UPDATED: January 31, 2022

For car enthusiasts and people looking for cool cars but who have a limited budget, it’s a bit challenging to purchase new wheels. Did you know that according to Business Insider, the average price of a brand new car costs more than $47,000? 

As you’re searching for ways to buy a new car without spending too much, you may have come across Cars & Bids. Are you wondering if it’s worth checking?

Check this article to know whether Cars & Bids is an excellent place to buy or sell your car. Determine how much you can earn by listing an auto or how much you can save by buying from the site.

We examined official and non-official sources and read reviews to develop a comprehensive guide for car enthusiasts.

You could be wasting time and money putting up your car or buying from other auction and used car sites if you skip out on this guide.

What's Cars & Bids?

Cars and Bids provides an online platform for auctioning cars manufactured from the 1980s to the 2020s. 

In the online auction marketplace, you can buy and sell sporty cars to classic fun vehicles. Hence, if your car is fascinating to enthusiasts, it will be featured on the website.

But it’s more than that since a vast community of car enthusiasts completes Cars & Bids. These people talk about and fight over different vehicle types. 

Doug DeMuro, a famous automotive reviewer and YouTube content creator, founded the website in 2020. He listed his 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG Wagon. 

Since then, the New York Times reported that the platform had sold almost 450 cars.

Is Cars & Bids legit?

Although it has only been around since last 2020, the platform's strength lies in its followers. 

Currently, Cars & Bids has over 20,000 followers on Facebook. Also, it has amassed over 72,300 subscribers on YouTube. The number of subscribers and followers shows people's trust in the auction website. 

However, the website has a 3.7 average rating in TrustPilot with only one review. Since it’s relatively new, there are still few reviews on independent review sites and it’s not yet accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

Despite this, the reviews found on different sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, where people are more active suggest that the site is legitimate.

How Does Cars & Bids Work?

Cars & Bids’ process varies on whether you want to buy or sell a car. The website lets you browse their collection without signing up. However, the platform will require registration once you’ve decided to put up your car or buy one.

Buying process

Follow these steps if you want to buy a vehicle via Cars & Bids.

  1. Sign up using your email or Apple ID. If you already have an account, the site will require you to sign in.
  2. A prompt will appear, asking for your credit card information. After filling out the necessary details, click the Register to Bid button.
  3. Look for a car you want to buy through the search box in the upper right corner of the website.
  4. Review the listing thoroughly, ask the seller through the comment section, Seller Q&A, or the “Contact” feature. 
  5. Arrange a personal meeting to inspect the vehicle. You can also schedule a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) for a more professional assessment.
  6. Before placing a bid, arrange financing and logistics for a hassle-free transaction. Decide whether you want the car to be delivered to you or you prefer collecting the vehicle personally.
  7. You can now click the Place Bid button located on the various parts of the listing.
  8. After you bid, the company places a hold on your credit card for the buyer's fee.
  9. Should you win, expect the charge on your credit card on top of the vehicle’s total amount. If you don’t win, Cars & Bids releases the hold at the end of the auction.

Here are a few reminders before clicking the Place Bid button:

  • Since bids are binding, you must only bid if you intend to buy the car. There are times when you might end up as the highest bidder. Also, the company doesn’t guarantee refunds, so you need to be prepared for the possible costs.
  • If someone placed a bid within the last minute, the site automatically resets the auction’s remaining time to 1 minute. This process ensures fairness, allowing other buyers to bid on a listing.

Is it a good place to buy a car?

Due to its fairly easy buying process and extraordinary car collection, Cars & Bids offers a good place to buy a car. According to the buyer’s fee indicated on the website, you can purchase a car as low as $5,000 and as high as $100,000.

Hence, there's a vast catalog of automobiles for enthusiasts like you. Take your time browsing on the platform before deciding to bid.

How much can you expect to pay?

