The Best Online Tools for Car Buyers of 2022

Written by: BestApp.com App Testing Team - Updated: Dec 01, 2021

   Best Online Tools for Car Buyers Badge

There are plenty of online tools available to help car buyers find and compare prices, view vehicle history reports, get financing, and more. Carvana is our pick for the best online tool for car buyers as it makes it easy to browse cars, compare prices, trade in vehicles, and get financing. If Carvana doesn’t have the features you’re looking for, though, we found nine other great options to help you find the right vehicle. Here are the 10 best online tools for car buyers to try.

Top 10 Online Tools for Car Buyers to Try

How We Chose the Best Online Tools for Car Buyers

We based our list of the best online car buying tools on three primary features: the ability to browse cars for sale, car valuations, and car reviews from users and experts. These core capabilities help users find affordable vehicles in their areas and compare their options to find the one that meets their unique needs.

Choose the car buying app that’s right for you

Every app on our list is free, so it’s up to you to test out multiple apps and find the one that’s right for you. Depending on your needs, you might prefer apps like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds that help users determine fair value for their vehicles, while apps like Carvana and CarMax are better for browsing and purchasing cars.

Compare prices

One of the most important things to do when shopping for cars is to compare prices to ensure you are getting a fair deal. Apps like TrueCar and Edmunds make it easy to view price history charts to see what other consumers have paid for vehicles that you’re interested in.

Our Car Buying App Reviews

Carvana — Top Pick

Carvana App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Carvana is the best online tool for car buyers due to its wide range of consumer-friendly features. Unlike other car buying platforms, Carvana performs a 150-point inspection on every vehicle to ensure all cars listed for sale are suitable for purchase. Carvana does not accept cars that have been in an accident, and all vehicles have a fixed, no-haggle price. When browsing, you can see a 360-degree view of every vehicle, and after making a purchase, you can pick up your car from a Carvana vending machine or have it delivered to your home. All cars can be returned within a week for any reason. Carvana users can get pre-approved for financing through the website. For sellers, Carvana will give you an online estimate, and if you decide to sell, a Carvana representative will come to your home to perform an inspection and pick up the car.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Chat, FAQs
Carvana Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
All vehicles are thoroughly inspected No car reviews
7-day returns  
Easy selling process  

Consumer Reports — Best Free Version

Consumer Reports App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Consumer Reports is a nonprofit organization designed to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions. Users can use Consumer Reports to find research and reviews for cars, parts, and accessories. It also offers a used car marketplace, a trade-in estimator, and a car buying guide to help you find the right vehicle. Unlike any other app on our list, Consumer Reports features a Car Recall Tracker that tells you if your car has been recalled and what to do next if it has. Upgrading to a paid membership gives you access to additional features like Consumer Reports savings and deals, but the free plan includes everything you need to research and buy vehicles.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: Digital Monthly: $10/month; All Access: $59/year
  • Support available: Live Chat, Email, FAQs
Consumer Reports Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Car trade-in estimator No financing help
Car reviews  
Car buying guides  

CarMax — Best for Financing

CarMax App feature

Download: Android | iOS

CarMax is one of the best and most popular online platforms for buying and selling new and used cars. Like Carvana, all vehicles on CarMax include a fixed price and it offers express pickup and home delivery. What makes CarMax stand out is its easy pre-approval process for financing. Buyers can get pre-approved in as little as 20 minutes, and all financing offers are good for three days, giving you plenty of time to compare rates. CarMax uses AutoCheck for vehicle history reports, and buyers can take cars for a 24-hour test drive before making a final decision. After making a purchase, CarMax has a 30-day return policy, but you can’t drive for more than 1,500 miles during this time.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Phone, Email, Help Center/FAQs
CarMax Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Fast pre-approval process Trade-in offers often lower than expected
AutoCheck vehicle history reports  
24-hour test drives  

Edmunds — Best for Expert Reviews

Edmunds App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Edmunds is often used as an alternative to Kelley Blue Book for car valuations and trade-in estimates, but what make it stand out from similar apps are the expert reviews for each car listed on the platform. Users can read detailed reviews, including pros and cons, safety features, and vehicle specs to make an informed purchasing decision. You can also see price history charts to see what other consumers paid for similar vehicles. While browsing, you can compare vehicles side-by-side and save favorites to reference later. You can easily view local listings and deal ratings for each vehicle, and Edmunds provides real-time price drop alerts to make it as easy as possible to find great deals.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Help Center, Ticket
Edmunds Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Expert car reviews No trade-ins
Price history charts  
Price drop alerts  

Kelley Blue Book — Best for Car Valuation

Kelley Blue Book App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Kelley Blue Book is the best app for car buyers that want to sell or trade in their old vehicles. Car owners can input the make and model of their vehicle, their VIN, or their license plate to get an accurate estimate of their vehicle’s trade-in value. Unlike other apps that offer this feature, Kelley Blue Book provides an instant cash offer which you can redeem at participating dealers on the same day. Kelley Blue Book also features a marketplace where you can buy and sell vehicles, car reviews, car buying guides, and other helpful buying resources. Users can also find information on car recalls, maintenance prices, repair prices, and repair guides.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: FAQs, Contact Form
Kelley Blue Book Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Accurate vehicle estimates No financing resources
Instant cash offers  
Expert vehicle reviews  

TrueCar — Best for Price Comparison

TrueCar App feature

Download: Android | iOS

TrueCar helps users buy new and used cars by providing accurate pricing information to give consumers a better idea of what they should be paying. Unlike any other apps on our list, users enter the make and model that they want, and the app provides a comprehensive savings summary for the car that includes MSRP, incentives, and total off MSRP. TrueCar also helps users trade in their cars by offering accurate vehicle estimates and finding nearby dealerships that may be interested in their vehicles. The TrueCar Price Curve feature shows you the average price other buyers paid for new vehicles in your area that are similar to the one you’re interested in, making it easier to spot good deals.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Phone, FAQs
TrueCar Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Accurate price information No financing information
Price Curve feature  
Trade-in estimator  

Cars.com — Best for Price Tracking

Cars.com App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Cars.com is one of the most popular new and used car marketplaces available due to its large number of listings, price notifications, and advanced search features. 50,000 new listings are added to Cars.com every day, so there’s a good chance the app has whatever you’re looking for. One of the app’s standout features is its price notifications feature which immediately alerts users when the cars they’re interested in drop in price. Cars.com also includes dealer ratings and reviews to help you find reputable dealers in your area, and you can read consumer reviews to find out more about the cars you’re interested in buying. Uniquely, Cars.com also lets you call, text, or email dealers directly through the app to request a quote or schedule a test drive. Cars.com does not have a physical inventory, though, so you’ll have to get in touch with local dealers to purchase a car.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Phone, FAQs
Cars.com Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Price drop alerts Doesn’t sell cars directly
Dealer ratings and reviews Doesn’t offer financing
Large number of listings  

CarFax — Best for Vehicle History Reports

CarFax App feature

Download: Android | iOS

CarFax is the best platform available to get accurate vehicle history reports before purchasing a car. Unlike any other car buying app, users can get free CarFax vehicle history reports to learn about any past accidents or other incidents that may impact a vehicle’s performance. You can browse through millions of used car listings, view pictures, read their CarFax reports, and search for CarFax reports by VIN or license plate. CarFax users can also save their favorite cars for future reference and get alerts for price drops. On the CarFax website, you can also find nearby service chops, track your vehicle’s maintenance history, and get an estimate for your car’s value.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $39.99 – $99.99 per item
  • Support available: Help Center, Email
CarFax Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Free CarFax reports Financing is not available
Price drop alerts  
Car valuations  

eBay Motors — Best for Parts & Accessories

eBay Motors App feature

Download: Android | iOS

While most of the apps on our list serve as marketplaces for new and used vehicles, eBay Motors also focuses on helping users find the parts and auto accessories they need for their vehicles. The app includes eBay’s full inventory of parts and accessories, and while shopping, users can engage with other vehicle enthusiasts. Alongside the parts listings, the app includes helpful tips and interesting finds to improve the shopping experience. eBay’s fitment services guarantee that the parts you buy on the eBay Motors app will fit your vehicle. You can also purchase used vehicles through the app, and the app partners with uShip Logistics for vehicle delivery. When making a purchase, eBay uses Escrow.com to provide financial security and prevent scams.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Forum, Email, Phone, Chat, Help Articles
eBay Motors Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Vehicle parts and accessories No car reviews
Uses Escrow.com for secure purchases  
Social features  

Autolist — Best for Used Cars

Autolist App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Autolist is the ultimate source for used car listings. Unlike dealerships that list their own inventory or apps that connect with dealerships to display listings, Autolist searches thousands of used car sites to help you find the best deals available online. You can browse vehicles by location, make, model, year, interior and exterior features, and more. Users can call, text, or email dealers and private sellers through the app to check availability, get a quote, or schedule a test drive. You can also view price histories, get vehicle history reports, and use the app’s Listimate feature to know when to buy or negotiate a fair price. By saving your searches, you can get notified when prices drop or when new listings that match your criteria are added to the app.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email
Autolist Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Compiles listings from several sites Limited support options
Listimate feature  
Price drop alerts  

Car Buying Apps: Features Summary Table

Car Buying Apps Comparison Table
App Subscription Fees or In-App Purchases Features
Carvana — Top Pick None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
X Car Reviews
Consumer Reports — Best Free Version Digital Monthly: $10/month
All Access: $59/year
Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews
CarMax — Best for Financing None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews
Edmunds — Best for Expert Reviews None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews
Kelley Blue Book — Best for Car Valuation None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews
TrueCar — Best for Price Comparison None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews
Cars.com — Best for Price Tracking None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews
CarFax — Best for Vehicle History Reports $39.99 – $99.99 per item Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Review
eBay Motors — Best for Parts & Accessories None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
X Car Reviews
Autolist — Best for Used Cars None Cars for Sale
Car Valuation
Car Reviews