Should I Buy or Sell with Autotrader?

Autotrader has been around for years and is well-established in the automotive industry. However, the platform comes with many pros and cons. We want you to get the full scoop before you choose to buy or sell your car with any online service. So, we’re getting up close and personal in order to cover the basics.

What you Need to Know About Auto Trader

Autotrader Selling Pros

Autotrader is a large marketplace, which means that there’s a lot of potential buyer traffic for your unique vehicle. Even though it’s not targeted traffic, it’s still beneficial to have a lot of eyes on your car.

The platform also isn’t very strict about the vehicles that they allow on the platform. So, if you’re looking to sell a car that was previously used as a fleet vehicle, you’ll be able to list it. Autotrader also allows cars with title issues, damage, and a rough history. So if you’re looking to say sayonara to a car that’s been slowing you down, this is a great platform to use.

Autotrader Selling Cons

The biggest downside to Autotrader is the fact that they charge marketing fees. Here at TRED, we love all things free, so this was a major turn-off. Most people who are selling a car probably don’t have extra stacks of money on hand for things like “VIP Listing Fees,” so this one was tough to swallow.

Your e-mail address isn’t privacy-protected, either, which means that scammers are able to reach out to you directly. There are a lot of complaints about the lack of trustworthy buyers on third party review sites, too. So definitely use caution (and check out our articles on how to avoid scams for protective tips).

White Mercedes SUV

Autotrader Buying Pros

Autotrader has the same useful features as most other platforms like vehicle info, images, and pricing. Though it may be a more basic platform, the key features are still there and are extremely useful throughout the search process.

Autotrader Buying Cons

Autotrader doesn’t have many vehicle screening protocols in place, such as a review of the vehicle’s Carfax history report. This means that it’s impossible to weed out vehicles with title issues, and you’ll never truly know what you’re getting under the hood. There’s literally no way to tell if your vehicle was used as a rental car, corporate taxi, or party bus.

In addition to not checking the Carfax, Autotrader doesn’t do any physical vehicle inspections. Without physically seeing the item, it’s impossible to weed out cars with substantial existing conditions. It allows room for lying about vehicle history, which is never reassuring. And on that note, Autotrader also doesn’t have seller screening protocols in place such as identify verification (which makes it easier for scammers to use the service).

Our Advice

Be careful! At TRED, we work our hardest to ensure that people have a hassle-free buying and selling experience. We don’t charge you “VIP Listing Fees” or penalize you for taking advantage of our resources. Instead, we use our powerful marketing platform to advertise across many channels, regardless of what’s in your pocketbook.

We check the Carfax on every single vehicle so that you have a complete history. We also perform a 150-point inspection to ensure that you’re buying and selling something that you can be proud of.

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