The Best Place To Buy Used Cars 2023

Online car buying sites have seen a huge surge in popularity and it has never been easier to research and buy your next car. Within this article, we list some of the best used car websites in the UK that are guaranteed to steer you in the right direction.

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Best Used Car Websites
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Whether you are looking for your first car, an upgrade or a weekend toy, there are hundreds of different used car websites you can use to find your perfect car. Using an online car buying site as opposed to visiting multiple local dealerships makes the whole experience far easier but what website should you use?

Below are our recommended car-buying sites that are based on our own experience and plenty of research.

The Best Used Car Websites


1. AutoTrader

AutoTrader Website

AutoTrader has been dominating the used car market for a long time now and it has been doing so even before it went online with its printed publication. One of the best aspects of using AutoTrader as a car-buying site is the vast amount of filters that you can use to narrow down your search. These filters include everything from the engine size to specific levels of trim (i.e. AMG line) and it really makes a big difference when compared to the alternatives.

Another aspect that makes AutoTrader stand out from other used car websites is the fact that they provide price indicators. The indicators are made possible by comparing the seller’s asking price against AutoTrader’s valuation. The price indicator will state whether the car is low, great, good, fair or high in price and this can be very helpful during your search.

Some of the benefits of using AutoTrader to buy your next car include:

  • Excellent reputation and lists the largest amount of new and used cars
  • Extensive search filters to narrow down your search
  • Price indicators to use as a guide
  • Most used cars on the site are listed by dealers
  • Car specifications are easy to read in an organised layout
  • Lists additional information about the car (running costs, insurance and HPI)
  • Displays a mileage guide to provide an indication if it’s a high-mileage car

However, some of the drawbacks include:

  • No auction style of listings
  • No online payment facility
  • Lots of sponsored listings can sometimes make the search confusing

To conclude, AutoTrader continues to be one of the best-used car websites in the UK and the brand has been improving it each year with extra features to keep their site on top. They have many years of good reputation over other car buying sites and we’ve personally bought many cars through AutoTrader. However, it’s worth pointing out that the cars we’ve bought are mostly a few years old and they were also bought from dealers on the site.

2. eBay Motors

Ebay Website

Whether you are looking for a cheap runabout to take to the tip or a bargain from a private seller in an auction, eBay is certainly the best place to search. Unlike AutoTrader which mostly lists cars sold by dealers, eBay is the opposite because most of the used cars on the site are sold by private sellers. EBay is also one of the very few car-buying sites where you can purchase a used car in an auction and potentially grab yourself a bargain (or get carried away with your bids!).

It’s important to note that if you buy a used car from a private seller on eBay, you’ll need to carry out your own HPI check. It’s also advised that you check the seller’s feedback for peace of mind before placing any offers or bids.

Other benefits of using eBay as a place to buy used cars include:

  • Greater variation of used cars
  • Auction style listings
  • Online payment facility
  • Cars are usually cheaper as they are sold privately
  • No sponsored listings (not bombarded by dealer listings like AutoTrader)
  • Plenty of written-off cars available (projects and repaired)

However, some of the drawbacks include:

  • No advanced search filters
  • Private sellers can sometimes be anonymous (i.e. no feedback)
  • There is a potential to get carried away with your bids

We’ve purchased multiple cars from eBay and we’ve never had any issues but it’s important that you do your own research. This means that you’ll want to know how much the car is worth before placing any bids or offers and that you should also carry out background checks such as an HPI check. Ignoring other items that eBay sell, as a used car website, it’s certainly one of the best places to grab yourself a bargain.

3. Cazoo

Cazoo Website

Cazoo is a relatively new used car website but it has certainly exploded in popularity in the UK. This is because it’s an online car-buying site where Cazoo provides a complete service from start to finish.

This is made possible by Cazoo buying used cars themselves, performing all the checks and even test driving the cars before they put them up for sale. If you decide you want to buy one of their cars, they’ll then deliver it to you within three days or you can collect it from one of their UK branches. Another great bonus is that you have a 7-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like the car, which is a great benefit of using the brand when compared to the alternatives.

