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How to Sell?

Hemmings vs AutoTrader Listings in 2024

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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Which is Better for Selling the Car?

Of the two companies, Hemmings and Autotrader, Autotrader is the better platform for selling your car. The company accepts more vehicle types, as long as these are new or used. While they have instant cash offers, you can also list your car on its marketplace for only $49.

Additionally, Autotrader’s instant offers are guaranteed for 7 days or an additional 50 miles, unlike Hemmings’ buyers, who can withdraw their offers anytime.

Moreover, selling your car to Autotrader takes the burden of sorting shipping off your shoulders. You only need to bring your vehicle to one of their dealerships to finalize the sale. 

Finally, selling your car to Autotrader through their instant cash offer seems faster. You don’t need to wait for your listing to go live and for offers to come in.

Hemmings Summary

  • Excellent coverage for potential buyers with 200,000 subscribers
  • Free site searches to compare vehicles
  • Specialized platform for classic cars
  • Option to place a classified ad or auction

Autotrader Summary

  • Sell or buy a wide variety of vehicles
  • More than 14 million buyers per month
  • Get fair deals for your second-hand car
  • Efficient customer service

Hemmings vs. Autotrader Comparison

Logo hemmings logo autotrader logo
Cars acceptedMostly classic carsNew and used cars
FeesUp to $129.95 listing fee$0 for instant cash offer, $49 for listing fee
Requesting quotesCreate a listing and auctionOnline application
Offer validityDepends on the buyer7 days or an additional 50 miles
Payments offeredDepends on the buyer and sellerCheck
PayoutWithin 24 hoursSame day
Car pick-upDepends on the sellerDrop-off
Physical locationsDepends on the sellerParticipating dealers across the US
Turnaround timeAt least 24 hoursUp to 48 hours
Customer serviceOnline form, email, phone, fax, and mailPhone

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Cars Accepted

Hemmings is an online platform where you can sell classic cars and classic car parts. Besides these, you can also sell:

  • Exotics
  • Muscle cars
  • Sports
  • SUVs
  • Trucks

Meanwhile, Autotrader will buy your car as long as it doesn’t have any of the following:

  • Scarce market data
  • Market volatility
  • Was in an auction for the last 45 days
  • Unresolved recalls
  • Title issues
  • Modification


Hemmings charges listing fees depending on how you want to sell your car on their platform. Listing it on a traditional classified ad costs $129.95. If you prefer to sell it at auction, you’ll also need to pay a $99.95 fee. 

There’s also a Make an Offer option where you can sell your vehicle directly to Hemmings registered buyers. This option costs $99.95 as well. 

Autotrader allows you to list your car on their website, but for only $49.95. If you prefer to get an instant offer instead, you don’t have to pay any fees when you complete the online process. 

Requesting Quotes

To get offers for your car, you’ll need to list it first on Hemmings. The process starts with going to their website and clicking the Buy & Sell option. Then, you’ll need to complete their online form with your vehicle details and upload photos of your car. 

After finishing the listing draft, make sure to click Save and Continue. This allows you to enter your payment information. Hemmings will evaluate your listing and include it in their next print issue. Once there, you can expect offers to come in. 

Besides listing your car on their traditional classified ads, you can also auction your vehicle on Hemmings. The process is pretty similar as you also need to provide your vehicle details. 

However, you’ll need to wait for a Hemmings agent to confirm that your car is included in the auction. These events are usually scheduled starting on a weekday and last for 7 days. You’ll need to be available to answer bidder queries during the auction. 

Compared to Hemmings, Autotrader has a pretty straightforward process to request a quote. Just fill out their online form and get an offer based on the Kelly Blue Book valuation. 

If you prefer to sell your vehicle to private buyers, you can also list your car on the platform. The process requires you to provide information about your car and contact details, and upload photos. Finally, make sure to publish your ad. 

Offer Validity

Offers you receive through Hemmings typically depend on the buyers. After all, these are potential buyers that can back off at any time. Your listing on their classified ads, however, is active for up to 6 months, which gives you more time to attract new buyers. 

Autotrader offers, meanwhile, are valid for 7 days or additional 50 miles, whichever comes first. 

Payments Offered

Hemmings doesn’t handle the financial aspect when you sell your car. Considering this, you’ll have the freedom to choose your preferred payment method and get your buyer on board with this. 

On the other hand, Autotrader only offers check payments when you sell your car to them. If you list your vehicle on their platform, you’ll also be free to choose your preferred payment method. 


Both companies pay you on the same day of selling your vehicle. Hemmings even recommends you request your payment first before sending out your car and important documents, protecting you from bogus buyers and scammers. 

Car Pick-up

Since you’ll be the one sorting the logistics once your car sells, having it picked up is one of the options you can offer to your potential buyers. Autotrader, meanwhile, only allows you to drop off your car at one of their dealerships.

Physical Locations

Hemmings essentially lets you privately sell your car, so you can decide if you want the buyer to pick it up from a physical location at their cost. Autotrader, on the other hand, has a store locator page where you can locate their nearest dealerships. 

Turnaround Time

Selling through Hemmings can take as fast as 24 hours since you’ll be the one directly transacting with your buyer. However, this doesn’t include the time it takes for your car to appear in their classified ads or auction. 

As for Autotrader, selling can take up to 48 hours. This process also includes getting an instant offer, taking your car to one of their dealerships, and finalizing the sale there. 

Customer Service

Hemmings customer service is open through the following:

Autotrader’s customer support team is available through their hotline at 1-866-288-6872. 


Logo hemmings logo autotrader logo
Better Business BureauN/A1.21

It’s relatively hard to find customer reviews on Hemmings as the company is not listed in the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot. However, it has a 2-star rating on Yelp, which is pretty low considering that the platform specializes in classic cars.

Customers claim that the listing fees are too high and that there are fake buyers on the platform. Considering that it’s a buy-and-sell platform, it’s important to consider that possibility and be extra careful when transacting. 

Autotrader, meanwhile, encountered these issues with their buyers and sellers:

  • Problems with purchased cars
  • Some buyers thought they didn’t get their money’s worth
  • Potential buyers and sellers thought Autotrader sold their contact details to dealerships

Despite these issues, some sellers claim that Autotrader dealerships gave them higher offers for their cars. Also, the company was able to resolve most customer complaints and even received an A+ accreditation from BBB.  

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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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