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Autotrader.com
Overall Satisfaction Rating
3.61/5
  • 5 stars
    36
  • 4 stars
    44
  • 3 stars
    36
  • 2 stars
    3
  • 1 stars
    24
Based on 143 ratings submitted in the last year
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Autotrader.com

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169 Autotrader.com Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 29, 2019

Tried to edit my ad. Kept getting the same message "There was an error saving your ad - please try again in a few minutes." Tried for a week, called their customer service during business hours a few times - no answer. Are these guys even in business? Total waste of time.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 25, 2019

I have a 2011 AWD Dodge Durango Citadel model with every option in perfect condition with great pictures and write-up. In 11 days of the ad being posted online, it has only received 20 views! I have received a dozen or more inquiries from people only interested in receiving my email address and phone number, with zero questions about the car. The inquiries are generally very brief in broken English just asking for me to contact them via their Gmail account with my phone number. These are just scammers harvesting email addresses and phones numbers to sell to identity thieves. When I brought this up to Autotrader and told them I wanted my money back, they only offered me 50% back. This has been a total waste of my time and money. This previous icon in the car business needs to find a way to get to legitimate buyers or they're going to continue to go down in flames.

3 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: April 25, 2019

Don't give them any money. All I received were scammers sending me emails acting like they are interested but eventually they try to get you to sign up for a VIN check that they get a portion of the cost or they want to buy it sight unseen and send a money order. When I called to ask for a refund they said it was past the 48 hour timeframe for a refund. How would you know if it's crap in 48 hours? I will go back to using a more expensive company that actually gives you real leads...

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 25, 2019

Used Autotrader website for the 2nd time; both times I was able to locate an exact car that we were looking for, AND not get a lot of other cars that we were not interested in. We now have two cars we both love, and the website was the difference. I tried two other websites; CarGurus and cars.com and they both were inferior to the Autotrader site, as far as exact requirements listed were concerned.

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Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 3, 2019

I made the mistake of not reading the reviews before spending $70 to post a private seller ad with Autotrader.com. :( The only hits I received were 2 spam emails the night I posted the ad. Terrible site and waste of money.

6 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 8, 2019

I purchased a truck that was listed on Autotrader. I bought a 2003 Dodge Dakota from Ultimate Motor Cars. Do not Buy from these guys. They are liars and scam artist. Got cheated out of 1600 dollars because they lie on the shape of the truck. The fender wells are rust out you can put your fist through the holes. Beware of this company.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 25, 2019

Spotlight Ad I paid extra for was only 2 weeks and I never saw it on the site. Slow to upload pictures, slow to let me know when ad was posted. Ad was buried in dealership ads from all over the country. I did not get any legitimate offers. Very user unfriendly.

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 6, 2019

10+ years ago, I used to sell all my used vehicles on Autotrader with great success. Unfortunately, this is now a failing business who doesn’t pay for their pay-per-click marketing and fails to verify their international scammers. After paying $240 to post two ads I have received 12-15 emails from nothing but scammers who can barely formulate coherent sentences. I set the price lower than KBB's recommendation and have lowered the price four times over six weeks. STILL NOT A SINGLE LEGITIMATE BUYER!!! Please don’t waste your money supporting this failing business!!! It is a waste of money and significant time dealing with scammers!!

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 4, 2019

I really wish I would have looked at this webpage & reviews before dropping $100 on Autotrader. I got nothing but scammers from the ad I placed there. In 2-months I did not get a single legitimate inquiry from this ad. Oh, & their reporting tools are worthless. It reported zero hard inquiries for both email & phone number pulls but I got both. All came from Southern California or Canada Area codes and I live in Louisiana. I reported all the scammers and got the standard reply. I also reported the software problem on the reporting tools and got a reply that amounted to "Sorry, we're working on it". Very sad situation. You're better off placing an ad on FB. I sold it from there after only 2-weeks.

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 8, 2019

I received 2 request for information on my BMW and they were both scams. Don't waste your money! They were very good about trying to gain your trust but wouldn't answer questions when asked. They kept saying they wanted to send me money.

