Auction your modern enthusiast car — anything cool and exciting from the 1980s to the 2020s.
Buyers pay a 4.5% commission, capped at $4,500. Seller listing fees start at $49.
We provide vehicle history reports for every vehicle listed on Cars & Bids — for free.
We’ve developed several new features that innovate buying and selling enthusiast cars online.
Car reviewer Doug DeMuro brings a huge audience to Cars & Bids
— along with his commentary.
Throughout the last few years, many car enthusiasts have started turning their attention to recent vehicles – cars from the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. Automotive reviewer Doug DeMuro realized there isn’t yet a specific place that’s focused solely on buying and selling these modern enthusiast cars, but there should be – so he and a team created Cars & Bids, with its simple name modeled after Doug’s famous pursuit of “quirks and features.”
Cars & Bids is the best online auction marketplace to buy and sell modern enthusiast cars – and that means pretty much anything that’s cool from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, or 2020s. To us, “cool” ranges from the obvious (a Ferrari F355 or a Lamborghini Gallardo) to the esoteric (a pristine Dodge Dakota Convertible or a Mercury Capri XR2) to the traditional fun cars that enthusiasts love (a Mazda MX-5 Miata or a Porsche 911). Basically everything that’s exciting, fun, interesting, or quirky is welcome here – as long as it comes from the modern era.
Although there are many places to buy and sell a special car, Cars & Bids offers significant advantages over other websites. Here are just a few of our benefits:
Cars & Bids is an auction site – so buying a car involves placing bids on the cars you want to buy. We’ve made bidding easy, and we’ve explained it in a short tutorial here:
When you bid on a car, you’re agreeing to buy it, should you end up as the high bidder – so you’ll want to do your due diligence before placing a bid. That means asking the seller questions, looking at photos, or even scheduling a trip to see the car in person. If you don’t plan to follow through on buying the car, don’t bid – because you might end up as the high bidder.
All winning bidders pay a 4.5% buyer’s fee to Cars & Bids on top of the winning bid amount. The buyer’s fee has a minimum of $225, but it’s capped at $4,500 so fees don’t become prohibitive for buyers. To ensure the commission is paid, a hold is placed on your credit card when you place a bid – and when the auction ends, the holds are released for all bidders except the winner, who is charged the commission. That’s why we require valid credit card information before you can place a bid. Bids on Cars & Bids are binding, and there are no refunds, should you wish to change your mind.
After an auction, you’re given the seller’s contact information and vice versa, in order to allow you and the seller to finalize the details and logistics of the transaction.
Selling a car on Cars & Bids is easy – and we’ve explained it all in a video tutorial here:
The basic gist is that we initially ask you to send us a few short details on the car you want to sell – including the VIN, some photos, and a brief description of the car. The fee to sell a car on Cars & Bids is $89, but we’ll drop the fee to $49 if you’ve sold with us before or if your auction has no reserve.
Not every car is right for Cars & Bids, and we don’t select every car that’s submitted. But if we’re interested in listing your car, we’ll get in touch, and we’ll ask for more information from you – like detailed photos, service and ownership history, and various other important items prospective buyers will need to know before buying a car.
You can also choose whether you want to set a reserve price, or if you want your vehicle to be sold with no reserve. If you choose a reserve auction, we’ll ask you to suggest a reserve price – but we may ask for a lower one. If we can’t agree on a reserve price, no hard feelings – of course, you’re free to sell the car elsewhere. We’re also happy to list a car with no reserve – and if you choose that route, we’ll drop the listing fee to $49.
If you’re selling a car on Cars & Bids, it must not be listed for sale elsewhere – meaning you’ll have to remove any other advertisement for your car on any other website or publication before we’ll list it for you. We want our auctions to conclude with the winning bidder buying the car, not with sellers removing their cars because they’ve sold somewhere else.
During the auction, you may be asked questions by commenters and bidders. We’ve found that auctions where sellers participate actively tend to be more successful – both in terms of selling the car and the final sale price. Your auction will likely go more smoothly if you answer questions thoroughly, provide photos when asked, and do your best to be honest and up-front about your car and its condition.
At the conclusion of an auction, you’ll be given the buyer’s contact information, and vice versa, in order to allow you and the buyer to finalize the logistics of the transaction.
At Cars & Bids, there’s a section for comments in every single auction. We encourage your participation, even if you don’t plan on bidding, buying, or selling a car. We believe comments are helpful to a full and fair auction, as they can provide additional information that even the seller may not be aware of – so we’re always supportive of the wealth of information (and the amusing anecdotes) our commenters bring.
We charge sellers $89 to sell their first car on Cars & Bids. If you’ve sold with us before, we drop that fee to $49. We’ll also drop our listing fee to $49 if you sell your car with no reserve.
