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

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

 

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 unless you know all the zip codes near you. The car you want may not be in your city, but in a neighboring town. You may potentially miss a great deal just because there is simply no search radius option made available to you on the search engine while you are browsing on CarGurus.com.

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.

Company Name: CarGurus LLC

Website: http://www.cargurus.com

Time in Business: CarGurus.com has been in business for 10 years.

 

Business started: 11/10/2005 in MA

Business incorporated: 07/13/2006 in MA

 

Online Features:

  1. New/Used/Certified Pre-Owned
  2. Options: 2lt package, 5th wheel, alloy wheels, aluminum wheels, ambient light package, appearance package, audio package, automatic ride suspension package, backup camera, blue tooth, cargo package, chrome wheels, climate package, comfort package, convenience package, DVD entertainment system, driver confidence package, extra value package, heat package, LE package, LS package, LT package, Lariat package, leather seats, light package, limited package, luxury package, luxury ride suspension package, ,memory package, multimedia package, navigation system, off-road package, performance package, popular equipment package, power package, preferred accessory package, premium audio package, premium package, premium plus package, premium plus package, premium smooth ride suspension package, premium wheels, quick order package, rear climate package, remote start, S Line Sport Package, SE Package, SL Package, SLE Package, Safety Package, security package, skid plate package, solid smooth ride suspension, Special Edition Package, sport package, steel wheels, storage package, sunroof/moon roof, suspension package, technology package, tow package, trailer package, trim package, upgrade package, utility package, value package, wood trim package, XLE package, XLT package, Z71 Package
  3. Accidents reported on cars for sale and vehicle conditions.
  4. Photos (hide vehicles without photos, hide vehicles with frame damage reported.)
  5. Search by: makes/models, body styles, years, zip code, radius, price, mileage, transmission, engine, drivetrain, fuel type color, deal ratings (great, good)
  6. Seller Type: Dealer, Private
  7. Seating Capacity
  8. MPG
  9. Cabin: Crew Cab, Extended Cab, Large Crew Cab, Regular Cab
  10. Price Drops

Resources:

  1. Find out the instant market value and trade-in value of any car.
  2. Research and Reviews
  3. Questions answered from car gurus
  4. Active Online Community with real-world guidance on car maintenance and troubleshooting
  5. Price Calculator

Used Car Liquidation: Sell My Car Free: Be seen by over 15 million shoppers a month. Use advanced pricing tools to determine the value of your car.

Mobile Ability:

CarGurus.com is a mobile-friendly site as tested on Google Developers’ Mobile Friendly Test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cargurus.com%2F

Nationwide: yes

Car Loan Education: none

Additional Information:

CarGurus is all about price transparency to give you the data you need to make smart, empowered car shopping decisions. Our free shopping engine analyzes millions of car listings to give you instant guidance on the best deals in your area. CarGurus is the only online car shopping service to consolidate and analyze prices on local car listings in real-time. We rank the listings in your area based solely on the dollar savings to the consumer.

The Instant Market Value (IMV) of a vehicle is CarGurus’ estimated fair retail price for a vehicle based on a detailed analysis of comparable current and previously sold car listings in your local market. Our analysis takes into account specific details including make, model, trim, year, mileage, options and vehicle history. CarGurus’ IMV is used to determine whether each listed car is a great, good, fair or overpriced deal.

Fees: none

Customer Service:

I spoke with customer representative Tina who was very friendly and confirmed the information about CarGurus.com price transparency for its customers.

Contact Info:

Phone Number: (617) 354-0068

Address: 1 Bow St Suite 4, Cambridge, MA 02138

Toll Free #:888-440-6679

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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32 CarGurus Reviews

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  1. User Score

    0

    November 12th, 2016 Miami Beach, FL

    This page is a mere decoy, Once you find the car you are looking for, you contact the supposed dealer, and it so happens to have been already sold, but sure enough, they are presto ready to offer you a “nice alternative”. Still a week or more days later, the car is still showing there… This has happened to me uncountable times. Ughr!