Cars and Bids fees include a 4.5% buyer’s fee from the winning bidders. Of course, you also need to pay the winning bid amount. According to the website, the buyer’s fee ranges from $225 to $4,500.

Here’s a rough estimate of prices based on the buyer’s fee.

Buyer’s fee (4.5%)Car’s priceTotal amount (Buyer’s fee + Car’s price)
$225 (Lowest)$5,000$5,225
$4,500 (Highest)$100,000$104,500

Is it possible if I live outside of the United States or Canada?

Yes, you can bid even if you live outside the US or Canada.

The same rule appliesーyou will need to pay the car in full alongside the buyer’s fee. You will also be in charge of all other obligations, including transportation, import fees, logistics, and legal dues.

If you do not reside in the US or Canada and prefer to purchase an automobile from Cars & Bids, make sure to do all the relevant research. This way, you can prevent legal and financial issues after winning the bid.

Selling process 

We’ve compiled Cars & Bids’ selling process should you want to put up your car in an online auction.

  1. Submit your car for free. Input personal information and details about your vehicle. Some details are as follows:
  • Full name and contact number
  • VIN, year, make, and model
  • Mileage and transmission type
  • Noteworthy options or features
  • Any modifications
  • Significant flaws
  • Vehicle’s location

Aside from the information requested, they will also ask for photos. More importantly, the site will let you choose if you want to set a reserve price, which is the minimum amount you’ll accept from buyers. If you're going to sell your auto without a reserve price, there's a chance that it will catch more attention, thus, more bids.

  1. Once your application is accepted, Cars & Bids will ask for more information, including: 
  • At least 50 high-resolution photos highlighting your car’s best features
  • Walk-around and cold-start video

It’s also recommended to review the legal and financial steps in transferring vehicle titles since different states have varying rules.

  1. Check the draft of your listing prepared by Cars & Bids. Now, you’ll schedule the auction, and it will go live after a while.
  2. Interact with interested bidders by replying to their queries. Enjoy the exciting last minutes of your auction and watch as car enthusiasts compete over your auto.
  3. Once there’s already a winning bid, you’ll receive the buyer’s contact information. Likewise, the website will send your contact details to the bidder. This way, you can finalize the logistics.
  4. To finalize the sale, you can expect the full payment as soon as possible, sign the Bill of Sale, and arrange the logistics.

Do you need a pro to take pictures?

We recommend hiring a professional photographer for high-quality and appealing photos. You can also look through Cars & Bids’ photobooks to have an idea of their preferred pictures.

Listings with high-res photos usually get more bids and higher engagement rates. With that, you can secure higher earnings off of your car.

Do you need to detail it professionally?

You might think that your wheels will easily attract buyers, but take note that there are many competitions on an online auction site. Most of them enhanced their autos’ interior and exterior before putting it up for sale.

Make sure your vehicle looks presentable from the engine to the car seat. Although buyers are aware they’re purchasing a used car, they also prefer one that looks like it’s brand new.

So what should you do?

If you’re knowledgeable about car detailing, then improve your car on your own. If not, contact a professional on car detailing. 

They can help with leather cleaning, paintless dent removal, polishing, waxing, and chassis cleaning, among others.

How much can you expect to earn?

It depends on many factors, like mileage, make, model, and your car’s overall look. Limited edition cars may also sell for a higher price than mass-produced vehicles.

On average, people earn from $5,000 to $80,000 by selling a car. But this estimate doesn’t include document preparation and miscellaneous costs. Still, it’s an extra income from a car sitting in your garage for several years.

Do you need to pay anything before you can sell?

As mentioned above, you don’t need to spend any amount to list your car. Also, Cars & Bids give value to your time by asking only the relevant details. It will only require over 50 photos after it approves your application.

Moreover, Cars & Bids provide free vehicle history reports if you don’t have one. The said report contains previous owners, repairs, accidents, open recalls and damages, and odometer readings.

Can you sell a vehicle if you live outside of the United States or Canada?

