Best Ways to Sell a Car
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)
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
Which is Better for Selling the Car?
Of the two featured companies, Carvana is the better option if you’re selling your car. Its instant offers are specific to the vehicles they accept, eliminating any confusion from potential sellers.
Also, its offer validity is longer, thus better, than Cars.com‘s three-day validity. When it comes to logistical matters, Carvana offers free pick-up and drop-off, letting you choose what works best for your vehicle and schedule.
Cars.com vs. Carvana Comparison
|Cars accepted||Eligible vehicles||In good condition, 1992+|
|Requesting quotes||Online application||Online application|
|Offer validity||3 days||7 days or an additional 1,000 miles|
|Payments offered||Cash or trade-in||Cash or trade-in value|
|Payout||Depends on the dealership||Check, direct deposit, direct debit|
|Car pick-up||Depends on the dealership||Free pickup or drop off|
|Physical locations||Through partner dealers in the US||33 Car Vending Machines|
|Turnaround time||Up to 72 hours||Up to 72 hours|
|Customer service||Chat, call, fax||Phone, email, online form|
Cars.com accepts vehicles that are not any of the following:
- Trade-in commercial vehicles
- Vehicles with a taxi, police, fire, or livery history
- Vehicles with no VIN
- Vehicles not built in the US or imported illegally
- Vehicles registered at auto auctions
Carvana, meanwhile, accepts vehicles that are in good condition and with the year model of 1992 or newer.
Cars.com charges no fees when selling your vehicle to their partner dealerships through the Instant Offer option. Similarly, the platform doesn’t charge anything when you list your car there and sell it to private buyers.
Carvana is also completely free to use when selling cars.
To get an Instant Offer at Cars.com, visit their website and go to the Sell Your Car webpage. Here, you’ll find the options to list your car or to get an Instant Offer. Make sure to choose the latter.
You’ll need to enter your zip code first to confirm if Instant Offers are available in your area. Suppose that it’s available, the website will load to another page where you can enter your car’s VIN or license plate number.
Ideally, enter the VIN so the website will auto-populate the year, make, and model fields. From there, you’ll need to provide the following details:
- Number of keys you have
- Whether you’re the original owner
- Whether you’re still making payments on the car
- Whether you want to upload photos of your car
After providing these, Cars.com will ask for contact details, such as phone number and email. Once done, you’ll start receiving offers from participating dealers.
Carvana’s online application works similarly. You’ll also need to provide details and the condition of your vehicle. Lastly, the company requires your contact information to send you the instant offer.
The Instant Offers at Cars.com are technically from their partner dealers, and as such, you might come across dealers that can offer cash and trade-in. Others might just offer cash for your vehicle.
Similarly, Carvana offers cash and pays through checks. You can also opt for a trade-in and credit the amount towards your new vehicle purchase.
Cars.com doesn’t provide any specific information on receiving payments for your car. It’s because payout methods may vary across participating dealers where you can get Instant Offers.
On the contrary, Carvana will hand your payment in check when they come to pick up your car.
In this step, Cars.com once again didn’t provide any general information. However, it’s safe to assume that the pick-up option is something you can discuss with the dealer where you intend to sell your car.
Carvana, meanwhile, offers a free pick-up option. You only need to schedule the time for them to come and take it.
You can sell your car to Cars.com through their participating dealerships. Once you complete your online Instant Offer application, dealers will contact you. By then, you confirm whether you can bring your vehicle to claim the offer or have them pick it up.
For both Cars.com and Carvana, completing the online form takes a few minutes as long as you can provide the information asked. You can also accept the instant offer right away, so you can proceed to the logistics part of selling your car.
From there, your preferred dealership will inspect your car and finalize the offer. Once you present all necessary documents to close the sale, you’ll get paid. Overall, it can take up to 72 hours to sell your car to either of the two companies.
Carvana lets you contact their Customer Service team through any of the following:
- Phone: 800-333-4554
- Text message: 800-333-4554
Note that their hotline is only available between 9 AM to 8 PM EDT.
Carvana is updating its profile at the BBB, so its ratings are not shown. Still, the company received some positive reviews, with some sellers finding their offers more than reasonable. Others also liked that they were able to sell their vehicle within 24 hours.
On the other hand, a few sellers at Carvana complained about not receiving the agreed amount for their car.
Most of the positive reviews for Cars.com are from buyers who are happy with their purchased cars. Others also liked that the platform has excellent customer service.
In contrast, other Cars.com users found themselves locked out of their accounts. As a result, they were not able to sell their car on the platform and ended up selling it somewhere else.
Cars.com & Carvana Alternatives
With many platforms to sell your vehicle online, Peddle is one of the best alternatives to Cars.com and Carvana. Here, you can get an instant offer by filling out an online form. When you’re okay with their offer, you can schedule to have Peddle pick up your vehicle.
What sets Peddle from Cars.com and Carvana apart is that this company buys vehicles in all sorts of conditions. In fact, you can sell junk cars to them, effectively getting these off your property. Peddle.com will handle the recycling while you get paid.
Compared to Cars.com and Carvana, Peddle received an impressive 4.7 Trustpilot rating.
Wheelzy is another platform you should check out if you’re looking for customer favorites. The company has a staggering 4.8 rating at Trustpilot, a testament to its customers’ satisfaction with its services.
Wheelzy works quite similar to Carvana since you’ll need to provide details about your car and get an instant offer within minutes. It also offers free pick-up, letting you skip the hassle of taking your car to a dealership.
But the cars Carvana and Cars.com typically don’t buy are usually accepted at Wheelzy. The company accepts used, damaged, and wrecked cars, making it a go-to car-selling platform for those looking to dispose of old vehicles.
And since the company offers free pick-up, sellers appreciate the fact that they don’t need to pay for towing services to get rid of junk cars. Instead, Wheelzy pays them for those cars.
CarBrain is a company that purchases damaged cars in any condition, including vehicles with mechanical, physical, or electrical damage.
CarBrain operates with a nationwide network of partners and is known for its fast and convenient service, providing you with an offer and picking up the vehicle within 24 to 48 hours.
Nother great alternative for both Cars.com and Carvana is CarGurus. This company allows you to choose between two ways to sell a car. You can either get an instant cash offer and sell 100% online in a few minutes or list the car on their website and sell privately.
To get an instant cash offer:
- Enter your VIN or license plate number
- Get a cash offer in just two minutes
- Schedule pickup time
- Get paid within two business days by cash or direct deposit
The listing car on the CarGurus website costs $4.95.
To list a car on CarGurus:
- Add your zip code
- Provide the car details (make, model, year, mileage)
- List special features
- Describe the condition and history
- Add images
- Provide your contact information
- Pay listing fee