Saturday, July 01, 2006

Selling a used car through Caralternative.com

CarAlternative.com sounds like an interesting service: you give them their car and they sell it at auction, giving you the proceeds minus a roughly 20% fee.


I saw them in a Google ad, but I'm unable to find any reference to them anywhere but their web site. Nothing shows up on Factiva, and an Internet search includes a page or so of listings that are mostly just the caralternative.com web site.

If you have a car that doesn't run, and your only options are to donate it or junk it, this seems like an ideal system. But what about a person like me, with a perfectly good car that's not fetching what I see as a reasonable trade-in value at a new car dealer? With caralternative.com, I'm at the mercy of the auction, with a completely unknown sales value.

The site claims they have relationships with car wholesalers--presumably the same people that used car dealers use.

Has anybody ever heard of these people?

4 comments:

Richard said...

Update: although I never used this service, I came close. I found them very responsive via phone and email and have no doubt that it's legitimate. They pointed me to a local place where I was all set to drive my car for it to be sold in an internet auction.

They told me to expect my car to sell for roughly the Blue Book dealer price -- much less than I'd get in a private sale, but much better than I'd get on a tradein.

I ended up not using them because at the last minute I found a private buyer.

Anonymous said...

Richard's post was nearly the only independent review of Caralternative.com I could find when researching the service, so I figured I would follow up here after actually using them.

Everything worked exactly as indicated on their website, and customer service was superb. During the phone call to set up details, they even advised that I may want to sell my car to a private party instead of using them (knowing what my model typically sold for at auction, they felt I might get more privately -- although I was quite comfortable with the range they expected given some of the mechanical work my car required). Towing was effortless and a check arrived in the mail with a full report on the transaction as promised. I would have no reservations whatsoever in using them again or recommending them to others.

-- satisfied in Mass.

Serabel said...

4 years later and still very little about them on the web - I talked to them a couple days ago, and set up a time to pick up my car. They gave me an estimate of $2000 for my '97 Camry with a seized engine, though I expect it will go for less than that given there are some cigarette burns and drink stains in the interior.

So far they have been very responsive and helpful. They do a lot of work for car donations to charities as well; it's basically the same place, the only difference is the money goes back to you via check rather than to a charity of your choice in the end.

I'll try to remember to come back in 4-6 weeks after the auction and let you know how it went - but assume if I don't come back it's because I'm happy with the service and auction result. :)

Amy said...

I had been trying to contact them for over a week to sell my 2003 Dodge Stratus that had been nothing but trouble since I purchased it in 2005. After submitting my application there was no response. I waited a few days and sent an email. Again no response. After a second email I get a vauge response that they are no longer selling individual cars. Now I am at a loss of what to do with my bum car. As this is the only website where I was able to find any reviews for the company I felt I should leave a review.