Although you can buy an auto even if you’re outside the US or Canada, Cars & Bids don’t allow sellers outside the said countries to list their vehicles on the website.

You may look into other auction sites if you reside outside the US or Canada. We’ll suggest other websites in the following sections.

Is it worth it to put your car up on Cars & Bids?

Yes, it’s worth it to list your vehicle on Cars & Bids since you’ll receive 100% of the sale price. There’s also no fee for submitting your car’s details. 

Another good thing about this car auction site is its large followingーover 92,000 combined followers on Facebook and YouTube. Hence, your listing has the possibility of reaching thousands of people.

Why Cars & Bids Became a Big Deal?

Aside from the user-friendly program, reserve price, and free listing feature, Cars & Bids’ success also came from the founder himself, Doug Demuro.

Doug is a California-based YouTuber known for his informative and creative car reviews. Doug has amassed more than 4 million followers due to his relatable information about luxury and breathtaking vehicles. 

It was no surprise to his subscribers when he introduced Cars & Bids through his YouTube channel.

After opening the platform for submissions, its car listings immediately grew. Undeniably, Demuro’s followers drove Cars & Bids into success.

What Are the Alternative Sites to Cars & Bids?

Aside from Cars & Bids, you might be interested in other car auction sites. We’ve listed some alternative sites and compared them to Cars & Bids.

Peddle

Peddle started as a junk car removal service and has grown to be a popular used car buyer in the US. 

Check our comparison of Peddle and Cars & Bids:

PeddleCars & Bids
Accepts vehicles manufactured in any yearAccepts cars manufactured in the 1980s to 2020s
Check-only paymentPayment mode depends on the buyer and seller
Requires physical inspection of the vehicleBuyer can personally inspect or schedule a PPI

eBay Motors

Yes, there are also car bids on eBay, one of the most popular eCommerce sites. The section is called eBay Motors

Here’s our comparison table.

eBay MotorsCars & Bids
Lists unique vehiclesOffers 1980s to 2020s cars
Complicated processEasy-to-understand and straightforward buying and selling
Low listing feesNo listing fee

Bring a Trailer

What about Bring a Trailer vs Cars and Bids? Similar to Cars & Bids, Bring a Trailer is an auction site where you can buy and sell classic, collector, and enthusiast vehicles.

Here’s our comparison:

Bring a TrailerCars & Bids
Extends auction clock by two minutesAllows extension of one minute
Requires road testsDepends on the buyer and seller
Pricing plans for sellers$0 listing fee

Hemmings

Hemmings Motor News was founded in 1954 and has been providing coverage for industry updates, auctions, and buyer’s guide for every car aficionado. From print publications, Hemmings has expanded to online buy & sell for cars fit for the modern times.

Here are the differences between Hemmings and Cars & Bids.

CarsDirectCars & Bids
Requires interviewsWritten application process
Substantial listing feeNo listing fee
Option to sell through classified adsSell through online auction only

Can You Trust a Used Car Site?

It may be scary to buy a used car from an online site, so we’ve compiled some tips on choosing a used car site that you can trust:

  • Only deal with reputable websites.
  • Read lengthy yet easily understandable reviews.
  • Look for fairly priced cars without extremely low and sky-high prices.
  • Contact sellers directly and be meticulous.
  • Ask for vehicle history reports.
  • Examine the car personally or inspect it with a mechanic.

With these strategies, you can avoid dealing with scammers and risking your hard-earned money.

Verdict: Is Cars & Bids Worth Checking Out?

Cars & Bids is worth checking out if you’re interested in purchasing or collecting 1980s to 2020s vehicles. It’s also a great platform to sell your wheels since it doesn’t have a listing fee. There’s no need to spend any amount to make your car visible to a broad audience.

Plus, it features a user-friendly interface with a section dedicated to Frequently Asked Questions. It has a detailed guide on the buying and selling processes. Hence, Cars & Bids offers collectors and enthusiasts a stress-free car auction experience.

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