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Google Search Gives You a Reason to Ditch Car-Buying Apps

Cars parked in row on outdoor parking

If you’re looking to buy a car in 2023, Google has just saved you a lot of time and hassle. This week, the company opened up the “Cars for Sale” widget for anything with a VIN (vehicle identification number). This means that local dealerships can list their entire inventory for display in Google search results.

For example, when I type in “Ford Bronco” on my Google app on my iPhone, the first results I get are “vehicles for sale,” which shows several used Broncos for sale in my local area. Details on each vehicle include their price, mileage, and dealership location. When I tap on each result, it takes me to the dealership page, where I can get more details. But, as of this writing, specific car listings only show up when I use the Google mobile app; desktop search results don’t display individual vehicle listings yet.

Google search results showing Ford Broncos for sale

Dealerships are now able to list not just cars they have for sale but also motorcycles, RVs, Powersports, and commercial vehicles, SearchLab reports. For now, the vehicle listing feature appears to be restricted to Google Business Profiles based in the United States.

This new feature gives people a great reason to skip downloading car-buying apps like Autolist, AutoTrader, Cars.com, and TrueCar because you can now find any listed car while you’re researching which model you want to buy. And it gives dealerships and other businesses a huge opportunity to advertise to the public at large, rather than those who have car-buying apps installed on their phones. However, these search results don’t appear to include vehicle history reports like you can get from paid services such as CarFax.

Sources: The Verge, SearchLab


Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »