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AutoTempest Review: Used car search…Faster!

AutoTempest review

Today I’m gonna review AutoTempest, the used car search website.  AutoTempest is similar to other websites that allow you to search used car listings, but with one big difference: You enter your search criteria once and AutoTempest gives you results from all the other guys. It’s a search engine for used cars.

In this review, I’ll share the pros and cons of AutoTempest, answer some FAQ’s, and share my best used car buying tips.

Table of Contents

What is AutoTempest

What is AutoTempestAutoTempest is a used car search engine that enables you to search used car inventory from multiple used car sites all at once.

AutoTempest pulls used car listings from Craigslist, eBay Motors, AutoTrader, Cars.com, CarSoup, Carvana, oodle, and CarsDirect.  The search results are the same you would get searching each of these sites individually. You just save the time spent entering your search details over and over on each site.

AutoTempest was originally created in 2007 by Nathan Stretch, a Canadian entrepreneur and engineer, as a way to search Craigslist used car listings.

Nathan was the creator of SearchTempest, a 3rd party search engine used for Craigslist.com.  He realized that Craigslist had a great selection of used cars, but there was no easy way to search through them effectively. Craigslist didn’t have any car related search features and you couldn’t search multiple cities in a single search.

So Nathan created AutoTempest, a spin-off of SearchTempest, that focused on search features relevant to used cars.  AutoTempest started with Craiglist but after some success, Nathan decided to expand his search engine to include other used car websites and the rest is history.

AutoTempest Review

AutoTempest Pros:

  • With a single search, you can view used car inventory from eight different websites.   This key feature may seem obvious, but it is a big time-saver.
  • While some sites limit your searches by proximity from a zip code, AutoTempest allows you to search nationwide or large areas of the country.  Even if you’re not willing to travel, this can be useful to find proof of a lower priced car to help you negotiate
  • Filtering results of a search is snappy quick.
  • You can refine your search by a dozens of options like model, mileage, transmission, and even whether you want to buy from a dealer or private party.

AutoTempest Cons:

  • Because there have been so many models over the years, the model search box can be cumbersome to scroll through. And it can be a little confusing if you choose a model year and when a specific model is no longer being made.
  • You can’t filter by color. This isn’t a big deal with new cars which you can get in any color, but with used cars you only get the color of the car in stock.
  • You can’t easily tell which results are good car deals. I’d like to see something like the Edmunds True Value displayed next to listings.
  • Vehicle history reports are available for purchase from the results. You might think this is a pro, but, many dealers will provide vehicle history reports for free, so this is often an unneeded expense.

What’s the Best Used Car Site?

The main feature to look for in a used car website is inventory and how many used car listings show up when you search.  Frankly, there’s not many other differences between websites.

Since used car sites are basically referral websites that ultimately send you to a seller, you want a site connected with lots of sellers and listings.  And there’s no need to limit your search to just one website, try them all and AutoTempest is a good way to do that.

What’s the Best Way to Buy a Used Car?

Used cars are each unique with different mileage and severity of wear and tear.  This is unlike new cars which are commodities (identical in every way except for price).  Because of this, you'll have a hard time making car dealers compete through a Bidding War like you should do when buying a new car.

The key to buying a quality used car at a good price is to take the right steps BEFORE you make an offer.  You want to find a good deal and feel comfortable that the car does not have any maintenance issues or a troubled past.

To buy a used car without having to worry if you're getting ripped off, follow the steps in my used car buying guide.

Does AutoTempest work in the US or just Canada?

AutoTempest works in both the US and Canada.  Search results support Canadian postal codes for all used car classifieds, even those that only have US listings.  It even returns some search results from border areas in Mexico.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking to buy a used car, read How to Buy a Used Car and try out the AutoTempest search function below to view one of the largest selections of used car listings found in one place.

AutoTempest is a portal into all the biggest, most popular vehicle classifieds sites in America.

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