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 4, 2019

I was stupid and didn't read reviews before paying for an Autotrader ad. Since placing the ad, 100% of the "interested" parties were scammers and phishers. What an ** annoyance! Super glad I spent $39 to be hassled. Thanks Autotrader.

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 2, 2019

I strongly recommend reading through all of the negative comments posted here by others, many of them mirror my experience almost verbatim. By the way, Autotrader has known for years about all the overseas scam "buyers" who flood your inbox but they have done nothing about it. I listed a relatively new vehicle in great shape way below its blue book value for just over two months and these were literally the only kinds of "buyers" I heard from. "Nice product you've got there, fellas."

Also, if you are looking to sell your vehicle outright, i.e. not trade it in to purchase/lease from a dealer, don't waste your time with the Kelley Blue Book "instant cash offer". You get a bunch of emails from local dealer "partners" who say they need inventory and want to buy your vehicle, but the minute you tell them you won't be purchasing a new one from them, you never hear from them again. The offer is very misleading, and supports some of the comments by others that AT sold out to the dealerships long ago. Autotrader, you are a very dishonest organization.

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9 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 27, 2018

I used Autotrader 5 times in the past to find excellent cars from private sellers. Private sellers are easy to work with and the prices are 3-5 thousand dollars cheaper than a dealer. They have now been bought out by the large dealers and no longer offer private seller searches. Bye Bye Autotrader. Will not be using you again, ever.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 27, 2018

OVERVALUATION. They value your car high, you don't sell, they make additional advertising revenue when you upgrade. MISLEADING PRICE SIGNALS. 80% plus of their revenue comes from traders so they structure products for them. So for example the good price/great price comparison icon is only offered to traders. if you know your behavioural science that means traders can pay for priming. your car may be better value than trade equivalent, but thats tough. Interestingly Autotrader say there is no evidence to suggest the pricing signal negatively impacts private sellers. So question is inevitably why offer it? Clearly they recognise someone is losing out, traders paying for a service that doesn't work or private sellers not getting the impact they think they have paid for.

EXPENSIVE. They use price architecture to encourage you to buy more expensive products. E.g. Two weeks for £40 or 6 weeks for £70. Our primitive brains say bargain. We follow the most people choose route, more behavioural science. You may be better off using free services like RAC, tootle, Webuyanycar.com (much better than they used to be), Gumtree before you spend money on AutoTrader.

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7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 15, 2018

They claim to offer free ads but are a waste of time. Spent or actually wasted a lot of time to place a ad on a really poorly designed posting format that is so poorly designed it took an 1/2 hour and still could not override their useless posting format. Eventually got ad posted and then they call you to try and upsell the listing and when you refuse to pay for the ad - they remove it. This site sucks big time obviously designed for dealers only. HATE FRAUD OR SCAM SITES AND TO ME THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS IS - DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 14, 2018

I sold a 2004 Thunderbird Pacific Coast Roadster one of a thousand in Auto Trader. It was hard to sell it due to false advertising by customers trying to pass off their 2004 Thunderbirds as Pacific Coast Roadsters. I have been trying with emails and phone calls to have these cars removed. As of today there are 10 Pacific Coast roadsters for sale. 5 are fake. Real Pacific Coast Roadsters have a 63 in their Vin.#. They all came in green. They all have a # stamped in their glove compartment. This is what I passed on to Autotrader with no response.

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 12, 2018

Rep will preach how good of a company they are and how they lead the industry blah blah blah. I hear it with each one we deal with. However I decided to give them a shot because if I was not satisfied I could cancel with no issues. No 30 day waiting time to cancel. Well using them for 3 months we gained 2-3 leads over 90 days with 25-30 vehicles in inventory and I believe 2-3 phone calls max. For the price you spend this program and company is beyond worthless. Your sales rep will not call you or check in to see what they can do better. They do not respond to emails. If you don't pay for the highest package your cars will not be seen as I had one step under their max package which mixes cars around to bump them up. Regardless, I forked out about 2000 with being threatened to be put into collections to square up with them. Fast to collect the money. Slow to help you boost your sales. Pathetic. Do not use them to advertise.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 27, 2018

