Both myself and our research team had a hard time coming up with “Pros” for this list. When a company or website is good at something, and yet what they do is very simple, it becomes harder and harder to find good things to say about them. For example, if you were reviewing McDonalds, you may say, “Quick Food”, “Cheap Food” and “A server smiled at me once.” It is difficult to find a rich supply of good things to say about CarsDirect because they show you a bunch of cars you can buy…and that is it.
Even the downsides of the CarsDirect website are not really that bad. When you compare this car-selling website and car-selling marketplace to other similar websites, you see how above average the CarsDirect is. Few websites are big enough to compete with it, with the exception of eBay. If you are looking for a car, then I would suggest you shop around quite a bit and that you try both eBay and CarsDirect.
Have I gone easy on CarsDirect in this review? Yes, I did go a little easy because even though there are many negative user reviews about CarsDirect, most of them focus on the lending companies that CarsDirect is affiliated with. I think CarsDirect should choose their bedfellows more carefully, but I also don’t think I should burn them in my review because of what other companies are doing.
What Does CarsDirect Do?
The CarsDirect website is a fairly popular website that helps people buy a new or used car. It also has affiliate services that allow people to get an auto loan or determine a trade-in value for their car. The website shows you adverts that have been drawn from the websites of dealerships, that are pro grammatically linked from other websites, and adverts that sellers have uploaded. The CarsDirect service puts you in touch with dealerships, and there are adverts on the website for over 1 million used cars. CarsDirect have affiliate links many different auto-loan companies and gives you access to loan companies with a national network of dealer partners. There is also a free trade-in valuation tool, a car comparison tool and free car-buying advice.
CarsDirect – Pros
- You are given access to a wide variety of cars, car dealers, new cars and used cars. Even if all of the adverts are not as they seem, you have to admit there is quite a bit of choice on the website.
- It sounds bad (because it is), but you can kind-of figure out which adverts are bait/luring/misleading adverts and which are posted by genuine people. It is bad that a user has to learn how to spot a misleading advert, but it is possible, which is why veteran CarsDirect users seem to find a car more quickly.
- CarsDirect offers bad-credit car loans, which I tentatively offer as a pro because I also mention it as a downside a little later in this CarsDirect review. People who desperately need a car and who will be able to afford the payments may benefit from the bad-credit car loans they get through CarsDirect.
- The CarsDirect website is user friendly and easy-to-use, which helps to make the website an efficient searcher and research tool.
- You are given some room to negotiate with dealers over the phone or the Internet instead of in person, which actually gives you a bit of an edge. You psychologically have the confidence that comes from knowing you are able to hang up the phone and call the next dealer. In addition, you are not in the dealer’s environment where high pressure sales tactics may be used.
- CarsDirect will have dealers, new and used cars in your area. They have a very broad network where very few populated areas in the USA are without dealers and traders who are not featured on CarsDirect. I am not saying that every person who is selling a car near you will be on the CarsDirect website, and I am not saying that every car dealer in your area is on CarsDirect. However, the CarsDirect network and reach is so broad that there will be dealers and sellers in your area.
CarsDirect – Cons
- The expired adverts are not updated quickly enough. The rate at which they are refreshed appears to depend on the car dealers in some cases, and the CarsDirect website in others.
- Some of the car loan companies have sketch policies about credit checks. CarsDirect is not to blame directly if somebody receives an unwanted credit check thanks to an auto loan company, but CarsDirect should strike better and clearer deals with the loan companies they are affiliated with.
- Some of the finance deals and refinancing deals that their affiliate lenders offer are unfair. Some of the lenders play bait-and-switch games. Again, CarsDirect should pay more attention to who their affiliates are and who they are sending traffic to.
- CarsDirect has quite a few good prices online if you dig for them, but many of them are built to lure you in. A big part of the blame for this goes to CarsDirect for allowing people to set up attractive and alluring prices, only to whip the price away from the consumer. CarsDirect should be doing more to make sure that the price advertised on the website is the price that is genuinely on offer. The rest of the blame goes to the sleazy dealers and car sellers that lure people in with low prices and then add on sales fees, admin fees, fueling fees and much more. Shame on CarsDirect for allowing dealer to get away with tricking online web traffic.
- CarsDirect and the lending companies have been known to post positive reviews about themselves on other websites. They are not prolific, but you will see a few suspiciously promotional user-reviews online if you take a look around.
- The bad-credit car loans are just terrible. I cannot believe that lenders are able to exploit people in this way. Only take their terrible rates and horrible terms if you are absolutely desperate. Even credit cards would be a better option than most of the bad-credit loans on offer by the affiliate lenders on CarsDirect.
Conclusion – Is CarsDirect Right For Me?
- There is no obligation to buy if you take a look at the website, and it doesn’t cost you money to browse the website.
- CarsDirect has a broad network that draws car adverts from all over the country, which helps expand your shopping power.
- If you are shopping around for a car, then CarsDirect become a great research tool.
- Some of the loans and car finance deals are okay, but the poor-credit finance deals and loans are terrible.
- The website is user friendly and easy-to-use, and the website itself is not overly promotional, so you may as well give it a try and use it as a research tool when shopping around for a new or used car.