CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (2023)

CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (1)This is my honest review of CarsDirect, the online platform designed to help people buy and finance new and used cars. CarsDirect connects buyers with its strong network of dealers and lenders, looking to make the process easier.

(Video) Tips On How To Get The Best Used Car Deal - Autotrader

With CarsDirect, you can buy your car online and have it delivered within 48 hours.But is the process really that simple?

In this post, we review CarsDirect, how it works, and examine the good and the bad.

table of contents

  • What is CarsDirect?
  • Is CarsDirect legit?
  • How much does CarsDirect cost?
  • Does CarsDirect offer financing?
  • How to apply for a loan through CarsDirect
    • The Pros of CarsDirect Financing
    • The Cons of Cars Direct Financing
  • Does CarsDirect check your credit score?
  • How to buy a car on CarsDirect
  • CarsDirect Policies
  • CarsDirect Review: The Benefits and Drawbacks
    • CarsDirect Pros: Here's What I Like
    • Disadvantages of CarsDirect: Here's What I Don't Like
  • Alternatives to CarsDirect
  • The best car deals by category
  • Common questions

What is CarsDirect?

CarsDirectis a car buying site. As a user, you can trade in an old car and even get finance for your new car.Essentially, CarsDirect helps you buy the right car and loan online.CarsDirect provides car buying advice, car reviews and lets yourequest car prices.

(Video) Car Shopping on

CarsDirect also connects you with lenders for auto loans, especially loans for people with bad credit. Customers can typically purchase their vehicle within 24 to 48 hours of completing the application process with a lender.

CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (2)

Is CarsDirect legit?

Yes, CarsDirect is a legitimate company owned by Internet Brands, a large media company that operates websites across multiple industries. Based in Second California, CarsDirect was founded in 1988 by Scott Painter.

How much does CarsDirect cost?

CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (3)

CarsDirect is free for consumers. They provide car buying information and advice to equip car buyers and will connect you with local dealers and lenders.

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How does CarsDirect make money?

CarsDirect is free to consumers and earns money from referrals to dealerships and lenders.

Does CarsDirect offer financing?

CarsDirect does not provide financing directly, but connects customers with local lenders and dealers for financing. They also specialize in helping consumers with bad credit find car dealerships.

How to apply for a loan through CarsDirect

  1. Select "Get Your Rate"
  2. Complete the 60-second loan application form and click "Get My Car".
  3. A CarsDirect representative will call you to discuss your options.
  4. The specific reseller you are connected with will determine which documents you must submit. Typically, you will need proof of identity, proof of income, proof of insurance and proof of residency.
  5. The representative will work with local dealerships to find the right car for you.
  6. Purchase your car through CarsDirect within 24-48 hours of submitting your finance application.

CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (4)

The Pros of CarsDirect Financing

  • flexible lenders
  • No service fee to connect you with lenders
  • bad credit is ok
  • Save time looking for a loan
  • Combined with car buying service

The Cons of Cars Direct Financing

  • Financing fees are not visible prior to connecting with dealer lenders.
  • Limited to the CarsDirect network. Lenders must pay to be part of their network, so you can only see options from these lenders.
  • As with most loans for people with bad credit, interest rates are much higher than those with good credit.

CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (5)

(Video) How To Buy a Used Car in the U.K (Full Process)

Does CarsDirect check your credit score?

To qualify for loans through CarsDirect, you must be employed or on a guaranteed income, over the age of 18, and a US resident. However, individual borrowers will also need to meet requirements set by finance companies and banks referred to by CarsDirect. for.

CarsDirect will try to help connect you with the right lenders for your situation. Keep in mind that lenders will still do a thorough credit check and base your interest rate on that information.

How to buy a car on CarsDirect

Buying a car on CarsDirect is very similar to doing it on other car buying sites. To do it yourself:

  1. request pricesfor the car you are looking for. Enter the make, model, trim and price range.
  2. CarsDirect produces a results page with vehicles that match your search. The results show a photo, as well as the price, mileage and distance to the dealership where the car is currently located.
  3. You can purchase from a CarsDirect supported dealership or directly from
  4. In some cases, you will not have the option to buy through CarsDirect and will need to go through the dealership.
  5. Explore car buying and leasing options to get an estimate of the total cost.

CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (6)

CarsDirect Policies

Here are the important policies to remember:

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  • Taxa.There is no application fee for an auto loan application. The lender or dealer still charges a fee.
  • Credit check.Corresponding lenders will likely perform a thorough credit investigation and obtain your credit reports.
  • Co-signers.You can get a co-signer to increase your chances of approval or improve your loan terms.
  • Refinance. CarsDirect can provide you with a refinance reference to help you refinance your current car loan.RELATED:Is it a good time to refinance your car loan?

CarsDirect Review: The Benefits and Drawbacks

CarsDirect Pros: Here's What I Like

  • A lot of information. They offer great detail about every car on the site. It is a very useful feature for car buying.CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (7)
  • Target Price.A feature that allows you to get a price close to what others have paid in your area.
  • Easy to use.Simple car buying on an easy to use website. The site is easy to use and much simpler than other car buying sites because of the "recently viewed" tab.
  • To save.Compare the best deals to secure a competitive rate.
  • financePre-approved financing that can help you negotiate.
  • All in one.You can apply for financing, buy cars and get a quote for your trade-in, all in one place.
  • low creditA very useful feature for borrowers with lower credit as there are many financing options.
  • Simple.It's easy to negotiate on CarsDirect to secure the best deal.

Disadvantages of CarsDirect: Here's What I Don't Like

  • CarsDirect Review: Can You Get A Good Deal? | Find the best car price (8)There are better loan options for people with good credit.CarsDirect is not always the best option for people with good credit. People with high credit scores can find a better financing deal through a credit union, bank, or other online lender.
  • Request.One of the biggest customer complaints is that multiple lenders will contact you to compete for your business, often even after you've completed the process. You may receive a lot of unwanted calls and emails.
  • Currency estimates are not guaranteed.CarsDirect provides an estimated trade-in value for your vehicle, but dealers can still generate their own final offers.

Alternatives to CarsDirect

CarsDirectoffers a wealth of information, but some alternatives include:

  • Vroom: Buy and sell online without haggling with a dealer. Buy low mileage used vehicles and enjoy delivery at your doorstep.Read our full review in this post..
  • Caravan.An online used car dealership that also offers financing options.Read our review of CarvanaoCarvana contra Vroom.
  • Carmax.Use Carmax to buy or sell certified vehicles online. Choose from curbside pickup or delivery. read ourCarMax review here.
  • To change.Shift is a digital company that offers car buying and selling. Shift owns every car it sells and offers no-haggle pricing.Read our Shift guide and review here.
  • Online dealer marketplaces. Many physical dealerships now also offer online platforms. You can even visit the dealership to test drive the car you found online before you buy it.
  • local markets. Buy and sell directly with private individuals through marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook and Craigslist.
  • Costco Automatic Program.The Costco Auto program is available to Costco members. It provides them with special pre-set membership prices on vehicles at dealerships across the country.Read our full review here.
  • Car rental companies.Enterprise, Hertz and Avis are the main car rental companies, and you can find a great deal on a well-maintained used vehicle.Take a look at our full comparison here.


Is CarsDirect a good way to buy a car? ›

Is CarsDirect legit? CarsDirect is a good way to shop for a new or used car, especially if you have poor credit. It's a convenient hub that connects you to lenders and dealers. However, it's up to you to research the lender and seller you're working with before you commit.

What site has the best car prices? ›

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book has been one of the most trusted names in the auto industry. You might say we literally "wrote the book on car values". And today there's no better place to find the value of your current car than

How do you find if a car is a good deal? ›

How to Tell if You're Getting a Good Deal on a Car
  1. Compare the Purchase Price. ...
  2. Never Negotiate Based on Monthly Payment. ...
  3. Let Them Sell You. ...
  4. Always Counter-Offer. ...
  5. Incentives & Rebates. ...
  6. Know What Fees You Should (or Should Not) Pay. ...
  7. Don't Forget the DMV. ...
  8. Service Matters.

Is CarsDirect a hard inquiry? ›

This is a no-obligation application. But as you continue the process you can expect a hard inquiry from lenders. Review financing options. A CarsDirect representative will then reach out within 24 hours of filling out the form with different financing options.