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    6

  2. User Score

    0

    November 11th, 2016

    MONEY HUNGRY, AND UNPROFESSIONAL COMPANY. AS A DEALER THEY HOLD US TO THE FIRE FOR EXTREME RATE INCREASES. THEY LIED ABOUT RATES OFF THE BAT. PRICE GOUGING IS THEIR WAY OF DOING BUSINESS. THEY DONT EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT THAT CAN TELL APART IN OPTIONS/CONDITION/OR HISTORY ON CARS. THEIR “VALUE” VALIDATOR MAKES ROUGH CARS A “GREAT DEAL” WHILE PERFECT CARS WITH PROPER SERVICE AND HISTORY ARE “OVER PRICED” TERRIBLE WAY OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS. I HOPE THAT REPUTATBLE COMPANIES SUCH AS AUTOTRADER PUT YOU GUYS OUT OF BUSINESS FOR THE WAY YOU GUYS ACT

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    3

  3. User Score

    10

    November 9th, 2016

    One of the best car sites available…….with a really good price rating system. Definitely helping me as a customer choose my next car.

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  4. User Score

    2

    November 4th, 2016 Pomona, CA

    This app sucks , very difficult to navigate

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  5. User Score

    0

    October 29th, 2016 Vernon, NJ

    Car-gurus advertise dealers that rip off and miss guide folks.
    They do not truly check the background of the dealer they advertise.
    I would not use CAR-GURUS service.

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    1

  6. User Score

    0

    October 24th, 2016 Hickory, NC

    EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED IN CARGURUS. MONEY HUNGRY, AND UNPROFESSIONAL COMPANY. AS A DEALER THEY HOLD US TO THE FIRE FOR EXTREME RATE INCREASES. THEY LIED ABOUT RATES OFF THE BAT. PRICE GOUGING IS THEIR WAY OF DOING BUSINESS. THEY DONT EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT THAT CAN TELL APART IN OPTIONS/CONDITION/OR HISTORY ON CARS. THEIR “VALUE” VALIDATOR MAKES ROUGH CARS A “GREAT DEAL” WHILE PERFECT CARS WITH PROPER SERVICE AND HISTORY ARE “OVER PRICED” TERRIBLE WAY OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS. I HOPE THAT REPUTATBLE COMPANIES SUCH AS AUTOTRADER PUT YOU GUYS OUT OF BUSINESS FOR THE WAY YOU GUYS ACT.

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    4 1

  7. User Score

    0

    October 23rd, 2016 Allen Park, MI

    Well my experience with CarGurus has been if a dealer is going to list a vehicle and then the company listing the vehicle on CarGurus not respond but CarGurus emails you with the dealership name on it and when I contact the dealership because they did not reply like CarGurus said they will so I contact the dealership that has the car but they have it listed for $1,900 more and will not honor their price of $5,199 as listed on CarGurus.. this whole process seems like a waste of time

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    9

  8. User Score

    0

    October 19th, 2016

    Nice little scam they got going…. they sell you worthless leads, when you cancel their contracts they start sending you even more worthless “free” leads so you can sign back up with them… big waste of time and money these people…. when you need them, they don’t answer your calls, when you cancel your dealer agreement, they hound you with their damage control department…

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    2

  9. User Score

    0

    October 13th, 2016 San Clemente, CA

    The review process is not real, allow anyone to slander.
    If you pay to list your cars they let you lie on reviews.

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    4

  10. User Score

    10

    October 11th, 2016 Pittsburg, CA

    We love our new Nissan Vera! The experience at Nissan was like none other. Our salesman Oscar was welcoming & friendly. He was able to answer all of our questions and made the whole buying experience a pleasure.

