Why car review sites matter for car buyers

Jody Mayers

6 min read Last Updated Nov 3, 2021

You might forget what you had for breakfast or where you put your keys, but your first car is something you will likely never forget. The experience of buying a car, including the new car smell, is one that is ingrained in your mind forever, but the process has evolved. With a couple of clicks of a mouse, you can purchase groceries, flowers, clothing, and yes even a new car. When the pandemic hit, car buyers had no choice but to make decisions online and dealerships had to pivot. Today consumers know exactly what they want and can find a myriad of information online. Car review sites will help them in their decision-making process before they even step foot in the dealership. In fact, a recent study indicated car buyers are spending 61% of their total shopping time online.

Get your customers to say “yes” to an online car purchase 

In the second quarter of 2021, there were more than 282 million vehicles operating on roads throughout the United States and almost 43.8 million used vehicles. The record number of vehicles means there’s a lot more competition than ever before in the automotive industry.

Without face-to-face interactions, car dealerships must have an online strategy to help buyers say “yes” to an online car purchase. If your dealership is not using car review sites, you will likely get left behind by the competition. If you want to learn more about the specific car review sites, read on, but first here are some compelling statistics. 


  • Nearly 30% of U.S. new car sales last year were completed online
  • Online research cut down the actual time spent at dealerships buying a car to just 2 hours
  • 80 percent of car shoppers are now open to considering an online vehicle purchase, a 50 percent increase from pre-COVID numbers. 
  • 92% of car buyers research online before they buy
  • Consumers spend an average of 13.55 hours researching and shopping for a vehicle 


Top 3 general review sites

According to a recent study, the 2021 state of online reviews. The automotive industry which remained open during the pandemic resulted in automotive businesses averaging 138 new Google reviews. Reviews are the most important factor when it comes to ranking on Google. They can help you rank higher than your competitors and ultimately generate more leads for your business. Here are some review sites that contain profiles from businesses across all industries.

#1 Google

Google now takes reputation management into stronger consideration than ever before. Consider that 93% of consumers use online reviews in determining their buying decisions; search engines are well aware of this, and they factor it into a business’s SEO ranking. Google reviews are crucial for getting discovered in search results and building trust with potential customers. According to the 2021 state of online reviews, 67% of all customer reviews are written on Google making it the most popular review channel.

#2 Facebook

With roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social network worldwide. It’s also a place where customers can discover new businesses through online reviews. Facebook reviews & recommendations help to provide social proof to your customers and help your business get discovered.

#3 Yelp

Yelp is a powerful review site, with an average of 90 million monthly visitors and 224 million cumulative reviews. It cannot be overlooked as a valuable resource for consumers looking to share their thoughts about the businesses they’ve visited or plan future trips in advance.

The value of reviews on niche sites

Consumers have a plethora of options on which to share their experience with your brand. Depending on the reviews site, Google factors them into your search ranking as well. It prioritizes review sites that consumers frequent. 

In fact, Google values reviews from sites consumers frequent so much they have updated the Knowledge Panel for Google My Business (GMB) to include reviews from around the web – not just from Google. 

Like all things Google, “Reviews from the web” are based on an algorithm. Their algorithm highly values expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) when prioritizing websites for search results, therefore, it should become apparent which type of review sites are likely to populate in the “Reviews from the web” section of your GMB profile. 

Google will prioritize review sites that meet the criteria set by E-A-T. For example, for dealerships, Google will look at reviews on authoritative car review sites like Edmunds, and DealerRater to determine how good the company is for SEO purposes. It also showcases ratings from some of these sites within the Google Knowledge Panel. Here are the top-rated car review sites you need to be aware of when it comes to reviews. 

Car reviews

Top car review sites

Purchasing a new or used car online has changed the way consumers view the classic dealership model and process of buying a car. The car industry is a tricky one to navigate, with many different dealerships vying for consumers’ business. While Google is definitely the go-to site for authentic reviews, there are some key authoritative sites for the car industry that consumers turn to when choosing a dealership that can give you an edge over your competition. 

What is the best car review site?

While Google is the #1 review site and a great place to start, there are car-specific review sites such as Edmunds which offers non-biased reviews for consumers to research new and used vehicles.

Car reviews

Collect and leverage reviews with Birdeye

If you’re looking for more authentic reviews on sites like these, then look no further. Birdeye sends automatic review requests to customers on the same day that the transaction takes place. The platform also allows customers to monitor and respond to reviews on over 150+ sites. Birdeye helps businesses grow through happy customers. Over 70,000 businesses use Birdeye every day to attract new leads with business listings, Reviews, and Referrals, convert them into customers with Webchat and delight those customers with Surveys, Ticketing, and Insights – all in one place.