We’re focused on cool cars, trucks, and SUVs from the modern era – which we’re defining as the 1980s through the present day. If you’re looking to sell a cool car from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, or 2020s, we might be interested in listing it. Our definition of “cool” ranges from traditional sports cars (Mazda MX-5 Miata, Porsche 911) to oddball vehicles (Subaru BRAT, Infiniti M30, Volvo 850R) to more obvious high-performance sports cars (Porsche Cayman R, Ferrari 360 Modena) to special trucks and SUVs (Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Land Rover Defender). We don’t list every car we’re offered, but we’re certainly interested in your submission to see if it’s a good fit for Cars & Bids.
Currently, Cars & Bids only offers vehicles for sale located in the US and Canada. We may look into adding international sellers in the future, so please check back often!
Currently, Cars & Bids does not offer vehicles for sale in Puerto Rico, but we may expand to vehicles here in the future.
To submit your car for sale, go to the “Sell a Car” link in the header. In order to sell your car, you’ll need to provide us with some important information – like the make, model, year, VIN, a few photos, and some other relevant details. If we’re interested in selling your car, we’ll get in touch with you. Then we’ll ask you for a more detailed set of questions so we can make sure our auction description is accurate – and you’ll pay the listing fee.
We start with just the basics: we can let you know if we’ll accept your car if you just give us the make, model, year, VIN, some photos, and a few other details. If we accept your car based on this information, we’ll then need to gather more details – we’ll ask about your history with the car, features, and other items that help us craft our listing.
After you provide us with all of the pertinent information about your car, we’ll write the actual auction description. We won’t go live without your approval, and we do our best to make our auction descriptions simple and direct, focusing on only the most important details to help bidders make their decisions.
Although we don’t offer the ability to precisely schedule your auction, we allow our sellers to provide preferences. If you’d prefer a certain start date, or if you’d prefer if your auction wasn’t live during a certain week (for example, due to a vacation or business trip), let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
All auctions last for seven days. However, the exact duration can fluctuate. That’s because within the last minute of an auction, each new bid resets the auction clock to one minute remaining. This simulates a traditional auction, where bidding continues until bidders stop – rather than some online auctions, which end at a set time and favor last-second bids.
You can’t edit your auction yourself – but throughout the duration of your auction, you’ll be in touch with Cars & Bids. If you need to edit your auction, just reach out and let us know what you need to have changed. You can also leave comments, which include additional photos – and you can answer questions to help improve the clarity of your listing.
Yes, we offer sellers the choice between a “reserve” and a “no reserve” auction. A “reserve” is a minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a car, which is unknown to buyers during the auction. A “no reserve” auction has no minimum price, meaning the car will sell for the amount of the high bid.
If you choose a reserve auction, we will ask you to suggest a reserve price – but we may ask for a lower one before we’re willing to list the car for sale. If we can’t agree on a reserve price, no hard feelings – of course, you’re free to sell the car elsewhere. If you select a “no reserve” auction, our seller’s fee drops from $89 to $49.
If you decide later that you want to adjust your reserve, you can lower it at any point during the auction. Simply click the “Lower reserve” icon in your auction listing page, and enter your new reserve. Of course, we only allow sellers to use this tool to lower their reserve price, so the new reserve you enter must be lower than your current reserve price.
As a seller, your reserve amount is always kept private, even if you choose to lower it while the auction is live. We recommend never revealing your reserve, especially in the public comments or Q&A sections. We’ve found that disclosing a reserve price almost always slows down bidding, especially as the auction nears or reaches that value.
Once the auction is over, completion of the transaction is between the buyer and the seller. Cars & Bids provides the buyer and seller with each other’s contact information, and the two parties can complete the transaction via e-mail or telephone.
If your reserve isn’t met, we will get in touch with you and with the highest bidder on your auction, and we’ll try to negotiate a price that will satisfy both parties. If we reach an agreement, we’ll then put the seller and buyer in contact – and we’ll drop our buyer’s fee to 2.5%.
Vehicles listed on Cars & Bids are for sale exclusively through the auction. If a buyer or seller attempts to make a deal in an attempt to subvert the auction, we will permanently ban you from the site. Instead, if you want to buy a car on Cars & Bids, simply bid the maximum you’re willing to pay -- it’s the best way to ensure you’ll end up with the car you want.
All sellers must follow through with the sale of your car, per your agreement with Cars & Bids. Failure to follow through with the sale without a clearly justifiable reason is cause to be permanently banned from Cars & Bids.
It’s very uncommon that a winning bidder fails to follow through on Cars & Bids. In the unusual event that it occurs, the winning bidder forfeits their 4.5% buyer’s fee — and they’re permanently banned from Cars & Bids.
If your buyer fails to follow through, we’ll immediately work with the next-highest bidder(s) in an attempt to sell your vehicle at an agreed-upon price. In the event that we can’t strike a deal, we may offer to re-list your car free of charge, or we will pay you half of the collected buyer’s fee after 90 days.
In addition to the final purchase price paid to the seller, buyers pay a 4.5% buyer’s fee to Cars & Bids. The buyer’s fee has a minimum of $225, and a maximum of $4,500.