What is the best car buying site? ›

Best Used-Car Websites For Online Car Shopping
  • Best online reputation: Kelley Blue Book.
  • Best for consumer reviews:
  • Best for deals on used cars:
  • Best for variety: Autolist.
  • Best selection of inspected used vehicles:
  • Best for shopping around: CarGurus.
May 31, 2022

Is CarsDirect a real site? ›

CarsDirect is not a lender — it's a search hub that helps you find loans from lenders it partners with. The site's tools let you compare multiple auto loan options. CarsDirect says its customers usually are able to purchase their vehicles within 24 to 48 hours after completing the application process with a lender.

What mileage is too high for a used car? ›

What is considered high mileage on a car? Often, 100,000 miles is considered a cut-off point for used cars because older vehicles often start requiring more expensive and frequent maintenance when mileage exceeds 100,000.

How can I get a fair price for a car? ›

How to Negotiate the Best Car Price
  1. 2) Arm Yourself With Information.
  2. 3) Get Your Financing First.
  3. 4) Find the Deals.
  4. 5) Head to the Dealership.
  5. 6) Get Your Timing Right.
  6. 7) Shop at Multiple Car Dealers.
  7. 8) Remember It's a Business Transaction.
  8. 9) Avoid Distractions: Price Comes First.

What is the best time of the year to buy a car? ›

End of the year, month and model year

In terms of the best time of the year, October, November and December are safe bets. Car dealerships have sales quotas, which typically break down into yearly, quarterly and monthly sales goals. All three goals begin to come together late in the year.

Which is more accurate Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds? ›

Many experts believe Edmunds' values are more accurate than KBB's.

What cars offer the best value? ›

The winners: Cars
  • 2023 Honda Civic. Best Compact Car. Finalists: Mazda Mazda3, Toyota Corolla.
  • 2023 Chevrolet Bolt. Best Electric Car.
  • 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. Best Hybrid Car. Finalists: Toyota Camry Hybrid.
  • 2023 Kia K5. Best Midsize Car. Finalists: Toyota Camry.
  • 2023 Kia Rio. Best Subcompact Car.

What happened to CarsDirect? ›

In 2004, the firm began to expand into other markets, and subsequently changed its name to Internet Brands in 2005. In June 2014, the company announced that it had been acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for $1.1 Billion.

What credit score do car lots look at? ›

FICO® credit scores are the auto industry standard for determining a potential buyer's creditworthiness. Using a variety of factors, the company will give you a three digit score ranging from 300 (lowest possible) to 850 (highest possible).

How many points does your credit go down when you buy a car? ›

If you qualify for and accept a loan offer, you'll typically see another small score dip. Hard inquiries will reduce your credit score anywhere from 5-10 points for about a year.

What car has the longest lasting engine? ›

Topping that list is the Toyota Sequoia, which has a potential lifespan of 296,509 miles, according to a new study from The automotive research website analyzed more than 2 million cars to determine which last longest and found that 20 models are able to endure for more than 200,000 miles.

Who sells the most reliable car? ›

What are the most reliable automotive brands?
  • Toyota.
  • Lexus.
  • BMW.
  • Mazda.
  • Honda.
  • Audi.
  • Subaru.
  • Acura.
Nov 15, 2022

Can you trust buying a car online? ›

So, the simple answer to that is: yes, it's safe to buy a car online. But, and there's definitely a “but” here, you need to be sure you shop with a reliable dealer that you can trust, and that has a track record in the industry.

Can you trust cars com? ›

Yes! is a trusted marketplace and a reliable resource for buying and selling cars.

How do you check if a car is real? ›

VINPit was introduced in the market as a unique, detailed, and state-of-the-art VIN lookup online tool, primarily to perform VIN checks online and authenticate used vehicles in just a few minutes. It is a top web-based platform that offers VIN checks, VIN decoding, vehicle history reports, and license plate lookup.

At what mileage should a car be replaced? ›

A conventional car can last for 200,000 miles. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. The average passenger car age is currently around 12 years in the United States. Choosing a well-built make and model can help extend your car's longevity.

At what mileage do cars start having problems? ›

As a general rule, most vehicles begin to seriously degrade at around 150,000 miles. It is considered rare, and therefore outstanding longevity, if a car reaches 200,000 miles on the road. That said, there's more to identifying good versus bad mileage on a used car than just the odometer reading.