Listed Car For Sale - Autotrader is a scam site. This was the second time I paid for a featured ad on the site. They send you a couple of fake inquiries, about 5 days before the ad is set to expire. The fake "buyers" will ask questions about the vehicle and make an offer slightly below the asking, or they ask to call back to schedule a time to see the car. Each time, they don't call back. One such "buyer" went as far as to let me think he had flown to my city just to see the car. He totally went quiet the day we were supposed to meet. This is a typical pattern that is designed by Autotrader to make the ad buyer believe that the ad is generating some eyeballs, which then motivates you to renew. Seriously, this is business malpractice and a scam.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 15, 2018

Back in July 2017 I paid Autotrader.com a fee to post my car for sale and in spite of the car being competitively priced, unfortunately the ad did not receive much traction. In Feb 2018 I contacted Autotrader via email to retrieve my login so I could lower the price as I had established more equity. When Autotrader sent me a follow-up customer service survey via email asking me to rate my experience, I provided the highest marks across the board with the exception: “Would you recommend Autotrader to friends and family?” I answered “no” “that in spite of my car being competitively priced, it has been crickets since July and I expected more by the way of optimization”.

Several days after I submitted my survey I received a random (rogue) message via text: “Interested in your car for sale” to which I promptly replied with a few qualification questions and I received no response. Call it intuition, but I had a strange feeling about the text so I ran a reverse look-up and found the wireless number to be owned by a woman a few cities away but I did not stop there...

I ran a search on LinkedIn and found that she was Head of Sales at Autotrader for another country. I perceived the text was sent to placate me, as a result of my survey response, disguised as a lead to restore my confidence. After all, survey results are audited by sales so to confirm my suspicion and rule out coincidence, I sent a follow-up message to her: “Do you work for Autotrader”? She replied “yes I do” (and then radio silence).

I am not insinuating the company is aware of these lead management practices, but IF she had been inquiring about my car on behalf of herself or someone else, at minimum she needed to disclose her affiliation with Autotrader and not frame the language like a genuine lead. I have lost faith in the Autotrader online platform. But I do hope this is an isolated incident and other folks who use the service are not receiving similar texts from Autotrader sales managers.

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9 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 31, 2018

Just got my dealer's license and was excited to use Autotrader as one of my marketing tools. I was working with Omar ** with my account. Their pricing scale was real high as I don't carry much inventory. I was specific that I wanted to look at the dealer's portal but I stated to not activate it for the public just yet as I am just starting out. Well, Omar activated the account "and" took 2 vehicles from my website to populate the Autotrader site. Both of which I did NOT authorize. After multiple requests (emails and voicemails, etc) to deactivate, they kept it active to generate fees. I have left a voicemail with his Manager Audie ** and have yet to receive a call back. If I could give Autotrader negative stars, I would. They are deceiving and crooks. You need to BEWARE of the new Autotrader and believe all the negative feedback this company is getting.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 11, 2018

55 looks and 1 call from scammer. Used to be a great site to sell things, now just pay your money and wait for the unwanted calls from people who want you to pay them to help you sell your car. Lowered it 5k below blue book on a mint 2015 Ram 2500, no bites. The good news is now I am getting a lot of Autotrader ads pop up in my browsing, just what I need, advertisements to buy a car when mine is not selling. AVOID!!!

9 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 30, 2018

Trucks for sale - Don’t waste your time. After filling out all their information about what I wanted, all it would show was smashed up wrecks. Really? Why would it think I wanted a smashed up wreck. The site is worthless.

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 20, 2018

I had used Autotrader many years ago when they published a magazine and distributed it locally and always had good experience. Not so today as it took me three different attempts to post an ad. First time after I entered all info including description and photos then went to the pay part the link was dead. I phoned them and was told to go to various other sections which I did and as a result lost all my input. They said they were sorry and would help me word another ad. I do not need help with that, just being able to place it.

Next attempt I started over from scratch but only got as far as entering my email address which I had to re-enter online below only to get error message that emails do not match, despite the fact that they matched perfectly. I tried again but used a different email, but had the same results. Called Autotrader and all they could advise was try again from scratch. I did so and this time it worked and I spent another hour downloading photos and rewording description, but it took my credit card and gave me an ad id. Lucky me! Now all I have to do is wait for 24 hours before I can see my ad published.

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4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 11, 2018

I listed my car for sale about a month ago. I listed the car far under bluebook value for the condition. I paid over $80 to list on Autotrader. As soon as the ad went live, I received a bombardment of fraudulent texts and one fraudulent call (the caller hung up on me and then proceeded to text me with bogus offers). I reported all of these to Autotrader. Since listing, I have not received even one legitimate inquiry - not one. It was like paying someone to harass you. Now I still have a car to sell and will probably need to pay another service to do so. This is not the first car I have sold online. Autotrader is the worst service I have ever used to date.

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 10, 2018

Other than the 24-hour wait to get online or edited and editing issue, so far all going well selling 2005 Camry XLE V6 with only 46k miles. Yes, you get the usual scams from non-locals wanting to send via PayPal or CashMe. I just don't reply. But also getting a lot of serious local callers. Problem is editing. My initial post was up in 24 hours. Since had lots of characters left, I added more based on questions was getting. However when tried to send told me info not completed and recheck vin had to be 17 characters. I confirm vin is correct, search all over and cannot find anything missing.

I call support - fast pickup from a friendly human. Tells me the problems are not what they read error messages say but cannot have $ signs or abbreviations or anything other than periods. Gee, why didn't something tell me that instead of wrong error message! She brought up ad and auto changed the bad words (like $). I copied my redo, logged out and added what I added being sure not to use $ etc or abbreviations on the new text. It was accepted without the false error messages. Other than knowing you can't use $ etc (which was accepted on the original post) experience and response have been good. Also - if want to send the URL of ad to someone is VERY LONG!

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Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 8, 2018

Internal server error pages when I type in my zip code, place search for BMW (shows only 16) but when I press search, I get the internal server error. Try to change my zip, same error. A survey window pops up, great, now I can give feedback... no, of course not, when I press on it on either text me or email me, it brings me back to the original search page. Increasing search radius... who knows, I haven't found it after 10 mins of frustration with internal server errors. Sellers: I can't find your car!! Buyers: trust me, after 10 mins you'll give up. So I emailed them with my observations, turn out you have 250 characters to do so... what a joke this website.

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 17, 2018

First of all the site is terrible. Just to get to your ad, you have to sign in numerous times. I started the ad, then went to finish the following evening. The ad was gone and I had to start again. Now when I want to check the status of my ad, it is difficult to find the link, you then have to sign in again. Your ad page tells you nothing, how many have viewed it, absolutely nothing. Now to get to the responses from my ad. I immediately received 3 text messages, all from the same # with several other #'s included in a group text. I was asked if the vehicle was still for sale and to respond via email. I did to the first one, then realized all three text were from the same person. I even received a text from one of the #s included in the group text telling me that they believed it to be a scam. Sometime later I received a call from a service wanting to "help" me sell my car... for $299! Now mind you I have already paid to place an ad on AT.

I received about 8 more inquiries within the next 8 hours, emails from soldiers wanting to buy a gift for their family member, "can't talk, in a combat zone", "must make purchase immediately", etc. etc. In 2 days I have received 28 inquiries, all have been scams. I reached out to AT, they were sincerely sorry, (I believed them) but they cannot be held responsible, these things happen, yada yada. They gave me a pretty comprehensive list of things I should do to make sure I am not scammed... When I responded and asked what THEY will do to protect their customers... so far radio silence! No mention of a refund, upgrade in ad placement (ads are anywhere between 25-100), any type of customer service responsibility.

I am guessing that I purchased the scammers ad list, i.e. $25. There are way too many free sites that I have used and NEVER had this problem before! I used AutoTrader because my son has a "specialty" car and thought I would reach a different audience... Boy was I right! I definitely would not recommend this site unless you are hypervigilant and watch for scammers, since that is all I have received, it may be best to avoid this site altogether unless you purchase the "no scammers" list. Buyer beware!