Some of the benefits of using Cazoo to buy your next used car include:

  • Complete online experience
  • All used cars go through a 300-point inspection
  • Any repairs or defects are repaired and the cars are all valeted so that they are ready to go
  • 7-day full refund on all cars as well as a complementary 7-day driveaway insurance
  • All cars come with a minimum of 90 days warranty
  • Finance options available
  • Online payment facility

However, some of the drawbacks include:

  • Not all cars are available to view in person
  • Only 17 branches in the UK

Overall, Cazoo is a revolutionary way to buy your next used car and it could potentially be the way most dealers work in the future. However, currently, Cazoo is the best online car-buying site that offers the complete service and the brand’s current reputation is a clear sign that it’s working well. You also have complete peace of mind that the car has been thoroughly inspected as well as the option to return it within 7 days if you aren’t happy.
Search Cazoo

4. Motors

Motors Website

Motors is a relatively new addition to the list and it’s a used car website that focuses on being easy to use with clear graphics and plenty of categorisation. The website also offers unique search functions such as searching by monthly cost, location or dealer. It’s worth pointing out that the Motors website is owned by eBay (since 2018) and you’ll find that many of the listings are duplicated upon the two websites but the sites differ in terms of their functionality.

Some of the benefits of using Motors to find your next used car include:

  • Easy to use and navigate around the site
  • “Smart Search” function to search by your requirements (i.e. tax, emissions, MPG etc)
  • HPI report appears on the listings of each car
  • Price guide indicator to give you an idea of how the car is priced against others on the market
  • Instant breakdown of the available finance options
  • Option of a live chat with the dealer
  • Recently viewed list (very useful and unique to the website)

However, some of the drawbacks that we found include:

  • No online payment facility
  • Mostly used cars from dealerships (although this may not be a drawback)

To conclude, we found that Motors was a strong contender as one of the best used car websites in the UK that’s easy to use and offers all of the filters and categorisation you’ll ever never need. Although it doesn’t have as many cars on the site when compared to AutoTrader, we certainly found it easier and quicker to use. It also had many intuitive features such as the “Smart Search”, live chat and the price guide, which is very similar to AutoTrader’s price indicator feature.

5. Car Shop

Car Shop Website

The main Cazoo alternative is Car Shop and it’s an online car-buying site that promises to make buying a car online simple. As with Cazoo, you can simply choose a car that you want, go through any part exchange or finance options and then get it delivered to your house. Each of the cars listed on the site has been thoroughly inspected and tested by the team to ensure they are ready to sell and the brand also provides a 3-month warranty for complete peace of mind.

Some of the benefits of using Car Shop include:

  • Offer a price match promise
  • Thousands of cars available
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Extended warranties available
  • Instant part exchange valuations
  • Extensive inspection and safety assurance
  • Ability to hold cars for a small fee

However, some of the drawbacks include:

  • Not as many cars are available when compared to the alternatives
  • Only 13 local branches across the UK
  • Additional charges apply for home delivery

To conclude, the Car Shop is a great alternative to Cazoo and the fact that there is a price match guarantee means that you’ll be getting a fair price. The Car Shop also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, which is twice that of Cazoo’s for complete peace of mind.

6. Copart

Copart Website

If you are looking for a project that you could potentially make some money on or you simply want to buy a premium car at a lower price, Copart is where you want to begin your search. It’s a used car website that specialises in cars that have been written off. We’ve bought a number of cars from Copart (mostly those with a CAT S title) and there are certainly plenty of bargains available if you are willing to put in the effort to repair them.

Copart is a unique online car-buying site that offers a number of benefits that include virtual viewing, daily online auctions as well as a delivery service (unless you have your own preferred transporter). There are simply no other car-buying sites that offer this type of service for written-off cars and it’s certainly the best place to look for a project.

Some of the benefits of buying a written-off car from Copart include:

  • Lots of bargains available in daily auctions
  • Detailed photos of the damage as well as diagnostic reports via a car diagnostic tool
  • Virtual viewings are available on request
  • Online payment facility

However, some of the drawbacks that we found include:

  • Annual membership fees (all users must be registered)
  • Additional fees (hammer price, lot retrieval and internet convenience)

To conclude, Copart is one of the best online car-buying sites for written-off vehicles that come straight from insurance companies. Although there are multiple fees to pay after you’ve won an auction on the site, the bids often reflect the additional fees, which means that there are plenty of bargains to be had with the fees included.

7. Cars And Classics

Cars And Classics Website

As the name of the website suggests, Cars & Classics is a used car website that specialises in classic cars. This makes it the best place to buy used classic cars and the website itself has seen significant improvement over the last few years. We’ve personally bought (and sold) multiple cars through the site and although the design/layout is basic, it works.

