A Guide to AutoTempest: The Online Car Shopping Search Engine

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9 min to read

What is AutoTempest?

AutoTempest is a search engine that aggregates millions of new and used online car listings from dealers and private sellers across the U.S. It aggregates listings from a wide variety of sellers with the goal of showing users all their options in just one search. AutoTempest allows users to shop for new and used cars, filter for specific attributes like interior color and fuel type and adjust the scope of their search from local to nationwide. Launched in 2007, AutoTempest has continued to grow in popularity and has been featured on a number of well-known lists as the best way to find used cars online. In addition to finding new and used cars, users can also sell their cars through the AutoTempest online marketplace.

What sites does AutoTempest check?

One of AutoTempest’s greatest strengths is its ability to access and consolidate results from a wide array of different car-selling websites, dealerships and even individual sellers. Their results include listings from some of the biggest names in the auto industry, as well as more niche platforms that cater to very specific audiences. Whether you’re looking for a reliable commuter vehicle or a hard-to-find classic car, AutoTempest will cast a wide net to help you in your specific search.

AutoTempest has officially partnered with these sites to provide users with comprehensive vehicle listings:

  • AutoWeb
  • Cars.com
  • Cars&Bids
  • CarsDirect
  • CarSoup
  • Carvana
  • Detroit Trading
  • eBay Motors
  • Hemmings
  • Lotlinx
  • SearchTempest
  • TrueCar
  • VAST

Most official AutoTempest partners will have their complete vehicle details available directly on AutoTempest.com. This includes information like price, mileage, make and model along with detailed photos of the car. This makes it easy to scan AutoTrader’s extensive results for a quick look at the vehicles’ most important information. However, AutoTempest also includes results from non-partners and third-party sites like Craigslist and AutoTrader. These results don’t display the vehicle information on the results page and require users to visit the full vehicle listing page to learn more. Clicking on the vehicles in these results redirects users from AutoTempest to the third-party website’s listing page. Even though specific vehicle information will be included with most car listings, it’s still smart to reference Kelley Blue Book to make sure you’re getting the full story on every vehicle.

How to use AutoTempest

How does AutoTempest work? The AutoTempest search engine helps car shoppers by putting millions of new and used cars at their fingertips, along with advanced filtering systems to narrow down the options. On the surface, it appears similar to many other search engines, but your initial search is only the beginning. Once you’ve entered your high-level search criteria, AutoTempest’s robust filtering tools will help you sift through the results until you find vehicles most tailored to your specifications and requirements.

Shop for cars using your criteria

When you begin your search on AutoTempest, you’ll select either “used cars” or “new cars” and enter your desired make and model. You’ll also be asked to enter your zip code and a distance to determine how far the car search will extend from your location—this is helpful for either finding local cars in your immediate area or tracking down your ideal ride from a seller across the country. Don’t forget, if you find a vehicle from a long-distance seller, an auto transport company like Montway can safely deliver it to you. 

After you’ve entered your initial search criteria, your results will begin to load. From there, you can filter the results even further with more specific details like price, mileage, colors and even keywords like “apple carplay” or “sunroof.” AutoTempest’s filtering system helps users find the best prices for cars they’re interested in without having to browse through irrelevant results.

The listings in your results will provide a detailed snapshot of each vehicle, including price, mileage and where the car is being sold from. When you click a result, you’ll be taken to that seller’s website where you can find more information and make your purchase. 

AutoTempest App

The AutoTempest web app is available for free on iOS and Android devices. Users can add the app to their home screen via AutoTempest.com. The web app functions just like the desktop website with complete search results and filtering tools.


AutoTempest.com is a search aggregator geared towards buying and selling new and used cars, along with extra features like the AutoTempest blog, news articles, shipping calculator, insurance cost comparisons and much more. The AutoTempest website is an all-encompassing hub for buying, selling and staying current on changes in the automobile industry.

Pros and cons of using AutoTempest


  • AutoTempest is a powerful search aggregator that saves shoppers time by compiling millions of results in one place.
  • The site’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate and filter through all the results.
  • Important vehicle information is easy to find thanks to AutoTempest partnerships. When a non-partner listing shows up, AutoTempest makes it clear to users that they are being taken to a different website/seller.
  • Additional content like AutoTempest blog posts and news articles educate users on the current state of the car industry and how to get the most out of AutoTempest’s platform.
  • Powerful tools like insurance and quote comparisons are available for free through AutoTempest’s website.


  • AutoTempest doesn’t display every possible result. Some car-selling websites are not partnered with AutoTempest, preferring not to have their listings included on the search aggregator’s website.
  • Some details are incomplete on AutoTempest’s listings. Non-partnered sellers like Craigslist require users to leave the AutoTempest website to view the full details about the car.
  • Users can’t complete the transaction through AutoTempest. AutoTempest is only a search aggregator, not an actual shopping platform. Users will ultimately need to go to the seller’s website to complete their purchase.

Frequently asked questions about using AutoTempest

Can you sell a car on AutoTempest?

You can’t sell your car directly on AutoTempest.com, but AutoTempest will help you sell a car through the companies they have partnered with. When you go to sell a car on AutoTempest, you’ll have the option to list it on Carvana, Cars.com and Cars&Bids. Each option has different requirements and fees, all of which are explained on AutoTempest’s car selling page. You can even use AutoTempest’s trade-in value calculator to get an idea of how much your used car will sell for.

Is AutoTempest free to use?

Yes, AutoTempest is free to use. You’ll have unlimited access to all of their vehicle listings when you search through AutoTempest.  