What mileage is best to sell a car? ›

30,000 to 60,000 Miles

It's a good idea to sell your car before it hits 60,000 miles if you don't want to spend a lot of money on repairs and replacement parts. During this mileage bracket, your car should be about five years old, meaning it'll still command a substantial amount.

What is the cheapest month to buy a new car? ›

According to Edmunds data, December has the year's highest discount off MSRP — 6.1% on average — and the highest incentives. Automakers and dealerships want to close the year with strong sales. They also want to get rid of the prior model-year cars that are taking up space, so they're motivated.

What not to say to a car salesman? ›

Things to Never Say to a Dealer
  • “I'm ready to buy now.” ...
  • “I can afford this much per month.” ...
  • “Yes, I have a trade-in.” ...
  • “I'm only buying the car with cash.” ...
  • “I'm not sure…which model do you think I need?” ...
  • “Oh, I've wanted one of these all my life.” ...
  • “I'll take whatever the popular options are.”

What do you say to negotiate a car price? ›

When negotiating, it helps to be able to justify what you're asking for, he adds: “Instead of saying, 'I want to pay this,' try something like: 'I've looked at five or six different cars that are similar to yours in the market. The price range goes from $19,500 to $20,700. I'm comfortable making an offer of $19,100.

Should I buy a car now or wait until 2023? ›

Our analysts tell us that new car shoppers are better off waiting for discounts to kick in in the second half of 2023. Falling used car prices make it a good time to buy used. Even as new car prices begin to drop, they remain elevated.

Is it right time to buy a car in 2023? ›

There is good news on the horizon in 2023, however. J.P. Morgan estimates that prices for both new and used vehicles are set to decrease as supply chain issues abate and inflation is poised to keep easing. Per the financial firm, new vehicle prices are slated to go down 2.5-5% while used cars may go down by 10-20%.

What is the number one car that holds its value? ›

Cars that hold their value the most
RankCar ModelAverage 3 Year Depreciation Rate
1Toyota Tacoma21.93%
2Ford F-Series24.48%
3Ford Ranger24.48%
4Tesla Model 324.79%
6 more rows
Jun 23, 2022

Which car company has the lowest resale value? ›

If you're looking to avoid a vehicle with horrible resale value, you'll want to stay far away from these 10 models:
  • BMW 7-Series: 56.9%
  • Maserati Ghibli: 56.3%
  • Jaguar XF: 54%
  • Infiniti QX80: 52.6%
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV: 52.3%
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 51.9%
  • Lincoln Navigator: 51.9%
  • Audi A6: 51.5%
Dec 18, 2022

What adds the most value to a car? ›

Six of the best ways to increase the value of your car
  1. Clean it. First impressions matter. ...
  2. Have any minor dings or dents repaired. ...
  3. Get the paperwork in order. ...
  4. Have it serviced. ...
  5. Find anything that came with the car. ...
  6. Pimp it up – properly.
Mar 6, 2020

Do dealerships use Kelley Blue Book? ›

How are Kelley Blue Book Values Established? Open exclusively to the trade, representatives from dealerships and wholesalers bring vehicles to the auction to trade or sell and they purchase other vehicles they think will sell at their store.

Can you negotiate with Kelley Blue Book? ›

The Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer is: A fixed offer applied toward your next car purchase or used to sell your current car to a Participating Dealer (pending inspection) Valid for 7 days. No need to negotiate because each offer is a fixed amount.

Is Edmunds owned by Carmax? ›

The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains an office in downtown Detroit, Michigan. After making a minority investment, Carmax purchased the whole company at an enterprise value of $404 million in 2021.

Are cars overpriced right now? ›

Currently, cars are so expensive due to shortages in parts, workers, and vehicles. Rising inflation is affecting prices as well. Since the pandemic in 2019, data shows that the demand for vehicles grows as supply dwindles.

What is the best value car for 2023? ›

For buyers looking to keep costs low, the most economical non-hybrids include the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Rio and Mitsubishi Mirage.

What is the 2023 car of the year? ›

Winner: 2023 Kia Niro

A raft of groundbreaking new pure-electric vehicles have debuted in the past few years, along with an expanding roster of hybrid and plug-in-hybrid vehicles.

