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How to Sell?

Autotrader Review 2024: Is it a Good Place to Sell Your Used Car?

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AutoTrader Review

autotrader logo

At a glance, AutoTrader seems like an excellent platform through which you can sell your used car. However, if we get into details, we’ll discover that AutoTrader has quite a lot of flaws. For ones, how much money you’ll pay for your car advertisement depends on how many photos you want to upload. And the pricing ranges from $25 to $100. What’s more, the platform doesn’t have any post priority system, such as VIP and non-VIP ad postings. In addition, AutoTrader is just a platform to connect you with potential buyers. Your contact information is public to AutoTrader buyers while you’re not protected from being scammed.

Legit & Safe

Offers Value

Turnaround Time

Payment Process


  • You can sell or buy a wide variety of vehicles through AutoTrader
  • A reputable platform to sell and buy used cars
  • You can get fair deals for your second-hand car
  • Efficient customer service


  • High risk of getting scam offers
  • The platform doesn’t protect your privacy and safety

Jump to: Full Review

Compare to Other Car Buying Websites


Peddle logo

Get a legit offer in minutes – provide VIN, mileage and condition

$0 fees + you don’t have to pay for towing – Peddle will take care of it

Get paid in check during the pick up for any car (damaged, junk, wrecked)


Wheelzy logo

Quick car evaluation without the hassle – sell your car within 30 min

Choose a convenient date and time for free pick-up, as soon as next day

Get cash in hand the same day the Wheelzy agent picks up your car


CarBrain logo

Get an offer within 2 minutes and sell your damaged car within 24 hours

Free vehicle towing and no fees to getting rid of your damaged car

The tow truck driver will arrive with your check (nationwide service)

How Does AutoTrader Work?

Established in 1997 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, AutoTrader is a popular online marketplace connecting car sellers and buyers. The company provides shopping advice, auto reviews, insurance details, and comparison tools for car financing. Auto Trader is owned by Cox Automotive of Cox Enterprises. 

Auto Trader allows you to; 

  • Enlist your car details. 
  • Describe the condition of your car. 
  • Price your car accordingly. 
  • Browse the site and choose the best cars based on your preferences.
  • Communicate with buyers. 
  • Acquire loan and car insurance. 

Auto Trader’s primary purpose is to provide the best online solution for selling and buying cars online. The platform currently features more than 2 million listings; 572,000+ new car listings and over 1.5 million used car listings. Apart from its head office in the US, Auto Trader also operates in Australia.

How Much Can You Get for Your Car With AutoTrader?

The amount you get from selling your cars depends on the car’s make, model, year of manufacture, and current condition. For example, the certified 2019 BMW 230i eDrive Coupe price was sold at $39,497. 

Who is AutoTrader Best for?

Auto Trader is best for individuals who want to sell their cars and earn extra cash. It is also best for individuals looking for a safe and legit platform to connect with sellers. 

What Types of Vehicles Does AutoTrader Purchase?

Auto Trader assimilates certified, used and new cars from private sellers and dealers. 

AutoTrader Follow-up Steps

Once you have posted your ad on AutoTrader, we advise you to take the following steps:

  • Organize all necessary and relevant paperwork related to your vehicle. This includes maintenance records, history report, odometers disclosure, bill of sale, as-is documentation, and a potential transferable warranty.
  • Clean your car properly and ensure there are no dents or glitches on its exterior or interior.
  • Determine your car’s actual value and price. You can utilize AutoTrader’s “Value a Car” tool powered by Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to find out the optimal price for your car.
  • Be prepared to take calls from potential buyers anytime. Keep all relevant answers ready and tactically organize test drives.
  • Once a buyer puts forth their interests, come to an agreement that will protect your legal and financial interests and finalize the deal.
  • Finally, transfer ownership and title.

How to Trade-in Your Car With AutoTrader?

Your vehicle can also be eligible for an instant cash offer. If AutoTrader accepts your car for a trade-in, you’ll have to bring it to the participating dealer.  You have up to 7 days to accept or decline the offer from Auto Trader. 

How Fast Can You Sell Your Car With AutoTrader?

Selling your car on Auto Trader is simple, quick, and easy. The company reviews your application and instantly sends you quotes based on the information you have provided.

AutoTrader Fees: How Much Does it Cost to Use AutoTrader?

AutoTrader offers four different packages for sellers. Each package is defined by its varying features and increasing price tags. Let’s review each of them using the table below:

What’s IncludedUpload 3 photosUpload up to 9 photosUpload up to 18 photosUpload up to 20 photos
Run adsFor 1 monthFor 2 monthsUntil the car sellsUntil the car sells

AutoTrader Payment Options

Auto Trader connects you to potential buyers. Therefore the payment method used will depend on the seller or dealer. As a seller, you are at liberty to choose the best payment method that works for you. 

AutoTrader Reviews: is AutoTrader Legit?

Auto Trader is a reliable car listing site. Having a rating of 3.7 on Consumer Affairs, 1.7 rating on Trustpilot, A+ rating on Better  Business Bureau, 2.9 rating on Google Play Store, and 4.7 rating on App Store, the site has attracted positive and negative reviews from sellers.

