CarSoup started up in December 1997. For the past decade and a half, the company owners have put their years of automotive marketing experience to work on their website with the mission of serving one market, one dealership, one car at a time.
Offering shopping lists of more than 100,000 new cars and over 60,000 used cars nationwide, CarSoup serves local buyers and sellers of various vehicle genres across the United States.
At CarSoup, they have many services with one goal: to connect buyers and sellers. CarSoup dealers dramatically lower their cost of acquisition for each car buyer and the website's private party listings remain one of the best values online.
CarSoup has a local focus through local broadcast media partnerships that give the website a more results-oriented approach.
Unlike popular car finder websites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book, CarSoup offers a broader spectrum of vehicle pricing research options. For instance, Kelley Blue Book specializes mostly in car prices, but CarSoup reviews cars plus trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, boats, snowmobiles, RVs and campers, and classic vehicles, with their focused websites:
CarSoup's relationships with local dealers is a bonus for car sellers, since CarSoup can connect them directly with local dealers in their area who can appraise their vehicle and make an offer. This is great for people looking to cash in fast on their vehicle. It is a bit more reassuring to be connected with a dealer through a CarSoup referral than to simply search for one independently with no recommendations.
This also comes in handy with car repairs and maintenance, as CarSoup is able to connect customers with recommended local dealerships with auto repair facilities.
Another honorable mention falls under the umbrella of CarSoup's relationships with local dealers. If someone is looking to sell their vehicle for cash, CarSoup's free tool allows them to skip cold calling to find a local dealer to sell their car to directly. This referral tool just requires the car make, model and year and once clicking the NEXT button, customers can select a local dealer they want to possibly sell the car to. All that is expected is to mention to the dealer that CarSoup was the one who sent them.
Customers can sign up to receive the latest deals and coupons for car accessories like tires by providing their email address on the site page.
A useful feature for car sellers is CarSoup's Price Your Car Calculator. By plugging in the car's make, model, year and zip code that the car will be sold in, sellers get a baseline estimate or general market value of their car. They can then determine whether to sell it for more or less, depending on improvements, dings, dents or rust.
CarSoup's recommendation tool comes in the form of their Top Ten Lists found in their site's Buyer's Guide. Some of their recent Top Ten Recommendation Lists include:
Other helpful site features include:
CarSoup does a good job with features to help individuals looking to sell their vehicle but lacks the full toolbox to help buyers. For example, the website does not offer a payment calculator to help buyers assess the true cost of the car. This feature is offered by other websites in the car finder niche, which puts CarSoup at a disadvantage.
CarSoup also does not offer a comparison tool to compare cars side by side.
The potential down-side to the free dealer quote is that customers have to submit an email with their first and last name, email, phone and zip code. Oftentimes people shopping online for car deals want to remain anonymous. They also want to take the time to get prepared before communicating with a dealer. This is where tools like the Compare tool, True Cost to Own and Payment Calculator would come in handy.
Additionally, the site "outsources" its vehicle history tool to CarFax.com by having a live link to the site under the phrase "Get Your Vehicle History Report". Perhaps they should have a competitive vehicle history tool of their own, since CARFAX, although a popular and trusted brand, their Vehicle History Reports are based on information supplied to CARFAX. CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle, a hole that CarSoup could possibly fill for its customers.
When it comes to car loans, the good news is that CarSoup offers them. The "bad" news is that they advertise it as "Bad Credit? No credit? NO WORRIES!" Regardless of the problem, be it bankruptcy, bad credit, divorce, first-time buyer, job loss, no credit history, medical issues, repo, or other credit challenges, CarSoup promises that its dealers will assist customers seeking loans. Superfluous at best, too good to be true at worst.
This website was by far the most help in my search for my new used Toyota Prius V.