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8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2018

Kelley Blue Book Instant Offers are not too reliable. In fact we had received an instant offer for our 2013 Rav4 XLE in great condition. Once we took the vehicle to dealers. All of them tried to use different techniques to "discount" the so called "Instant Offer". One dealer claimed there was hail damage to the top of the car... there in fact was a few dings that we never noticed and an average consumer would never had seen either. Another dealer pulled the CarFax report and revealed to us that the car at some point, prior to us owning it was engaged in an apparent accident (which never affected the performance and had been repaired quite possibly by Toyota) and never noticeable.

It was apparent to us that this scheme was an effort by the dealers to discount the value of the vehicle and give us the impression that the vehicle was worth less... interestingly the vehicle is a hot seller and it has less than 36K miles. Word to the wise is... don't buy into this nonsense because the effort apparently is geared to get the consumer into the dealers' office primarily to trade your vehicle. If they can con you into believing that your vehicle is faulty... they can do a "steal deal"; i.e. use a scheme to buy it from you at a low-ball price.

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3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 2, 2018

Bought the car about a month before Christmas, sent emails to the bookkeeper that the car was having trouble starting and the tire pressure light was back on (on when I gave deposit on the car) Never got a reply. Called the owner Jan 2 allowing for the Xmas and new year holiday. Was told none of his cars were starting funny. My 2002 Audi TT had no problem starting. Was told He would get me a battery wholesale and it was over a few weeks. Also told him about the tire pressure light. Said I would have to leave it for a few days when his mechanic was in. He is in Nanuet. I live in Ossining Westchester. Very inconsiderate.

They do not back what they sell. P.S. The battery was bad. Had AutoZone replace it at my expense and have to get the tire pressure light checked. I thought even used cars sales had a warranty and a responsibility to the buyer at least in NY. Do not recommend this dealer. He will say they got me a great interest rate, my credit got me that. He will tell you he took in my PRS guitar in trade. I got ripped off on that deal. I went through with the deal because I was afraid they would not refund my 500.00 Deposit As they told me they would defer it to another vehicle. Just a warning. Think twice or thrice before you deal with this dealership.

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5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 24, 2017

Don't advertise your car here. It is awful and a waste of money and time. You will get zero replies like everyone else. I don't think they even show your ad to be honest. I called them and asked for a refund because I couldn't find mine, they refused so I will just let everyone know they are probably a scam. Just look at all the bad reviews with the same issues, etc...

14 people found this review helpful
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Autotrader expert review by Tom Rains

Autotrader has millions of vehicles to choose from. The Car Research and Review section of the site helps car buyers calculate how much they can afford to spend on a car. The site is also full of helpful educational resources to inform users on every aspect of buying and selling a car, including finding the right insurance, tips for getting a car sold and comparison photos. In addition to buying vehicles, you can also sell or trade in your car on the site.

  • Dozens of search filters: The Autotrader search is second to none. Dozens of filters let users be as picky as they like.

  • Apps for iOS and Android: The two Autotrader apps get great reviews from users. Create a personal account and access your saved searches and vehicles from any other mobile device or computer.

  • Financing through LendingTree: Autotrader works with LendingTree, an online loan broker, to help you find the best financing for your car purchase.

  • Car insurance by Geico: Autotrader has partnered with Geico to help you look for car insurance that protects you from the moment you drive off the lot.

  • Bulk of cars sold through professional dealers: It can sometimes be tricky to buy a car from a private dealer. Most of Autotrader’s listings are through professional dealers, which lets you find reviews online and work with a reputable seller.

Profile picture of Tom Rains
Tom Rains ConsumerAffairs Research Team

Tom Rains graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2014 with a master’s degree in Professional Writing. Tom’s passion for delivering quality content fuels him to provide consumers with accurate, well-researched information on major life purchases.

Autotrader.com Company Information

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Autotrader
Website:
www.autotrader.com
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