Buyer Tips

A Guide to Finding Used Cars for Sale On AutoTrader

By Mike Richards Updated: 04/20/2020 Posted: 07/09/2019

When it comes to buying and selling online, there are many ways to do it. And the same applies to cars. One way to buy cars online is through a website called AutoTrader. Known all over the world and recognized as a trusted source for purchasing vehicles over the net, AutoTrader is a great way to get the car you want with few risks. In this article, we will explore why AutoTrader is so well known, how it works, and what to expect should you choose to buy cars for sale on AutoTrader any time in the future.

What is AutoTrader

Founded in 1997, AutoTrader functions as an online market place like eBay but specialized in the purchase and sale of cars. The site brings together various classified ads for new and used vehicles from dealers or private sellers.

What separates AutoTrader from other online stores, even in the car niche, is that it includes automotive reviews, shopping advice, and comparison tools for car financing as well as insurance information. Those tools allow the user to know the average values of the type of car they are looking for along with ways to finance and ensure that same car all at the same time. To a buyer, this is very advantageous.

How Does Buying Cars on AutoTrader Work

Going a step above from the competition is great when you want to have an edge on what is most beneficial for consumers, but the simplicity of using the platform as well as its interactivity determines whether consumers will like it or not. In this case, AutoTrader really shines.

For the Buyer

The way that AutoTrader works is through a search-based system that allows you to find the vehicles of your liking. In a way, it is like a real estate agent that looks at houses for you and presents you with the possibilities as well as all the information you need to make a decision.

By doing so, AutoTrader puts you in contact with the seller but does not interfere further. As an intermediary for searching the vehicle that is right for you, AutoTrader does not go further when making a purchase or a sale. Even so, the many options AutoTrader gives you, including suggestions and comparisons for insurance and financing, give you the ability to know how you can buy and insure the vehicle, although the actual purchase is up to you.

For the Seller

Arguably in the area that AutoTrader shines most, the perspective for the seller is quite advantageous. Sellers are given the option to advertise their vehicles. Unlike other sites that only provide you with a fixed template for advertising, you can structure your advertisement yourself and write up what you want to be placed.

In addition, there are options available at different levels. This allows the seller to get to the buyer quicker and not lose much time. The package levels vary and are as follows:

  • Standard: Your advertisement runs for four weeks and costs $25. You’re allowed to have up to three photos, with an additional cost to add more.
  • Enhanced: The ad runs for eight weeks and costs $50. Up to nine photos are allowed at no additional charge.
  • Deluxe: The ad runs until you sell your car and costs $75. You can add up to 18 photos.
  • Premier: The ad runs in the Featured Spotlight position for 14 days. It runs until you sell the car and costs $100.

Further Reading

The Pros of Using AutoTrader

Security Features

For the buyer, AutoTrader offers anonymity for an experience that allows the buyer to avoid spam or possible threats to personal information.

For the seller, AutoTrader offers information on the buyer when suspicions are raised. When one chooses to meet up and make a negotiation, tips like driving routes and things to look out for are part of the security package.

Search and Comparison Capabilities

As mentioned before, you can not only search but also compare offers and options on vehicles using the platform. Instead of comparing prices by going from one website to another, you can find the comparisons all there on AutoTrader, which is a lot more convenient.

Advertisement Features

Unlike many other websites, which offer limited advertisement features, on AutoTrader you can add as much info as you need ( up to 2000 words). Depending on the package, you may add as many photos as you need.

Extra Features for Private Sellers

In addition to what we have already seen, sellers who use AutoTrader have the opportunity to receive instant offers on trade-ins. You can type in the details of your car and its condition, and receive offers based on the information you have provided. The offer is then redeemable at one of the dealerships that work with, though the dealer has the right to inspect the car first.

buy used cars online

The Cons of Using AutoTrader

Limited resources when making a purchase

Although AutoTrader offers a lot of information on car values and pricing, as well as give you insights on loans, financing, and ensuring the vehicle, AutoTrader does not provide any more assistance on the purchasing and selling of the vehicle

Limited Insurance details

At the moment of writing this article, AutoTrader has partnered only with one insurance company: Geico. Although Geico is a top car insurer, the lack of options does not allow the buyer to get a full picture of the insurance options available for the vehicles they are looking at.

A Great Alternative to AutoTrader

You will find great alternatives to AutoTrader in online dealer auctions. If your priority is to save money and if you are looking into buying used vehicles, you should check out websites like The prices offered are very good and you will also get comprehensive customer support throughout the whole purchasing process. The support provided by Auto Auction Mall is really a step above what AutoTrader provides.

In addition, online dealer auctions allow you to buy vehicles for prices usually only available to dealers. They offer a great set of tools and a personal adviser to make your transactions much smoother. Not only will you save money, but you may even be able to acquire the vehicle you want while saving up to 70% off of the market value. So if you are interested in saving money on your car purchase, check out an online auction site today!

Why Choose Auto Auction Mall?

Many of the vehicles available at Auto Auction Mall have salvage titles, and that’s one of the reasons why they are so cheap. But don’t let that scare you. Not all salvage vehicles are piles of scrap. Many have only suffered some damage and are perfectly repairable.

In fact, salvage is a generic designation given to vehicles the insurance companies are not willing to spend money to repair. This may be because they have suffered extensive damage, to be sure, but often that’s just a matter of comparing the repair costs against the value of the car. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it for the insurers. In those cases, they will pay the owner and take over the vehicles to then sell them at auctions for a fraction of the price.

This means that salvage cars come in a variety of conditions. Many of them can be repaired and put back on the road. At Auto Auction Mall you can bid on these vehicles and take advantage of the savings. Even after taking into account other costs, such as repairs, parts and paperwork for registering the vehicle, you will save a lot of money, when compared to what you will pay by using AutoTrader.

Example Auctions Currently Live


Of course, as with any other large purchase, you need to take some precautions before you jump in. But you can rest assured that Auto Auction Mall will give you all the information you need to make your decisions. This includes providing you with the car’s VIN. Make sure especially to check how many previous owners the car had and if there is a history of accidents and structural damage.

However, you need to be aware that insurance for a repaired salvage car may be harder to get. Some insurance companies are reluctant to give coverage to rebuilt and repaired salvage cars. But with some research you will find insurers willing to do so. You should, nevertheless, keep in mind that you may need to submit your vehicle to another inspection to make sure everything is up to scratch.

As with AutoTrader, you should set you budget carefully when buying at Auto Auction Mall. Don’t forget to factor in repair costs, the price of parts and fees and administrative costs related to having the car registered again. Insurance premiums may also be higher.

How Auto Auction Mall Can Help

With Auto Auction Mall, buying a car becomes a lot easier. You will easily find the car you want by using the powerful search function at the website. Furthermore, you will get access to auctions that are otherwise inaccessible to ordinary buyers. Auto Auction Mall will act as a proxy bidder and use its dealer’s license to bid on your behalf. You will be the one setting the budget, of course, and you will have a much better chance to get the car you want with Auto Auction Mall’s expert advice.

If you are interested in our help in finding repairable or salvage vehicles, you only need to contact us for more information. We will get back to you as soon as possible.