Most sellers liked the platform’s large customer base and research tool that allowed them to search for the best car deals. Other sellers also praised the company since it allows them to sell and trade-in cars. 

As for complaints, some sellers reported there’s a high risk of getting scammed and harassed by buyers. Others also indicated that the platform does not have a strict privacy policy to protect sellers. Overall, Auto Trade is safe and legit. 

Consumer Affairs3.7
App Store4.7
Google Play Store2.9
Better Business BureauA+

What Are the AutoTrader Pros & Cons?

AutoTrader Pros

  • You can sell or buy a wide variety of vehicles through AutoTrader.
  • A reputable platform to sell and buy used cars.
  • You can get fair deals for your second-hand car. 
  • Efficient customer service.

AutoTrader Cons

  • High risk of getting scam offers.
  • The platform doesn’t protect your privacy and safety. 

How Good is AutoTrader Support?

Auto Trader has great customer support that can be contacted via email or phone. It has a comprehensive FAQ and help pages with answered questions, articles, and tutorials. You also reach customer support via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to make inquiries. 

AutoTrader Review Verdict: is It Worth Selling Cars with AutoTrader”?

Auto Trader is a safe and trustworthy platform that connects buyers and sellers. The platform is easy to use and charges $25 to $100 if you want to advertise or promote your car selling business on the site. It also connects you with potential buyers. 

Additionally, after filling out the online application form, you will get an instant offer within 3 minutes and have up to 7 days to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. Even though there are mixed reviews and opinions from traders about the site, Auto Trader is a legitimate and trustworthy car-selling website worth trying. 

How to Sell Your Car With AutoTrader?

Step 1: Post Your Ad

First, you need to put up your ad on AutoTrader’s website. Click on the “Sell your car” tab and then “Place an ad.” 

AutoTrader will ask you for a few details, including the zip code for the place you want your vehicle to be sold. In addition, you’ll need to provide the following details regarding your vehicle:

  • Make and model of your car
  • Year of manufacturing
  • Body style
  • Mileage
  • Sale price
  • Its current condition

You can also add comments up to a limit of 2,000 characters where you might want to mention maintenance records and modification details. You can also input information regarding the warranty in this space.

Keep in mind that the more details you provide, the higher your chances of potential buyers contacting you. 

Step 2: Enter Contact Details

Once you’ve entered all the details about your vehicle, it’s time to provide personal contact details. Potential buyers would want to have a detailed conversation with you and might need your contact details. So you’ll need to provide an active email address and phone number.

Step 3: Upload Photos

Photos make the first impression. You can upload as many photos as your AutoTrader package allows you to. Ensure that the photos are high quality, visually appealing, and informative. 

Step 4: Publish Your Ad

Finally, review your ad, and if everything checks, hit the publish button to get your ad live.

Sites Like AutoTrader

Logo autotrader logo peddle logo wheelzy logo carbrain logo
Service fee$25 – $100No feesNo feesNo fees
Turn around timeVaries24 to 48 hours24 to 48 hours24 to 48 hours
Cars acceptedAny type of carsAny type of carsAny type of carsAny type of cars
ReviewFull ReviewFull ReviewFull ReviewFull Review

AutoTrader vs. Peddle

Peddle Summary

  • Sell used, damaged or junk car nationwide
  • Get instant quote on (855) 925 4302
  • Free towing within 48 hours after offer
  • Receive payment upon car collection

Our Experience Selling the Car to Peddle

Peddle is one of the best car buying companies that will purchase your car directly from you. On the other hand, Auto Trader is best for connecting clients and sellers. While Peddle’s turnaround time is 24 to 48 hours, Auto Trader’s turnaround is 2 to 4 days. 

As for service fees, Auto Trader’s service fees range from $25 to $100 compared to Peddle, whose services are 100% free of charge. Like Auto Trader, Peddle is free to sign up and use. Otherwise, both platforms allow you to make money selling your car. 

Recent Peddle offers

Toyota (Camry)2011150,000$2,225
Volvo (S40)200137,000$430
Mercedes-Benz (560)199192,000$1,930
BMW (528)2008126,000$1,140
Kia (Forte)2010145,000$635
Honda (CR-V)201167,000$2,930
Ford (Explorer Sport Trac)2004145,000$1,170
Oldsmobile (Alero)2004162,000$400
Audi (A6)2006106,000$530

AutoTrader vs. Wheelzy

Wheelzy Summary

  • Wheelzy stores are open 7 days a week
  • Get offer in minutes – (855) 510-1108
  • Free towing of your car from your location
  • Instant payment via cash or check

Unlike AutoTrader, Wheelzy will pick up or tow your vehicle right from your garage without additional fees. Like Auto Trader, Wheelzy is a legitimate car selling site. Moreover, Wheelzy services are free of charge compared to Auto Trader, whose service charge starts from $25 to $100. 

