The Top Six Online Marketplaces for Cars Around the World

May 10th, 2023 | 6 min read

It's true! 

The internet has drastically changed the way we buy and sell cars.

Buyers no longer rely on dealerships or private sellers to find their vehicles.

In a Car Buyer Journey study commissioned by Autotrader, 60% of a buyer's whole car shopping process is allocated to third-party websites or apps.

These days, buyers can browse through, compare and evaluate the prices of thousands of cars online – without leaving their homes.

This article will take a look at some of the online marketplaces for cars!

CarGurus Leverages its 40,000+ Dealers Throughout The World

Established in 2006 by TripAdvisor co-founder Langley Steinert, CarGurus is an online marketplace aiming to create a better car shopping experience.

The company has an active network of over 40,000 dealers and operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

CarGurus has more than five million listings on the platform - from small and medium secondhand cars to new luxury, classic, and sports vehicles.

The platform integrates its marketplace with research tools that accurately evaluate a car's true market value.

CarGurus works to set itself apart by providing a price rating to cars posted on the platform: Great Deal, Good Deal, Fair Deal, High Price, and Overpriced.

This price rating is there to give first-time buyers an idea of whether the price of the vehicle they're buying is reasonable or not.

Listing on CarGuru is relatively easy and can be done within minutes.

Sellers are asked for basic information as well as pictures of the vehicle.

Sellers can also input the VIN of the car to make the process quicker.

CarGuru has a $99 charge when the car gets sold, and the sale goes through AutoPay.

They also charge $4.99 on their website to list a vehicle for 30 days.

The platform also offers to put your car in their Featured Listings for $19.99.

Autotrader's Online Car Marketplace Takes in Almost Half a Billion Dollars per Year

Autotrader started as a publication showing ads for cars.

When the website was established in 1997, became the first national marketplace for new and used vehicles.

The company has become synonymous with online car shopping over the years.

The platform has more than three million vehicle listings.

The website also features detailed car reviews, finance calculators, and more.

The website's estimated annual revenue is currently $464 million per year!

One unique feature of Autotrader is their At Home Services.

With "At Home Services",  sellers can offer At Home Delivery in their local area, At Home Video Walkarounds, At Home Test Drives, At Home Paperwork, and At Home Maintenance for no additional cost.

At Autotrader, used cars can be filtered via vehicle history (number of owners, any accidents) and mileage.

Many listings also come with a link to a free Carfax report.

The platform also has listings for CPO or Certified Pre-Owned vehicles.

A CPO car typically has low mileage, has gone through a thorough inspection, and comes with a warranty from the manufacturer.

The company charges $49 for an ad and includes up to 30 photos and reports showing how many people have viewed the ad.

With its partnership with Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader listings also appear on KBB's website.

Hard to beat Autotrader for online value!

Hemmings Leverages a Traditional and Online Business Model

Founded by Ernest Hemmings initially in 1954, Hemmings started as a car magazine called Hemmings Motor News.

The website,, came to fruition in 1999 and has since grown to become one of the most notable platforms for classic cars.

On top of the classic car and car parts listings, Hemmings is also a resource for car enthusiasts all over the world with its guides for builders and collectors, car, tool, and gear reviews, articles on collector car values, and many more.

There are three ways in which a dealer can sell their car on Hemmings:

The first one is through a two-week fast-paced Hemmings Auction done online.

It is free to submit a car for assessment, although Hemmings charges $99.95 once it is approved for the auction.

Sellers can also choose to create an online listing for the vehicle they want to sell.

This allows buyers to make an offer for the car they like. Sellers have to pay Hemmings $99.95 per listing with this route.

The third option is a traditional classified ad.

Listings under this option are charged $129.95 each, and they both appear online as well as in Hemmings Motor News magazine.

For Hemmings, their business model is a mix of traditional and online! 

Cars & Bids Online Car Marketplace Makes Fast Turnaround Their Priority

Created in 2000 by the automotive reviewer and YouTube celebrity Doug DeMuro, Cars & Bids is an online auction marketplace where modern car enthusiasts can buy and sell their cars.

The platform operates within the United States and Canada and accepts vehicles manufactured between the 1980s to the present day.

The company focuses on modern enthusiast cars and provides a free vehicle history report.

One way the platform stands out from other auction sites is how quickly they are able to get cars listed.

Cars & Bids offers a straightforward submission process that lets sellers know quickly whether or not their car will be accepted.

Cars & Bids founder Doug DeMuro also periodically reviews cars listed on the platform.

Cars & Bids offers sellers free listing for their vehicles.

The listing process can be done within minutes, and sellers get 100% of the sale price.

When someone buys from the platform, the buyer is charged a 4.5% commission, with a minimum commission amount of $225 and a maximum of $4,500. 

A decent amount of the platform! 

Carvana's Online Car Marketplace Enables Car Trades and "Car Vending Machines" 

For a buyer looking for a quick and easy way to discover the most reliable used cars for sale near them, Carvana might have the answer! 

Carvana is an online marketplace that allows customers to buy, finance, and trade cars online.

The company debuted on the Fortune 500 list in 2021 and has had one of the fastest rises yet in just eight years into the business.

This innovative start-up allows buyers to search for used cars for sale online and then purchase them from their nearest Carvana Car Vending Machine location!

These Car Vending Machines are fully-automated and "coin-operated" locations that dispense the cars that buyers initially purchased online.

Who would have thought it possible?

To pick up the vehicle they bought, the buyer inputs their name and drops their coin into the vending machine's Control Panel, which then lights up and initiates the process.

The Vending Machine will then retrieve the car from the Tower and places it on a track.

This moves the car through the machine until it arrives at the Delivery Bay.

The Delivery Bay then opens up, and the buyer can come in and get their new vehicle!

Carvana plans to continue expanding its operations and build more car vending machines in the future.

Their vending machines are conveniently located in several cities across the United States. 


eBay Motor Generates $11 Billion in Revenue in a Year

eBay Motors is an online marketplace for buying and selling cars and car parts.

It is a division of the popular online marketplace eBay.

eBay Motors was introduced in 2006.

Automotives account for 0.5% of all sales made on eBay; each day, around 360 cars and trucks are sold on the platform via mobile devices.

eBay Motors also generated around $11.7 billion in revenue in 2021.

Amongst other things, eBay motors provide vehicle history reports, financing options, and a payment calculator.

When listing a vehicle using the Quick Listing Tool, sellers can choose from three different packages offered by eBay: Basic, Plus, and Premium.

These packages are $19, $49, and $79, respectively.

High-volume sellers using the Business Tool or New Listing Tool are also charged a $50 Insertion Fee, with their Successful Listing Fee being free.

Aside from those, licensed vehicle dealers have several subscription programs to choose from.

Information for those can be obtained by contacting eBay directly.


With the onset of the internet and online car marketplaces, car shopping has grown to be a different process then what it used to be.

Not only has the application and buying process become more streamlined and efficient, but these marketplaces have also found innovative ways to deliver the vehicles to their new owners (like a car vending machine)!

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