CarGurus

CarGurus

For anyone looking to shop for and compare new or used cars online, CarGurus is one of the more popular sites with more than three million used car listings and over 450,000 listings for new cars. The automotive research and shopping website was launched in 2006 by Langley Steinert, former co-founder of the TripAdvisor, the world's largest online travel site. Today, CarGurus claims to get more average daily traffic than major competitors AutoTrader™, Cars.com™, KBB.com™ and Edmunds.com™

CarGurus.com prides itself on providing unbiased price transparency data to help make consumers smarter and more empowered when shopping for vehicles online. Millions of new, used, and certified preowned cars are analyzed by the search engine on the website to rank the best cars available on price savings. Over 15 million visitors per month shop for vehicles online at CarGurus.com.

The Good

  • Compare Prices and Features
  • Large Car Listing
  • Question and Answer Board

CarGurus.com uses mathematical algorithms to analyze and compare prices and features on cars for sale. Its main selling point is transparency during the buying and selling process by providing the data and information consumers need to make smart, empowered car buying decisions. Their free shopping engine analyzes millions of car listings to give you instant guidance on the best deals in your area. All that is required is for you to plug in your zip code and the car you want, and CarGurus shows you which listings are great deals and which ones you should avoid.

CarGurus' unique feature is its question and answer board. This is an online community forum where car buyers can post questions on any auto-related topic. You have to sign in to the website to set up a profile to post a question, but the board is free and open to all visitors.

Categories of topics fall under one or more of these categories:

  • Shopping and Pricing
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Car Customization
  • General

This forum provides a prime opportunity to ask questions you would not otherwise be able to ask on the Contact Page of the website (and get a response). Just as the case with online forums for sites like Yahoo and software platforms like Wordpress, the people themselves can be resources for one another and share practical, real-world advice without any marketing bias. Plus, there are CarGurus experts who reply to questions on the forum as well, so you get access to the staff, which seems more efficient for both customer and company because, chances are your question is not uncommon and being answered publicly can help others as well. It also allows you to keep track of question topics that interest you by favoriting them.

Something else that resonates well is that CarGurus allows you to sell your car through their site at no cost. Similar to Craigslist, you can post your ad on their platform to be seen by others.

Not so similar to Craigslist is Cargurus' recommendation tool for pricing your car. (Actually, the tool is a combination of a recommendation tool and a comparison tool). You can go to the "Sell My Car" page and specify the car, zip, mileage, transmission and options to see suggestions for the most competitive pricing and determine the value of your car. Another difference is that to upload your ad you have to complete a form with the following specifications:

  • Transmission Type
  • Exterior Color
  • Interior Color
  • Car Description
  • Car Photo

CarGurus' extensive analysis compares various makes and models of automobiles listed for sale to determine how great a deal it is when it comes to price. The analysis takes into account the vehicle's history, mileage, age, and options available.

This method can definitely be a safer way to sell your car because you know exactly what to include instead of just guessing. And posting with a popular site like CarGurus.com gives you some semblance of legitimacy.

To help you determine if the seller is selling the car at a fair price, CarGurus also offers a trade-in value tool that analyzes over 4 million used car listings per day to deliver an accurate estimate of your cars Trade-in and private-sale value.

There is an active online user community which can guide you with answers about various cars, dealerships, maintenance and troubleshooting. Plenty test drive review articles are available to browse on new and upcoming automobiles. If you are looking to sell a used car, you can place an ad absolutely free on the CarGurus.com website.

One final note: CarGurus is one of the few websites in its genre that makes its apps for both apple and android easy to find and download. Their apps also have solid performance ratings.

 

The Bad

  • Anyone Can Post a Listing
  • Best Price Not the Best Deal
  • Zipcode Restrictions

 

Being able to post your car for free on CarGurus.com is definitely advantageous for the seller; however, buyers should be aware that it may not be as advantageous for them. According to their website, if someone has a car they want to sell, they can just post it up on their site and it will be included in the millions of used car listings it provides. All the seller has to do is have the car's color, transmission type and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and photo. There doesn't seem to be a vetting process to make sure the seller is legitimate. After all, someone could be selling a stolen vehicle or misrepresenting the vehicle with a fake photo. Car shoppers should approach such listings the same way they would on Craigslist. And when searching the used car listings, they should keep in mind if the car is being sold by an individual seller or a dealership. The dealership seems more of a safer bet, as they have a vetting process of their own and have already established an affiliate relationship with CarGurus, who allows you to locate dealers in your area with the best reputation on the "Find a Dealer" page.

Another area of concern with CarGurus.com is that the site is aimed at finding the best price but not necessarily the best deal. With no advanced search option, you will have to manually look through each suggested listing to find extra luxury options and specific requests. This can be incredibly tedious, especially if there are hundreds or thousands of the particular type of automobile you are looking for on sale in the market. This could easily be resolved by the ability to search for keywords.

Also, you can only look for vehicles by your zip code, which severely limits the options made available to you. The car you want may not be in your city, but in a neighboring town. You are able to use a search radius filter to find cars in your geographical area, but you may potentially miss a great deal.

Lastly, CarGurus has some good tools, such as the trade-in-value tool, but it is not placed on the site where it can be easily found. A more strategic and effective placement would be for all the tools and calculators to be under the "resources" tab on the website.

The Bottom Line

CarGurus has millions of cars to choose from and most of the basic tools one would need to make solid buying decisions. The site is a viable option for those wanting to place a used car ad for free with more structure and specifications than a platform like Craigslist. Buyers should also be aware that there is no vetting process for direct sellers. What really makes the site worthwhile is the community forum where you can ask questions on anything car-related or find answers on the topic already posted. CarGurus.com is a great choice to find a new, used, or certified preowned vehicle that fits your unique budget constraints.

71 CarGurus Reviews

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  • User Score

    10

    August 15th, 2017 San Diego, CA

    I purchased a 2016 NISSAN ALTIMA at BEEP CAR SALES in National City. It was agreat car buying experience. FRANCISCO and BRYAN are very professional and very straight forward. They guide me to the whole process and answer all my questions, no hassle. If your buying a car i recomend you to visit them...thank you BEEP CAR SALES!

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    0 0
  • User Score

    10

    August 12th, 2017

    I just purchased a new Infinity QX 60 from Morrey Infinity. The service was great. They took the time to insure I was familiar with the car and gave a list of people to call should I have questions or needed help. Very profesional

    Was this review helpful?

    0 0
  • User Score

    0

    August 11th, 2017 Coos Bay, OR

    False and misleading service for dealers. Our dealership signed up with them for a 30 day free trial. We sat through a seemingly impressive presentation. Weren't even live for 24 hours when my manager called to cancel because it was not as promised or advertised. Despite multiple heated conversations about what the definition of a free 30 day trial was and how ridiculous it is to be billed for service not provided, we have nonetheless been billed and paid $400.

    Was this review helpful?

    1 0
  • User Score

    0

    August 9th, 2017

    AFTER A WEEK PLUS WITH NO CALLS ON MY CAR I LOGGED IN WHICH WAS AN ISSUE, THEY KEPT SAYING THEY HAD SENT ME A CODE WHICH I NEVER GOT AND ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS TO LOWER THE PRICE TO SEE IF IT WOULD GENERATE SOME INTEREST. NOW THEY HAVE REMOVED MY AD AND WANTED ME TO PRINT OUT A NUMBER TO PUT IN THE DASH AND SEND THEM A PICTURE. I'LL STICK WITH CARS DOT COM AS THEY ARE MUCH MORE USER FRIENDLY.

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    0 0
  • User Score

    10

    August 7th, 2017 Kansas City, MO

    We had been looking for a truck for almost two months and we ended up going to ARC Automotive by accident. We meet Todd K as he did a great job showing us what we was looking for not trying to sale us over priced trucks. He was easy to work with and just a great guy all together! It made the painful process for buying much easier. I would go back to him again or even send my family his way. Great job, Todd!

    Was this review helpful?

    0 0
  • User Score

    5

    July 22nd, 2017 Tampa, FL

    It is a good site to find a car, however while looking I found a car I was interested and one of the important things about it was that it said there had been no accidents. I eventually ended up buying the car and when I went and had it serviced I was informed that it had been in an accident and as a result the wheels would never be 100% aligned. Having no accidents was one of the main reasons I bought the car and to find out that it did in fact have an accident really annoys me.

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    2 0
  • User Score

    0

    July 21st, 2017

    The dealership reviews on this site are incredibly misleading and shallow. The reviewer/consumer does not even have to make a transaction with the dealership, only an e-mail interaction. Therefore you get a lot of positive reviews like, "nice people" and "responded efficiently to my inquiry." Furthermore, Car Gurus does not allow reviews from consumers that do not use their site. SO if I purchased a car from "Dealer A" by going to their lot or through another site like eBay and have a verified purchase agreement, then I could not post a review on Car Gurus. The result of this shallow review system is that there are dealerships on Car Gurus that have a large amount of positive reviews with little to no sales transactions and basically a lot of dumb reviews. Some great examples to look at are dealerships like Amazing Cars LLC, Car Champs, Ultimate Automobiles (Stafford TX) and Ultimate Motorsports (Houston TX). They have a large collection of positive reviews on Car Gurus but if you did even some basic searching around the internet you would find that those dealerships have a HUGE amount of negative reviews - see review sites like YP, Yelp, etc. As well, those same dealerships advertise many cars for sale through Car Gurus that are not actually available! They are "bait" cars, so they can get inquiries and contacts. I could never trust Car Gurus because of their incomplete and shallow dealer review system and the fact that they allow many shady dealerships to operate through their site.

