Why do people love and just can’t get enough of huge megastores? It’s because they deliver that key “one-stop” factor that shoppers want. Even as more and more retail services have moved online, we still want something where we can compare to see as many offerings from different suppliers at once. AutoTempest.com appeared in 2007 with this idea in mind, bringing everything (at least from the car world) under one roof.
Let’s explore how this platform works and its benefits and drawbacks. Consider this your complete guide to using AutoTempest.
What is AutoTempest?
In simple terms, AutoTempest is an online aggregator of classifieds for cars. It searches across multiple platforms—Autobytel, Autotrader (and Autotrader Canada), Oodle, Car Gurus, eBay, Cars.com, TrueCar, Carvana, Hemmings, Cars & Bids, CarSoup.com, and CarsDirect—and brings together listings in one place for people to view.
AutoTempest’s primary goal is simple, and stated on its website, “to save you time and help you find your ideal next car.” Besides the ten partner sources it actively searches on its pages, AutoTempest also links to non-partner sites such as Facebook Marketplace. The service currently exists as a web-based platform at autotempest.com and as a smartphone app available on iOS and Android.
AutoTempest was initially known as “Hank’s Helper,” an offshoot of SearchTempest, another aggregator site that pools together all kinds of online classified ads from Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay. SearchTempest was originally known as “Craig’s Helper.” That predecessor website, SearchTempest, is still active. As the name implies, AutoTempest focuses on vehicles.
How Does AutoTempest Work?
AutoTempest allows for either very general searches in a specified geographic area or a highly filtered search for those looking for something more specific. The first search type is straightforward. For used cars, you just enter:
- The make/brand - Ford, Toyota, Honda, etc.
- The model - Mustang, Camry, Accord, etc.
- Zip code
- The maximum distance from the zip code that you’re willing to travel (can search up to 1500 miles)
Click on “Advanced Search” and fill in the other available fields for a more detailed search. Additional filters include minimum and maximum prices, model years, and mileage. Other options include color, fuel type, body style, transmission, and more.
AutoTempest has also recently added a feature whereby one can search for new cars by entering the desired make and a zip code. For instance, if you were looking for a new Ford car in California zip code 90210. Just search those parameters, and a zip-filtered list appears of different models and starting MSRPs.
Can You Sell a Car on AutoTempest?
Yes, you can. AutoTempest allows you to link easily to Carvana, Cars.com, or Cars & Bids. So while AutoTempest isn’t a place you can sell directly, it connects you with these partner platforms for access to a near-instant sales channel.
AutoTempest Car Review Search
One more interesting feature of the AutoTempest platform is the ability to quickly and easily find reviews via the search tool. Without opening a second window for Google searches, Google data is accessible through AutoTempest. This is a handy feature to access car reviews about a specific vehicle.
Benefits of Using AutoTempest
First, let’s look at the factors that keep people returning to AutoTempest.
The One-Stop-Shop Factor
The most significant and apparent benefit of AutoTempest is searching all the major platforms in one location. Instead of opening up multiple tabs and entering car information on different sites over and over (and flicking back and forth between tabs), AutoTempest does the job for you.
It might sound like a simple task to find the lowest price by visiting different sites, but that’s not always the case. It can be hard to determine who is really the least expensive without diving into the details of each site. Instead, all the info is in one place at AutoTempest. The site has come a long way from its early days of few search results, a since-remedied criticism.
Easy to Use
All the search fields are clearly marked, and the site is easy to navigate and use. Even a first-timer on the platform can quickly access simple or advanced search functions, navigate the results, and click on a link directing the buyer to the partner platform.
Each vehicle profile page is well organized and easy to understand. In addition, a “Refine Search” option enables a shopper to further narrow down the results or explore different parameters.
Calling Attention To Important Information
On the results page, users get a convenient summary that pulls the different searches together in a consistent format.
Information available at a glance includes the model year, car make and model, listing date, distance from the chosen zip code, odometer details, and price. In the absence of a price, an "inquire" badge may appear. This usually happens when a like-new vehicle is being sold as a used car. For instance, at the time of writing, a 2021 Ford Mustang with only five miles on the odometer appears in the used car search results without pricing.
Having easy access to these essential bits of information enables a buyer to readily scan through the listings and compare vehicles.
A Consumer-Friendly Platform
AutoTempest makes it clear when a user will be taken away from its platform and to a third-party site. This is a consumer-friendly feature for someone who wants to browse AutoTempest but prefers not to visit other sites.
AutoTempest has been consistently praised for providing quality results and reliable listings. The best thing about reliability is that it caters to all levels of consumer taste and trust.
For instance, a shopper who doesn't trust Craigslist or eBay can ignore those results and head to a platform they feel more confident about. The search results page is set up for users to review the various listing sources and ignore the disfavored ones. It's a feature that enables people to feel confident about using AutoTempest.
Works Across US and Canada Now
Customers in the U.S. and Canada can enjoy the same listings, making the potential market for buyers and sellers even larger. With the addition of the Autotrader.ca platform, the number of reliable listings on both sides of the border also widens the net for American and Canadian customers.
Drawbacks of AutoTempest
No Direct Sales
The most significant challenge users have with the site is the lack of direct sales. If you want to buy a car listed on AutoTempest, you have to go to the source and rely on that platform. This means that while AutoTempest offers comprehensive vehicle listings, it’s not quite a one-stop-shop platform like Carvana or newcomer CarShop . But, these individual sites don’t include listings from competitors.
Reviews Still Come from Google
The reviews search feature is handy, but the results do just come from Google. So, the only benefit is that a visitor can stay on the AutoTempest to scan the results. However, a detailed look at a review requires a visit to the respective third-party site.