. Definitely understand why you can’t list it yet. We’re working on the traffic part. :) Really appreciate you bending the rule here for the comment. If you have any further feedback for us, we’d love to hear it, as we are always looking to improve.

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