In order to register, first sign up by clicking the “Sign In” icon in the upper right corner of the screen – then click “Sign up here” in the box that subsequently pops up. Once you create a username and password, you’ll be prompted to verify your e-mail address. After you’ve done that, you can return to Cars & Bids and you’ll be prompted to register to bid.
If you don’t want to register just yet, no problem – you can do it later. Once you find a car you want to bid on, click “Place Bid” on the car’s listing page, and you’ll be prompted to register before you can bid. You will have to enter your credit information, as we place a hold on each bidder’s credit card until the conclusion of the auction.
In order to place a bid, you first have to register, which we’ve explained above. Once you’ve registered and you’ve found a car you’re interested in buying, bidding is easy – just click the “Place Bid” icon on a vehicle’s listing page. Then, you’re prompted to enter your bid amount.
Your bid must be higher than the previous bid, of course – and depending on the current bidding level, there may be a minimum increase over the previous bid. Once you’ve submitted your bid, we place a hold on your credit card for 4.5% of your bid amount until the duration of the auction, in case you end up as the winning bidder.
Bid increments increase as follows:
All bids on Cars & Bids are in United States Dollars (USD), including on vehicles located in Canada.
Yes, however you will need to pay in full for the vehicle promptly following the close of the auction, just like all other buyers. Additionally, any logistics, import fees, transportation, legal dues, and/or other items needed to export/import the vehicle are entirely the buyer’s responsibility. Please ensure you’re aware of all these rules and you have everything fully in place prior to bidding. The close of the auction is not the time to begin researching transportation logistics and import regulations.
If you want to inspect a car before bidding, you’ll need to contact the seller to arrange for an inspection. Use the “Contact” link in the auction description to get in touch with the seller in order to schedule a time to inspect the vehicle.
No. If you are outbid, you will need to manually input your next bid. Note that the price of the vehicle will immediately progress to your bid amount. For example, if the current high-bid is $30,000 and you input a $35,000 bid, the current high bid will immediately go to $35,000.
We place a hold on your credit card when you bid in order to account for the possibility that you may have to pay the buyer’s fee, should you end up as the winning bidder. The hold is for 4.5% of your initial bid amount, with a minimum of $225 and a maximum of $4,500. If you aren’t the winning bidder, the hold is released from your credit card at the conclusion of the auction.
You can contact the seller privately through the auction description page for the seller’s vehicle. Just click the “Contact the seller” link next to the seller’s name, and you’ll be able to send the seller a private message that won’t appear on the auction itself.
If a listing doesn’t have a reserve, you’ll see a “No Reserve” tag along with a “No Reserve” text near the bidding box. If you don’t see this text, that auction has a reserve price. Reserve prices are not published, and we ask that buyers refrain from asking sellers about reserve pricing during the auction. The only time you’ll know if the reserve is met is if the car sells at auction close.
If you’re the high bidder on a car where the reserve isn’t met, we’ll work with the seller and the buyer in an attempt to find a sale price that’s suitable for both parties. If we’re able to reach an agreement, we’ll put the buyer and seller in contact – and our fee drops to 2.5%.
At the conclusion of the auction, both the buyer and seller are given each other’s contact information to complete the transaction. At that point, you can get in touch via e-mail or telephone to finish the deal, arrange payment and paperwork, and take delivery.
Specifics during the sale transaction are ultimately between the buyer and seller. However, we recommend certified wire transfers as the safest and most convenient way to pay.
Yes — however, before bidding, you must ensure that you’re pre-approved with your financial institution to purchase that exact vehicle. Please do not begin to search for financing, or assume your bank will finance the car you want, after you’ve won an auction. Instead, secure financing beforehand so that you’re ready to close the deal quickly after winning the car. Post-auction is not the time to begin applying for a loan. It’s not fair to make a seller wait an unreasonably long time before being paid for their vehicle, nor is it fair to win an auction if you may not be able to follow through with the purchase.
All vehicles offered on Cars & Bids are being sold in their current location, unless a seller specifically offers to help pay for transport costs. As such, transportation, shipping, and logistics are 100% the responsibility of the buyer — so please factor in those additional costs prior to bidding.
As a reminder, all bids on Cars & Bids are binding. Personal due diligence including inspections, personal finances, etc. are to be completed prior to bidding. There's no such thing as a "post-auction pre-purchase inspection" to decide if you want the car. When you place a bid for any vehicle, you are agreeing to purchase the vehicle as-is and where-is, so please ensure you have all of the information you require to be comfortable enough to purchase that vehicle. Failure to follow through with the purchase is cause to be permanently banned from Cars & Bids, and your buyer’s fee will not be refunded. We take this stuff seriously -- and you should, too.
Yes! Aside from common-sense rules like language and personal attacks, the conversation should be focused on the vehicle being sold, so as to be fair to the seller and bidders. We want to ensure the Cars & Bids community remains an open and positive place to spend time with fellow enthusiasts. A partial list of things that are frowned upon (and will be moderated accordingly) include: