Most Popular Websites for Buying Cars: Top Web Portals for Online Car Shopping
According to the latest Google survey, 85% of consumers first consult automotive websites before making their final decisions to buy or lease a new car.
This article compares and ranks the Internet traffic statistics for 10 of the most heavily visited automobile websites over the past 3 months. These sites either provide vehicle-related research information or directly support online automobile sales.
MSN Autos and Yahoo! Autos were excluded, since the Web traffic monitoring tool Alexa only reports overall statistics for the parent home pages (MSN.com and Yahoo.com).
Automobile Shopping Websites with Highest Page Views
The following list shows top automobile websites with their average monthly page views.
- AutoTrader … 174,904,483 monthly page views (down 0.7% over prior 3 months)
- Kelley Blue Book … 86,651,763 monthly page views (down 5.9%)
- Cars.com … 73,270,436 monthly page views (down 4.1%)
- Edmunds … 56,060,155 monthly page views (down 13.4%)
- Motor Trend … 12,834,334 monthly page views (up 8.7)
- AutoAnything … 9,045,403 month page views (up 2.3%)
- Car and Driver … 8,818,601 monthly page views (up 28.5%)
- Cars Direct … 7,137,597 monthly page views (down 30.8%)
- Auto Site … 947,233 monthly page views (up 119%)
- AutoWeb … 66,707 monthly page views (up 30%).
By a wide margin, AutoTrader’s website generates the most average monthly page views. Even finding Towbars in Tweed Heads is another option that some auto lovers do. AutoTrader’s home page enables consumers to instantly compare prices of new and used cars. A free password-protected feature called MyAutoTrader encourages return traffic, since users are able to save customized searches and price quotes for future comparisons.
Kelley Blue Book offers detailed research information by vehicle make, model and year. Quick links call up free insurance quotes, Carfax record checks, special new vehicle research and car history factors to check before buying a used vehicle.
In third place, Cars.com has a home page that resembles a customized search engine. The site also presents top 10 lists for most popular used cars, best gas mileage and top safety picks.
Car Buyer Websites with Most Visitors
Below are the online automobile portals that receive the most monthly visitors over the past 3 months. Shown within brackets is the average number of visits per unique visitor during a day.
- AutoTrader … 12,404,573 monthly visitors (average 14.1 page visits per user daily)
- Edmunds … 12,402,689 monthly visitors (4.5)
- Cars.com … 8,214,174 monthly visitors (8.9)
- Kelley Blue Book … 8,001,086 monthly visitors (10.8)
- Motor Trend … 4,425,632 monthly visitors (2.9)
- Car and Driver … 2,747,228 monthly visitors (3.2)
- Cars Direct … 1,797,883 monthly visitors (4)
- AutoAnything … 1,756,389 month visitors (5.2)
- Auto Site … 220,287 monthly visitors (4.3)
- AutoWeb … 139,766 monthly visitors (2.1).
Edmunds’ website presents consumer-rating awards for 19 categories of automobiles. Example categories are Sedans priced under $15,000 and SUVs that cost over $45,000. Edmunds also has an online affordability calculator.
AutoAnything specializes in automobile accessories and replacement parts, a niche market among online car shoppers.
Motor Trend is a well-established online magazine headlined by an automated research center and test drive videos. Access to the most powerful features of the Motor Trend website requires subscription.
AutoWeb’s home page presents useful care research information, but features a prominent spotlight ad that links visitors away to Cars.com. That outgoing link may explain AutoWeb’s low 2.1 score for page visits per user.
Top Search Engine Traffic Websites for Car Buyers
Motor Trend tops the list of automobile research websites garnering the greatest percentage of monthly visits from Internet searches.
- Motor Trend … 7,187,227 monthly search engine visits (56% of total online visits, up 12% over prior 3-months)
- AutoWeb … 132,372 monthly visits (45.1%, up 12%)
- Edmunds … 22,816,483 monthly visits (40.7%, up 4%)
- Auto Site … 378,893 monthly visits (40%, down 19%)
- AutoAnything … 3,600,071 month visits (39.8%, down 5%)
- Kelley Blue Book … 25,215,663 monthly visits (29.1%, down 2%)
- Cars Direct … 1,927,151 monthly visits (27%, up 17%)
- Car and Driver … 2,354,567 monthly visits (26.7%, down 9%)
- Cars.com … 15,753,144 monthly visits (21.5%, up 3%)
- AutoTrader … 28,159,622 monthly visits (16.1%, down 1%).
Auto Site’s home page is loaded with previews, reviews, photos, videos and forums with continuously updated content. Fresh content helps move a website up on search engine results pages.
Cars Direct’s main Web page has lesser text than competitive websites, and only 1,226 external linking sites. These factors partly explain Car Direct’s lower percentage of search engine traffic.
Car and Driver’s website offers a buyer guide, car shopping blog, most-viewed photos, videos and virtual test drives of the latest cars and trucks. Still, Car and Driver has a lower search engine visit percentage than all other automobile websites in this review except for Cars.com.
Top Scores for Car Shopping Websites
This is strictly a quantitative exercise. No attempt was made to judge these automobile shopping sites on subjective criteria.
Based on a statistical review for the 10 car shopping websites in this article:
- AutoTrader attracts both the highest average number of monthly page views (174,904,483) and visitors (12,404,573).
- Auto Trader also places first in generating the most page views per user each day (14.1), far ahead of AutoWeb’s 2.1 score.
- Motor Trend has the highest percentage of online visitors that result from search engine traffic (56%).
Ironically, the most heavily visited website Auto Trader is the least dependent on Internet