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6 sites like AutoTrader

Compare websites like AutoTrader for buying a new or used car.

AutoTrader is a top automotive marketplace in Canada that lets you browse for vehicles online from many dealerships and private sellers. But AutoTrader is not the only website that offers this. If you’re looking for sites like AutoTrader in Canada, here are your alternatives.

1. Clutch

Clutch is a well-known site that lets you shop for cars online from the comfort of your own home. Like AutoTrader, you can browse its website to find a car based on your location and the features you want. However, Clutch is not a marketplace but an online dealer, so it only shows cars in its inventory.

Where it’s available: You can use Clutch if you’re in Ontario and Nova Scotia only.

Pros

  • Easier buying experience than AutoTrader
  • Offers financing
  • Shows price, kilometres and special features upfront
  • Free CARFAX report and all cars are thoroughly inspected
  • Test own for 10 days/750 km and return if you change your mind

Cons

  • Fewer vehicles than AutoTrader
  • No vehicles from private sellers or multiple dealerships

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2. CarGurus

CarGurus is an automotive marketplace that can help you find a new, used or certified pre-owned car. Like AutoTrader, you can search cars by make, model and postal code, and it shows you whether the prices listed are a great deal, good deal, fair deal, high price or overpriced. However, you may find fewer options for private party vehicles compared to AutoTrader.

Where it’s available: You can use CarGurus across Canada.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Gives insights into car pricing and dealer ratings
  • Gives you an alert for price drops

Cons

  • Smaller inventory
  • Some reviews say dealers are unresponsive

3. CarDoor

Online dealer CarDoor brings the car-shopping experience completely online. You can look through CarDoor’s inventory of hundreds of used cars, click through over 20 pictures of each vehicle’s exterior and interior, read through the vehicle’s key features and look at various payment options.

Where it’s available: You can use CarDoor if you’re in Ontario only.

Pros

  • More seamless buying experience than AutoTrader
  • Financing options from a network of reputable lenders
  • Free CARFAX report and all cars are thoroughly inspected
  • Test own for 14 days/750 km and return if you’re unhappy with the car

Cons

  • Fewer vehicles than AutoTrader
  • No vehicles from private sellers or multiple dealerships
  • Ontario only

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4. Carpages

Carpages.ca is an automotive marketplace that works primarily with dealerships in big cities across Canada. Like AutoTrader, you can search its site for vehicles based on many features like location, make, model, year, mileage and engine. Unlike AutoTrader, you cannot filter based on listings from dealerships vs private sellers.

Where it’s available: You can use Carpages.ca across Canada.

Pros

  • Good for car shopping in big cities
  • Lets you apply for financing through the website
  • Offers “Buy from home” options
  • Website is fairly intuitive

Cons

  • Search function often turns up irrelevant results
  • Limited inventory in smaller cities and more remote areas
  • No private sales
  • Unlike AutoTrader, it does not show pricing analysis (great deal, fair deal, etc.)

5. Kijiji Autos

Kijiji Autos is an online marketplace for private sale and dealership sale vehicles, similar to AutoTrader. This site provides information-heavy thumbnails so that you can easily compare your options side-by-side and you’ll be able to omit search results that you don’t want. This will make it easier for you to find the right used car for your unique set of needs.

Where it’s available: You can use Kijiji Autos across Canada.

Pros

  • Like AutoTrader, it shows mileage analysis
  • Easy to compare vehicles with information-heavy listings
  • You can omit dealerships when you perform searches
  • Prices are displayed upfront in thumbnails
  • Anonymity while you shop

Cons

  • Unverified sellers
  • Sponsored ads can diminish user experience
  • Not the most user-friendly site layout
  • Unlike AutoTrader, it does not show pricing analysis (great deal, fair deal, etc.)

6. Craigslist

Craigslist is a marketplace that lets you shop for cars online. It’s not as developed or comprehensive like AutoTrader, but you can search for cars using a number of different parameters to find the best deals. When you find a car you like, simply hit “Reply” on the ad to send a message and arrange a meeting in person.

Where it’s available: You can use Craigslist across Canada.

Pros

  • Multiple search functions to narrow findings
  • Great deals
  • Filter by private seller (“owner”) or dealer

Cons

  • Unverified sellers
  • Too many dealerships
  • Thumbnails list limited information
  • Many vehicles listed at $0 (which covers up actual pricing)
  • Unlike AutoTrader, it does not show pricing analysis (great deal, fair deal, etc.) or mileage analysis

How to find the best car deal

Whether you’re shopping on AutoTrader or another site, here are some tips to help you find the best car for your needs.

  • Get financing before visiting a dealer. If you apply for car loan preapproval before visiting the dealership, you’ll have a good idea of the rate you can expect to receive. This makes it easy to avoid dealership markup and to know when you’re being offered a good deal.
  • Focus on negotiating the car price. Instead of talking monthly payments, you can talk total cost. Tell the salesperson that you only have a certain amount of money to spend. Any car they show you will need to be under that amount, or you walk away.
  • Inspection. Get a trusted mechanic to inspect the car you’re interested in before you buy. Avoid any seller that forbids you from doing an independent inspection.
  • Safety certificate. If you’re in Ontario, make sure the safety standards certificate is included in the deal whether you’re buying from a dealer or private seller.

Frequently asked questions

Written by

Leanne Escobal

Leanne Escobal is a publisher for Finder. She has spent over 11 years working on financial products and services, specializing in content and marketing. Leanne has completed the Canadian securities course (CSC®) as well as the personal lending and mortgages course by the Canadian Securities Institute. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English literature and creative writing from Western University. See full profile

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