While Wheelzy turnaround time is 24 hours, Auto Trader’s turnaround time is 2 to 4 days. What’s more, selling your car on both platforms is simple, quick, and convenient. 

Recent Wheelzy offers

Hyundai (Tucson)2006200,000Doesn’t start$400
Mercury (Sable Sedan)2003150,000Doesn’t start$225
Mercedes-Benz (C)2001150,000Starts$222
Ford (Edge)2010200,000Doesn’t start$1,200
Ford (Flex)2009150,000Starts$1,000
Lexus (RX)2002300,000Doesn’t start$750
Chevrolet (Cobalt Sedan)2007200,000Doesn’t start$200
Toyota (Corolla)2003250,000Drives$555
BMW (528)2008250,000Drives$1,487

Autotrader vs. CarBrain

CarBrain Summary

  • Call for a free quote – (844) 407-2200
  • Get cash for your car in under 48 hours
  • CarBrain buys cars in over 7 conditions
  • Up to 7 days to accept CarBrain’s offer

CarBrain is another platform you should check out if you’re looking to sell your car. Unlike with Autotrader, you only need to provide your vehicle details to know CarBrain’s offer. This puts the burden of researching your car’s price off your shoulders. 

As CarBrain will be the one buying your car, you don’t need to worry about communicating with potential buyers online. CarBrain’s selling process prevents you from the inconvenience of dealing with potentially fake buyers.

Recent CarBrain offers

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport201150,000Collision damage, starts, doesn’t drive$1,270
Jeep Grand201543,000Collision damage, starts, doesn’t drive$8,000
Chevrolet201350,000Collision damage, does not start$1,335
Dodge Charger2011143,448Collision damage, does not start$1,000
Nissan Altima201382,000Collision damage, starts and drives$1,725
Chevrolet Silverado2008250,000Engine damage, starts, doesn’t drive$1,750

AutoTrader vs. Carvana

Carvana Summary

  • Get an online quote within 2 minutes
  • Free pickup wtihin 100 miles of a hub
  • Offer valid for 7 days or 250 more miles
  • Haggle-free process to sell your car

Requirements to sell the car to Carvana:

  • Cars 1992 or newer
  • Working odometer
  • In running condition
  • No excessive damage

To get an offer from Carvana, fill out an online form and provide your car’s license plate number or VIN.

The company will send you a cash offer which will be valid for 7 days or additional 250 miles. If you accept the offer, Carvana will pickup up the car from your specified location for free if it’s within 100 miles of one of their hubs.

Carvana will pay you by check at the time of the car’s pickup and inspection.

AutoTrader vs. CarGurus

CarGurus Summary

  • Receive payment within 3 working days
  • Find out the market value of your car
  • List your car for sale in under 5 minutes
  • Up to $75,000 in protection for your sale

CarGurus lets you either sell your car to a private buyer by listing it on the CarGurus website or sell it to on of their partners 100% online.

To get an offer, provide your car’s VIN or license plate number. You will get an instant cash offer, and after you accept, if CarGurus representative will arrive to pick up the car free of charge.

CarGurus offer will be valid for 7 days, and you will be paid at the time of the car’s pickup.

AutoTrader vs. eBay Motors

eBay Motors Summary

  • Sell 20+ types of vehicle and car parts
  • Low listing fees starting from just $19
  • List a car for sale in under 10 minutes
  • 2 selling options – fixed price or auction

Auto Trader’s service fee ranges from $25 to $100 compared to eBay Motors, which charges a $19 to $79 listings fee + 2.35% on the portion of the sale over $7,500. Like Auto Trader, eBay Motors’ site is easy to use and access. 

In addition, eBay Motors’ turnaround time is 48 hours compared to Auto Traders’ turnaround time of 2 to 4 days. While the eBay acceptance period is 5 days, Auto Trader acceptance period is 7 days. Otherwise, both apps can provide you with an opportunity to make money and earn

AutoTrader vs. SellMax

SellMax Summary

  • Easy to sell your car in any condition
  • Lost car title? No problem
  • Free service
  • Better deals than junkyards

SellMax is another reputable car-buying company that buys old, damaged, totaled, and junk cars nationwide. On the other hand, Auto Trader assimilates certified used and new cars from sellers and dealers. 

Like Auto Trader, SellMax has a user-friendly website that is easy to navigate. In terms of service fees, SellMax services are free of charge compared to Auto Trader, which charges $25 to $100 on its services.  

Other Sites Like Auto Trader

AutoTrader FAQs

Is Auto Trader free?

Auto Trader offers free research tools. However, if you want to post an advert on the platform, you must pay. 

Does Auto Trader offer car leasing services?

Auto Trader does not offer car leasing services. 

Where is Auto Trader Available?

Auto Trader is available in the US and Australia. 

Does Auto Trader offer protection plans?

Auto Trader does not offer protection plans. Nonetheless, if you buy your vehicle from a dealer through the platform, you might get a free or paid protection plan. 

Does Auto Trader have a return policy?

Auto Trader does not have a return policy. 

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Michael Becker


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