Who is CarsDirect owned by? ›

CarsDirect is an automotive property of Internet Brands, which owns and operates the largest network of car buying and financing resources in North America, including the Car Connection, Motor Authority, Green Car Reports, and Auto Credit Express.

Will car prices go down in 2023? ›

Prices could drop up 5% for new vehicles and 10% to 20% for used vehicles in 2023, according to a report in November from J.P. Morgan. The basis for the prediction is that demand has stabilized and vehicle inventory is improving.

What APR is too high for a car? ›

Bad: 300-629. Fair: 630-689. Good: 690-719. Excellent: 720-850.

Can I get a car with 550 credit score? ›

You can still qualify for a car loan with such a score, but you may notice a higher interest rate compared to what can be normally expected. Depending on how long the loan period is, a 550 credit score will get your interest rates between 15% to 20%.

What does a 700 credit score get you car? ›

A credit score of 700 gets you an interest rate of 3% to 6% on car loans for new cars and about 5% to 9% for second-hand cars.

Why did my credit score drop 50 points after paying off my car? ›

Credit utilization — the portion of your credit limits that you are currently using — is a significant factor in credit scores. It is one reason your credit score could drop a little after you pay off debt, particularly if you close the account.

Why did my credit score drop 60 points after paying off my car? ›

Paying off something like your car loan can actually cause your credit score to fall because it means having one less credit account in your name. Having a mix of credit makes up 10% of your FICO credit score because it's important to show that you can manage different types of debt.

Should I let a car dealership run my credit? ›

It's a good idea to check your credit score before going car shopping to make sure there are no mistakes on the report. Resist early requests from the salesman to run your credit. Only allow the dealership to get your credit application when you are sure you want to buy a car.

Are online car buyers legit? ›

If you go through a legitimate service, then buying a car online is just as safe as a dealership.

What is the safest way to buy a car online? ›

Here's 5 tips to make sure your next online car buying experience is safe as possible.
  1. 1) Verify the seller's identity in person. ...
  2. 2) Never Use Anonymous Forms Of Payment. ...
  3. 3) Get Specific Vehicle Information. ...
  4. 4) Close the deal in a safe place. ...
  5. check the url of the website you are on. ...
  6. 5) Don't Make Emotional Decisions.

Who pays the most for used cars? ›

Regardless of the age of the vehicle, we again found that Carmax is the best bet for a seller looking to get top dollar. The difference in offers is particularly pronounced for vehicles produced in the last six years, as well as those from 2009 and earlier.

Is it OK to buy a used car online? ›

Is buying a used car online safe? Buying a car online is easy and it should be safe, too, provided you carry out some basic checks of your own. Reputable garages should check a car's history, mileage and condition - so you should be able to rely on a car's quality when purchasing online.

Which car brand has least problems? ›

The report found that Lexus and Toyota make the most reliable cars, while Jeep and Mercedes-Benz make the ones you can depend on least.

What are the top 10 cars not to buy? ›

10 Cars To Avoid In 2022 And Why
  • 8 2022 Maserati Ghibli.
  • 7 2022 Lexus GX.
  • 6 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4.
  • 5 2022 Subaru Ascent.
  • 4 2022 Ford EcoSport.
  • 3 2022 Chrysler 300.
  • 2 2022 Ford Explorer.
  • 1 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Dec 3, 2022

What car brand has the most problems? ›

EVs reported more problems
RankingBrandProblems per 100 vehicles
29 more rows
Jul 5, 2022

How do you know if you are being scammed when buying a car? ›

Tips for avoiding scams when buying a car
  1. Always have the car inspected. After you test drive the car yourself, get it inspected by a mechanic you trust. ...
  2. Don't trust sellers who say the online marketplace guarantees the sale. ...
  3. Check for liens on the vehicle. ...
  4. Perform a vehicle history check.

Should you buy a car online without seeing it? ›

However, according to most mechanical engineers, it is better to have your car inspected by a professional rather than going in blind. The reason why they recommend this is because the dealer or seller might not have disclosed some of the car's issues to you or there may be problems that the seller is not aware of.

Is it more expensive to buy a car online? ›

Contacting a dealership's Internet department is a much faster way to get a price quote, and that price is often much lower than the one given by a traditional car salesman. Some shoppers might still prefer the traditional car buying approach, which provides a lot of personal attention from a salesman.


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