Do you need to create an account to use AutoTempest?

Using AutoTempest does not require any kind of login, signup, registration or account creation. You’ll have access to all of AutoTempest’s results for free as soon as you visit their site. However, if you see a vehicle that you like in their results, you’ll be directed to that seller’s website where you will likely have to enter your information with them to complete the transaction.

Who owns AutoTempest?

AutoTempest was created in 2007 by Nathan Stretch, who remains the company’s owner and CEO. The site was originally called Hank’s Helper and began as an offshoot of the popular SearchTempest website that aggregated results from online shopping sites like Amazon, Craigslist and eBay.

How does AutoTempest make money?

Since they don’t actually sell anything on their site, you might be wondering how AutoTempest makes money. AutoTempest makes its money through referrals with their affiliate partners. AutoTempest’s official partners allow their listings to be included in the site’s search results and give them a bit of the profit when a customer finds and purchases one of those vehicles.

Is AutoTempest an app?

AutoTempest is primarily a web-based search engine, but AutoTempest.com does have a web app version for iOS and Android devices. It’s not a program that you’ll find in the app store, but it can be easily installed from your web browser. Learn how to add the AutoTempest app to your device’s home screen.

Does AutoTempest sell salvage cars?

No, AutoTempest does not sell salvage cars. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a car with AutoTempest, it must be in good operating condition. That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to buying salvage cars. If you’re in the market for one, we recommend following these tips for buying salvaged vehicles

Can you negotiate on AutoTempest?

You can not negotiate with sellers directly on AutoTempest, but the site can be used as a powerful tool to help you get a great deal on your next car. Since AutoTempest casts such a wide net in its searches, you’ll be able to find a number of vehicles similar to the one that you want to buy. This will come in handy as a bargaining tool, as you can use AutoTempest’s results to compare prices and vehicle conditions. Take note of the vehicles’ mileage, overall condition and any special features that might have been added—these differences can make similar cars differ in price by a wide margin.

Does AutoTempest ship cars?

AutoTempest does not ship cars, they only provide online listings and search results. So what if you finally found the perfect car with the AutoTempest search engine, but it’s all the way on the other side of the country? For many people, it’s just not realistic or even possible to make the trip themselves to get their new car. In this case, we recommend working with a professional car shipping company to handle your vehicle move. Auto transport companies like Montway handle everything when it comes to picking up, loading, moving and unloading your vehicle. All you have to do is book your transport, have someone meet your driver at pickup and wait for your vehicle to arrive safely at its destination. Learn more about how auto transport works

AutoTempest reviews

The internet presents customers with an endless supply of options and companies attempting to win their business. With so many choices, it can be overwhelming to decide on the best one while avoiding scams and low-quality service. When it comes to a major purchase like a car, you want to make sure that you’re working with a reputable seller and getting a good deal. We’ve written about choosing the best auto transport company. Many of these same tips also apply to selecting the best auto seller. 

One of the easiest and most effective ways to learn about a company is by reading customer reviews. Here are some opinions on how AutoTempest ranks among other online auto marketplaces.

FindTheBestCarPrice.com praises AutoTempest for their snappy filtering system, nationwide search proximity and the website’s key feature of displaying listings from multiple car-selling websites. However, they take issue with the platform’s sometimes cumbersome layout and the fact that you have to visit another website when you’re ready to purchase. 

Their final thoughts: “AutoTempest is a portal into all the biggest, most popular vehicle classifieds sites in America. If you’re looking to buy a used car, check them out.”

DollarBreak.com gives AutoTempest a 4 out of 5-star rating, taking note of their high standards for safety and legitimacy with every purchase, but withholding a perfect score because of the inability to buy cars directly on the website. 

Here’s what they have to say about AutoTempest: “Overall, AutoTempest provides a reliable platform to research the automotive market. However, if you’re searching for a way to sell your car with minimum hassle, it might be a better idea to go with one of the largest car-buying companies.”

FinanceBuzz has favorable views of AutoTempest, citing their consolidated car-search experience, helpful blogs and guides and their suite of tools to help you compare quotes and insurance prices. Like the other publications, FinanceBuzz takes issue with AutoTempest’s inability to sell cars directly on their website, along with their occasionally confusing search results page. 

The bottom line: “Whether you know what you want or you still need to do research before deciding on a car, AutoTempest is a good resource to have in your corner.”

AutoTempest is a huge website that gets tons of traffic every day, so you’re sure to find many more reviews and opinions with a quick search online. However, these three reviews are all generally positive and offer more or less the same feedback, which indicates a consistent experience across the board. This is a good sign that AutoTempest is a reliable company with trustworthy service. Based on these reviews, we feel confident in recommending AutoTempest to search for a new or used car, but we always suggest that you do enough research to come to your own conclusions. It’s also wise to read car reviews of the vehicle you’re interested in so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to buy.

Found a car on AutoTempest, but need to have it shipped?

If you found the perfect car on AutoTempest, don’t let distance discourage you from making that purchase. Even if the seller is hundreds of miles away or on the other side of the country, there’s a way to get the car transported to you safely and efficiently. Montway Auto Transport is the country’s top-rated car shipping company with reliable, nationwide coverage, and we’re here to help.

Whether you need to ship a car, truck, SUV or specialty vehicles like an ATV or motorcycle, Montway has the equipment and expertise to deliver your vehicle anywhere in the United States. Find out why Montway is your best choice for cross-country car shipping and get started with a free online quote. Our vehicle shipping advisors can also be reached at any time when you call 888-666-8929.

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