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    3 0
  • User Score

    1

    July 14th, 2017 South Pasadena, CA

    Any bad review in CarGurus gets deleted! Lol with a stupid excuse. It's just Fake reviews!

    Was this review helpful?

    4 0
  • User Score

    0

    June 26th, 2017

    I emailed a dealer on Carguru indicating what care I was interested in. They emailed me back saying to call them but did not mention car I wanted. I gave them a 1 star rating on Car Guru. Car Guru would not post my review stating violation of terms of agreement. What terms?

    Was this review helpful?

    7 1
  • User Score

    0

    June 24th, 2017

    They only post dealer listings when you do a vehicle search, so it is a waste of time for private parties to post...they won't include in search results...ever

    Was this review helpful?

    3 0
  • User Score

    9

    June 23rd, 2017 CO

    Got great service from Automax of Ocala. Ernesto D did a great job in helping me get into my new Nissan pickup truck.

    Was this review helpful?

    1 1
  • User Score

    0

    June 23rd, 2017 Lansing, MI

    Customer service at car gurus is non-existent. Beware when looking at dealership reviews.There is a reason you won't find many negative reviews. They are removed. XYZ motors sold us a salvage truck that needed $3900 in repairs out the door. I still have not gotten any use out of it and I bought it a week ago.

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    6 0
  • User Score

    0

    June 17th, 2017 Stockton, CA

    Beware when looking at dealership reviews. CarGuru is selective on on the reviews placed by buyers. If the dealership wants a negative review removed. CarGuru will remove it. So we don't get the full picture when dealing with these dealerships.

    Was this review helpful?

    5 1
  • User Score

    10

    June 16th, 2017

    I purchased 2 vehicles from Sal @ SNS and he went above and beyond for me. I am very pleased with my purchase. He really cares about his customers. I would recommend him anytime.

    Was this review helpful?

    1 2
  • User Score

    0

    June 13th, 2017

    CARGURUS is a perfect hiding place for shady car dealer and they are protecting them. Won't allow to leave review for such shady dealer claiming we never contacted the dealer through them??

    Was this review helpful?

    6 0
  • User Score

    0

    June 9th, 2017

    Bought a car from Bridge Auto Sales in Berlin for $5300. Within 24 hrs the air conditioning, electronic dash module including radio, clock and USB, heated leather seats, and the front fender fell off while I was driving home the day I bought the car. Under body damage and cracks too. Dealership became nasty. Salesperson kept calling and texting me asking me on dates. Found out the air conditioner compressor is bad $900. Worst part?? I paid $295 for tags and title transfer. Dealer said the had to mail both because they needed the title to go get the tags for me. Today my temp tags expire and the dealer DOES NOT HAVE MY TITLE!! When I call Bridge Auto Sales they say the title has a prior lien on it so they can't send it to me. I paid cash for the car and I need the title! This car was a birthday gift for my 17 year old son. His birthday was May 19th. I'm very upset.

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    4 0
  • User Score

    10

    June 7th, 2017

    We found our Toyota Highlander on Cargurus. I tried several sites, and CarGurus was by far my favorite. They showed a huge selection and the filter tools were intuitive. I especially liked knowing how good of a deal i was getting, comparative to others on the market. We will definitely use CarGurus again next time we buy a car!

    Was this review helpful?

    0 2
  • User Score

    10

    June 4th, 2017 Denver, CO

    Mark over at A&A Auto, showed great Customer service as he showed us a few cars to look into n what might be out perfect fit. He made us feel welcomed n and was always near by jst in case we had questions. As we did find our perfect car we wanted to purchase, Mark was great in making every step Easy n clear. And well walked away very Happy!

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    0 2
  • User Score

    10

    May 7th, 2017 New Bedford, MA

    C&C Automotive in Whitman, MA was Great! We bought a used Escalade SUV from Colin. He was straight up, no hassles. Would definitely recommend!

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    0 1
  • User Score

    0

    April 26th, 2017 Cameron, NC

    LIke to hear if anybody else has had a bad experience with Toyota Sienna LE 2016. My car often will not start exhibiting the "ignition problem" for which I am directed to see the service dept of the seller. They do nothing to help me. I asked Toyota for a zone rep. to look at the car and determine what is the problem. Denied. BTW, when car will not start, the doors lock, will not open with fob. Anybody else had this problem. What did you do? The dealer thumbs his nose at me doing nothing to fix the problem.

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    1 0