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How to Sell?

CarGurus Review 2024 – Is it Legit to Sell a Car?

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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CarGurus Review

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CarGurus is one of the largest online used car marketplaces. If you are looking for a way to sell your car privately, CarGurus offers one of the largest audiences, with over 30 million visitors to the website each month. In addition, when you sell a car on the platform, you can set your own prices and negotiate with potential buyers, enabling you to get the best possible price for your used car.

Legit & Safe

Offers Value

Turnaround Time

Payment Process


  • Quick payment processing time – after handing over your vehicle to your buyer, Cargurus will release payment to your bank account in 3 working days.
  • Find out the market value of your car – the platform’s Instant Market Value calculator lets you know how much your car is worth in just 2 minutes.
  • List your car for sale in under 5 minutes – all you need to do is upload photographs of your car and provide some basic information about it.
  • Up to $75,000 in protection for your sale – when you sell your car on Cargurus, you can rest assured that you will receive payment from your buyer.


  • Relatively high fees – it only costs $4.95 to list a car for sale on the platform but you will need to pay a $99 fee but only if your car sells.
  • High competition – there are thousands of other vehicles on the platform. You may need to pay $19.99 for a featured listing to sell your car faster.

CarGurus Reviews – Is CarGurus Legit?

CarGurus is a legitimate platform for selling your new or used vehicle. The website has been reviewed on average with a rating of 2.7 on Trustpilot and 2.4 on Sitejabber. 

While some customers complain about CarGurus’ services, others praise the platform. According to some, selling their used cars has helped them make extra money. 

Others were also pleased that you could complete the selling process fast. Unfortunately, some users complained about poor communication, payment systems, and subscriptions.


Is It Worth Selling Car With CarGurus?

Overall, CarGurus is an excellent platform for selling your used car online. With more than 30 million new visitors monthly, it’s a great place to list your car and get it in front of a hot audience looking to buy used cars.

Regarding finances, you can price your car yourself and negotiate with the buyer. Plus, by selling your vehicle with CarGurus, you can accept payment using your preferred method – through the CarGurus platform or cash.

Considering all these points, CarGurus is a convenient platform to sell your used car online.

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How to Sell Your Car With CarGurus?

Here is a step-by-step process of selling your car with CarGurus.

Step 1: Do the Paperwork

Compiling all the documents related to selling your vehicle should be the first thing you do. Most sellers neglect this and leave it for last. Gathering the documents can be hectic if it is not done carefully. Therefore, you should prepare all the documents before doing anything else. 

Here’s the list of the documents you’ll need to prepare to transfer the vehicle into the buyer’s possession safely:

  • Title transfer form – the first thing that the state requires you to do while selling your car is to prepare the title transfer form. All you need to do is visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and acquire the form. Provide all the information about yourself and the buyer. Pay the title transfer fee, and you’re all done.
  • Bill of sale – you will need this document at the time of sale. When you receive your payment for the car, you can visit the DMV to prepare this form too. The form has information concerned with the seller and buyer. It may also include the date of purchase and purchase price.
  • Release of liability – DMV directs any liability or fine to you when the car is in your possession. Now that you are selling your car, this form will free you from the liabilities. The new owner of the car is now responsible for crossing red lights.

Step 2: Prepare Your Car for Sale

Just like you want to buy a clean car, others want the same too. A muddy, dented, and dirty car will convey a negative first impression to the sellers. 

To prevent this, you need to prepare your car ahead of sale. Wash the exterior and interior of the vehicle with care. 

Give special attention to the parts that matter the most during a test drive. If the car needs a paint job, you should give it a fresh new look. 

Also, pay special attention to the tires, doors, and glass of the car. Make it spotless.

Step 3: Take Photos of Your Car

CarGurus is an online selling and buying platform where photos introduce your vehicle to the buyers. 

Be honest about your car’s condition, as false advertisements and photos can surprise your clients and cause them to reject the deal. If the car has any dents or blemishes, include that in your photos, too. 

Take a lot of pictures from every angle. Choose the ones you like the most. Don’t edit or add filters to the photos as you are not promoting your car, you’re selling it. You can use a digital camera or a smartphone as long as the pictures taken are of high quality.

Step 4: List Your Car for Sale

Once you have gathered all the documents, and photos and prepared your car for selling, it’s time to list it on CarGurus. 

Use the IMV analysis to compare it with other listings and get an estimated price for your car. 

You’ll need to provide the following details of your car to create a CarGurus listing:

  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Specifications
  • Location
  • Description
  • Photos

Here’s how getting your car an estimate with CarGurus works:

IMV runs algorithms for more than 6 million cars in the same category before providing you with an estimated value.