Some of the benefits of buying a used car upon Cars & Classics include:

  • Largest classic car buying site (according to the brand)
  • Fixed and auction-style listings
  • Simple and easy-to-use layout
  • Online payment facility

However, some of the drawbacks we found include:

  • Basic search filters
  • Not ideal for those searching for newer cars

Whether you are buying a classic car for an investment or as a weekend toy during the summer, Cars & Classics is the best place to look. They have a great selection of cars and you’ll find that most of the sellers exclusively use the site to sell their cars. This means that you may come across cars that you haven’t seen before on other car-buying sites.

8. Gumtree Cars

Gumtree Website

If you are looking for a used car website that mostly sells budget cars, Gumtree is the place to search. The reason why there are mostly cheap cars listed on the site is due to the fact that it’s free to create a listing. However, even without the listing fees, Gumtree has always been associated with lower-value cars and we’ve certainly bought multiple from the site.

Some of the benefits of using Gumtree to buy used cars include:

  • Shows a basic HPI report on each car
  • Easy to use and view photos
  • Ideal for those looking for a cheap used car
  • Great for searching local cars for sale

However, some of the drawbacks that we found include:

  • Private sellers are anonymous
  • Basic search filters
  • No online payment facility

To conclude, Gumtree is a great source for finding cheap used cars online or those that are local to you. However, as you are mostly dealing with private sellers, it’s crucial that you take your time to check out the car’s history before making a purchase. Although Gumtree provides a basic HPI check, it’s always worth extending your checks for peace of mind.

9. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace Website

If you have an active Facebook account, using Facebook’s very own marketplace is a great place to buy a used car. The majority of listings are from private sellers but because it’s a social media platform, you’ll be able to check the seller’s profile to ensure that they seem genuine before you start to enquire about the car.

In terms of using Facebook Marketplace as a car-buying site, you’ll need to click on the “shop” icon and then click “vehicles” under the category section. You’ll then be greeted by a number of filters to narrow down your search.

Some of the benefits of using Facebook Marketplace to search for used cars include:

  • Able to view the sellers before you enquire
  • Mostly budget to mid-range cars for sale
  • Quick to get in touch via a Facebook message
  • Easy to use (if you’ve used Facebook before)

However, some of the drawbacks that we found include:

  • Requires a Facebook account
  • No HPI checks
  • No online payment facility
  • Limited search filters

As long as you have a Facebook account, using their marketplace is a great place to look for used cars and it comes with many unique benefits. The fact that each seller must have a Facebook account and they aren’t anonymous provides extra peace of mind but it’s still recommended that you check the car’s history before agreeing to buy it.

10. PistonHeads

Pistonheads Website

Although PistonHeads mainly focuses on being a forum/community for car enthusiasts, they’ve recently upgraded their website to include a more intuitive used car search. As you would expect from PistonHeads, the car’s that it features on its site mostly include unique, specialist and performance-based cars.

In terms of the layout and design of the car buying section of their site, it’s similar to AutoTrader and it’s very simple to use. There is also a good selection of used cars from both dealers and private sellers.

Some of the benefits of searching for a used car on PistonHeads include:

  • Lots of unique and performance-based used cars
  • Easy to use and clear listing layout
  • Advanced search filters (similar to AutoTrader)
  • Clear contact details of the seller

However, some of the drawbacks include:

  • Duplicate listings from other car-buying sites
  • No online payment facility
  • Car descriptions have no formatting (one large block of text)

If you are in the market for a unique or performance-based car, PistonHeads is a great place to search and there are certainly some hidden gems upon the site. However, we found that apart from the odd unique listing, it contained a lot of duplicates from other car-buying sites and it was very much similar to AutoTrader (which we find easier to use).

Other Places To Buy Used Cars

As well as the used car buying sites listed above, there are a number of other great places to look. Our top alternative is enthusiast forums for the particular car that you want to buy. For example, if you are looking for a top-spec Mercedes E63 AMG, visiting an enthusiast forum for Mercedes is a great place to start. Once you’ve found a forum, you can then search the classifieds section or alternatively create a “wanted” post on the forum with details about the car you want.

Similar to the above, if you are active on Facebook, joining a brand-specific Facebook Group such as “Mercedes Benz Owners UK” and asking whether anyone has the specific car you want is also a great place to look.

However, the two recommendations above are mostly applicable to those searching for unique or specialist cars. Therefore, if you are trying to buy a standard or common used car where you have hundreds to choose from, we would recommend that you keep your search to the above car buying sites.

Conclusion

Hopefully our list of car-buying sites above has given you plenty of different options to expand your search. We based our recommendations upon our own success with the websites as well as plenty of additional research. Once you’ve found the car you want to buy, be sure to negotiate the car’s price because most sellers will have some room for movement.

If you require further information regarding the car-buying sites listed above, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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