What are the websites Americans use to research buying a car?
May 2nd, 2023, Janice Fernandes

What are the websites Americans use to research buying a car?

In a recent YouGov survey more than half of consumers in the US (57%) say they speak to friends and family as research before buying a car. But among consumers who research online which websites do they use?

Latest data from YouGov Profiles shows that the top five websites used by US adults who research online before buying a car are CarMax.com (36%), the car manufacturer's website (36%), Cars.com (35%), Autotrader.com (28%) and Kbb.com (23%).

When looking at the breakdown by engine type, the results show some differences in usage. Consumers who would consider a petrol, electric or full hybrid engine are most likely to use the car manufacturer’s website for research – 44%, 42% and 43% respectively. Diesel buyers are most likely to use Cars.com (44%), while plug-in hybrid considerers visit Carmax.com most commonly (45%).

Overall, other popular websites for researching new or second-hand cars include Edmunds.com (21%) Craigslist.org (18%), Truecar.com (14%), Cargurus.com (13%), and EbayMotors.com (10%). 

There are some noteworthy variances in the results for different fuel types, with some websites more popular for certain types of cars than others. For example, consumers who would consider purchasing a diesel vehicle are more likely than consumers considering other engine types to use eBayMotors.com (17%).

We also look at the preferences of different types of car buyers.

While car manufacturer websites are an important source of research for new car buyers, registering around two in five consumers (40%), they are not as important for used car buyers (34%) and even less so for certified pre-owned buyers (29%).

When it comes to researching the purchase of a new car, the top websites used are Cars.com (45%), the manufacturer's website (40%), and Carmax.com (37%).

For used cars, Cars.com (42%) and Carmax.com (39%) are the most popular websites among respondents, followed by Autotrader.com (37%). Craigslist.org is a popular site used for research by consumers looking to buy a used car (27%).

Carmax.com (42%) and Cars.com (39%) continue their domination with certified pre-owned car buyers picking these two sites for their research, followed by Kbb.com (34%). But consumers looking for cars in this category are also more likely than other consumers to check out sites like Edmunds.com (28%) and Truecar.com (22%).

These websites offer a variety of features such as reviews, comparisons, pricing information and car condition that can help buyers make informed decisions about their purchase.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the United States is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles

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