Once your car is listed, you can add any additional information or photos to the collection. Next, potential buyers will contact you anonymously through the CarGurus communication system. Upon settling, buyers will visit you for a test drive. Bargaining is also an option to sell your car at an optimal price.

Step 5: Get Paid

After you close the deal with the buyer, it’s time to get paid. You can use the following options to collect your payment:

  • Cash
  • Bank check
  • Escrow service

In case the buyer wants to give you a bank check, it’s better to conduct the deal at the bank. Cash is preferred and you can also use an escrow service for secure payment.

After you secure your payment, you can hand over all the documents and transfer the title to the buyer. After selling your car, remove your listing from CarGurus to stop receiving notifications.

CarGurus FAQs

What is CarGurus?

Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert, the co-founder of TripAdvisor, CarGurus began trading on the NASDAQ in 2017 under the symbol CARG.

As one of the largest marketplaces for selling and buying used cars online, the platform allows you to list your used car online and connect with potential buyers who are also looking for a car.

Today, the platform boasts over 30,000 paying dealers and reaches 40.6 million users monthly.

Fun fact: CarGurus is pronounced as a single word and is rhyming with ‘kangaroos’.

How does CarGurus work?

CarGurus allows you to;

  • Prepare your car for sale and list it
  • See real offers from real buyers
  • Have potential buyers contact you anonymously through the CarGurus communication system
  • Close the deal and get paid

The CarGurus platform utilizes data analysis tools, unique algorithms, and strategies to provide the best car listing platform and fairly conduct the vehicle search process. These algorithms are otherwise known as Instant Market Value (IMV). It’s basically a ranking system that strives to list the cars in the slots that they deserve. 

How CarGurus Calculates The Price

Whenever you upload the data related to your car on CarGurus, the platform calculates its estimated price by comparing it with other listings of the same vehicle. It considers all the current and previous listings before coming up with the final figure.

Additionally, other variables related to the car and dealers play a huge part in the pricing process. These variables include:

  • Accident history
  • Condition of the car
  • Mileage
  • Dealer reputation

Dealer reputation plays a major role in the listings. It represents customer interaction with the dealer. Whenever you buy a car from a dealer, you get to rate your experience with the dealer on the platform. CarGurus customer reviews combined with other variables mentioned above translate into the final quote for the car. 

There is a common misconception that CarGurus favors big dealerships. But that’s not the reality. Many Customer reviews clearly state that CarGurus listings are unbiased. It doesn’t rank dealerships on top just because they pay money. Dealer reputation and ratings are the sole deciders.

Who is CarGurus best for?

CarGurus is designed for users who want to sell their cars and make extra money. It’s also meant for those who want to compare the listings for used and new vehicles before contacting sellers.

CarGurus fees

CarGurus charges you as a seller on two occasions during the process:

  1. When you list your car at the CarGurus forum, you have to pay a $4.95 listing price. If you list multiple cars simultaneously, you’ll have to pay $4.95 for each listing. 
  2. Secondly, when you sell your car and receive your payment through AUTOPAY, CarGurus charges you $99 for each vehicle. That is not applicable if you remove your listing before getting the payment. 
CarGurus Fee TypeCarGurus Fee
Listing fee$4.95 per car
Payment processing fee$99 (fixed fee)

What types of vehicles does CarGurus purchase?

CarGurus purchases both new and used vehicles, including BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Jeep, and more.

How fast can you sell your car with CarGurus?

You can expect to sell your Car with CarGurus and receive the payments within three days.

CarGurus payment options

Once you are through with the selling process, CarGurus will send the money directly to your bank account so you can receive the same within three days.

How good is CarGurus support?

CarGurus has a detailed support and knowledge base, including a frequently asked questions page, articles, and blogs explaining how to sell or buy a car. You can also contact its customer service by submitting the contact us form. Therefore, the support can be considered good.

How do you get paid on CarGurus?

CarGurus offers digital payment options through linked bank accounts. You can also decide to accept cash directly from the other party without involving CarGurus.

Is CarGurus pay safe?

Yes, CarGurus Pay is a safe method for handling your transactions. The platform advises you to accept cash, and no third-party involvement makes the process much safer.

Does CarGurus charge a fee?

Yes, CarGurus charges two types of fees – a listing fee ($4.95) and a sale fee ($99).

Is CarGurus legit?

CarGurus is a legitimate platform that provides you with an opportunity to sell your car.

What details do I need to get an offer?

To get an offer, you need to provide a basic description of your vehicle, including VIN, mileage, color, and interior/exterior condition.

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Michael Becker


About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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