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  11. User Score

    0

    October 5th, 2016

    This site lead me to a 🍋 lemon. I tried to leave a bad review for Memphis Auto Sale who sold me a car that only worked for 3 weeks! I paid it off mid August & have not received a title!
    I was overcharged intentionally and when I realized it they wouldn’t refund me. I had no other choice but to hire an attorney. To top it off carguru did not aid in a review so I can warn future customers!😡

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    7

  12. User Score

    8

    October 3rd, 2016

    I would like to thank CarGurus for their swift response when asked for a dealers name and address. I have since purchased the car that I was looking at

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    4

  13. User Score

    2

    September 20th, 2016 Lake City, FL

    After writing my review at their CARGURUS’ request, they removed it because the dealer didn’t like it. Thats a democratic system at work, the dealer (nor CARGURUS) doesn’t accept any honest reviews from the same people they requested a review from…..incredible!!!

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    7

  14. User Score

    1

    September 19th, 2016

    R and J car Sales Halifax dreadful service, looked at car the windscreen was broken , told me to drive home with broken windscreen , refused to do so, Dealer had it fixed I arranged To buy it when windscreen was repaired , Which I did and paid in cash however engine management light came as I was driving away, was told” oh that’s because it’s empty of petrol, drove home engine management light came back on, telephoned dealer “get it fixed I’ll pay ” I’m a £120 out of pocket now as he has renaged on his promise….I am a pensioner and can ill afford this….he has no scruples , my advice read all the reviews on this cowboy, but better still stay away ……

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    3

  15. User Score

    3

    September 16th, 2016 Kansas City, MO

    There is no protection for sellers who come upon a fraudulent buyer. wanting personal and bank information. Sellers beware about their no protection policy.

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    3 1

  16. User Score

    10

    August 26th, 2016 Gatlinburg, TN

    An awesome website to get your vehicle sold

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    2

  17. User Score

    1

    August 12th, 2016 Wheaton, IL

    Cargurus told me I couldn’t review the dealer I purchased from because they didn’t recognize my email address, despite them sending me emails everyday!

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    5 1

  18. User Score

    10

    July 30th, 2016 Ocala, FL

    I had a great experience with Automax. My salesperson name was Clarence. I was referred to him by a co-worker and he helped me to get exactly what i wanted. He wasn’t like any other salesperson that tries to get you to get something you do not want. My process was fast, simple, and easy… I’ll suggest everyone to go to Automax.

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    1 1

  19. User Score

    0

    July 22nd, 2016 Fredericksburg, VA

    I have been in the car industry for 22 years and I can’t believe their billing practices. We are a multi-franchise store and their billing is a month in advance and if you don’t pay by the 15th of the month they will take your inventory down and still charge you for services they did NOT provide.

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    3 1

  20. User Score

    10

    July 3rd, 2016 Ocala, FL

    I am 51 years old. I have come across car salesman and their Managers many at times and have walked away from car dealers feeling pushed harassed and at times feeling that I was taking advantage of for lack of a better word or pure restraint from using inappropriate language. I commend Ryan Frazier he was our sales rep, he was very respectful at no time did I feel pressured nor pushed nor harassed I took a car for a test drive came back looked at a few more and he never looked bother or inpatient, he was helpful and knowledgeable and willing to answer all our questions. The price I saw on line was the price on the sticker, after I looked at a few other cars I met one of the managers his name is David Goldberg , his demeanor was humble and willing to help, no smart remarks no cheap jokes and absolute respect for our questions and concerns, Great Job Automax team. I bought the car. Here is the kicker I was scheduled to visit 4 other dealers as I had researched for a few months and have narrowed it down to 4 cars, I walked into Automax which originally was not on my list just out of curiosity for the car I saw on line, had no plans to buy today, I was just going to look at all my possibilities and then make my decision before Tuesday. This Team made it so conformable and so genuine that I it was easy to decide. I will never buy a car any where else. Thus the reason for my tittle The way cars should be sold.

    Fabian G

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