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Blog category: Driving

Buying a Used Car? There’s an App for That

4 min read

It’s time for a new car. Well, new-to-you at slightest. But where to start? The whole process — from coming up with the finances to finding the right car – can be daunting. Do you spend a weekend (or three) visiting every dealership in town? Or do you use modern technology to access a bunch of handy apps designed to do the legwork for you?

Read on to learn about seven of the best car-buying tools that allow you to read reviews, comparison shop, and calculate your budget so you can find the car of your dreams.


The first national online marketplace for new and used cars, experts still consider AutoTrader the top-performing site. In addition to listing more than three million vehicles for sale, the app offers tools to read reviews, get buying tips, and research financing and insurance options.

AutoTrader also features an advanced search function to help users sort through millions of available vehicles. In addition to choosing the make, model, and year, the filters allow you to select multiple criteria, including car color, gas mileage, on-board technology, and more., like AutoTrader, has been an online presence since the late 90s. The used-car website now offers a smartphone app for car buyers and sellers. In addition to searching available cars in your area by price and color, you can also get free Carfax reports. This is a huge boon, especially if you’re at the dealership and need to check a particular vehicle’s pedigree before you sign on the dotted line.

Kelley Blue Book

The legendary valuation and automotive research company, Kelley Blue Book was around long before the internet was born. Created in 1926, the Blue Book became the car pricing go-to for American motorists. You can also read reviews of different makes and models, which can help in the research phase of the car-buying journey.

Now the app gives you real-time book pricing information on any vehicle. You can input all the details of the car you’re interested in and get a price estimate either at home or to use during negotiations at the dealership.


Similar to KBB, began life in the 60s as a paperback publication offering drivers car buying data, reviews, and advice. Nowadays, the Edmunds app features multiple tools to help you find the right car at the right price.

The pricing tool helps you compare the cost of similar vehicles, while the calculator lets you determine your car-buying budget and monthly payments. The app also lets you save all your searches and contact dealers by text. If you’re more of the visual type, you’ll enjoy the extensive photo gallery of vehicular eye candy.


The CarMax app offers the same basic functions like most other car-buying apps. You can read vehicle reviews and search for used cars in your area. An extra perk: after locating your nearest CarMax location, you can scan the window stickers for information about specific cars.

If you happen to have financing through CarMax, you can check your balance and make payments. Another bonus — especially if the negotiation part of the car-buying process leaves you cold — CarMax auto prices are usually fixed, negating the need to haggle.


The CARFAX app performs many of the same functions as the other apps. But probably the most useful feature is the free vehicle history report that comes with every car listed for sale. You can also run reports for cars not listed on their site Knowing the details of a car’s background is a huge benefit as it can prevent you from buying a lemon. You’ll be able to learn the entire history of the vehicle — for example, if it’s been damaged by a flood or involved in a serious wreck in a previous life.

eBay Motors

When you think of what you can buy on eBay, used cars may not immediately come to mind. A leading online platform for buying and selling goods, eBay has added vehicle sales to its repertoire. You can buy new or used cars and motorcycles on its website or through the eBay app. Just enter a few details, like preferred make, model, range of years, and your Zip Code, and available cars meeting your criteria will pop up. Like the familiar eBay platform, you’re then given the choice to either “Make a Bid” or “Buy it Now.”

If you employ just one of the car-buying apps listed here, you’ll be able to buy smart. When you drive off in your shiny new ride, you’ll know you got the best deal on the perfect car for you.

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