search tools to locate that special vehicle


Expedition Leader
Here's a way to search for inexpensive vehicles.

There are a number of national web sites that can help you find a used vehicle. Sites like (for light, medium and heavy trucks)
can help you search using vehicle type, model year and price range.

The problem with these sites is that it costs money for a seller to post an ad. No problem when you're a car dealer offering late model Land Rovers. For someone selling a $3500 car, it can be a significant disincentive.

This is where Craigslist comes in. Non-commercial sellers can post ads for free, making it a good site for buyers to search when the budget is tight.

Craigslist isn't perfect. You'll get results that include ads that have expired or been deleted. And Craigslist is often used by scammers. Don't send any money as a deposit until you get someone to confirm that the vehicle is real and is for sale.

Craigslist lacks most of the specialized search tools that the national sites offer. But Google can help.

First, the basic search. Using your favorite web browser, navigate to Now enter the vehicle name and tell Google only to search Craigslist. For example,

Land Rover

Note there is no space between site: and

This will produce a lengthy list of Land Rover vehicles for sale around the country, and for all prices.

Let's narrow the search by price. Type this command

Land Rover $3000..$7500

That's two periods separating the dollar values. Don't use a comma in the dollar amount.

You can use the two periods to separate a range of dates, too.

Land Rover 1997..1981

Now let's limit the search to a specific area. Craigslist has separate web sites for metropolitan regions. For example, the San Francisco area is Prescott AZ is

Our command becomes

Land Rover $3000..$7500

That narrows the search down to the San Francisco area.

How about excluding the Land Rover Freelander? Use a minus sign.

Land Rover $3000..$7500 -Freelander

Using Craigslist and Google can be tedious. If you're searching for a particular vehicle, save the search in a text file. The next time you want to search, just copy and paste into the Google command line.


Expedition Leader
Don't like typing in commands? Craigslist has a useful regional search page for autos.

Here's the page for the San Francisco area

cto is the abbreviation of "cars and trucks by owner." There is no simplified web page for searching nationally.

The Toy Guy



Calling-in from east of the Rockies
I've used both Searchtempest and Adhunt'r ( to sweep all of Craigslist. I've found that Adhunt'r, when compared to Searchtempest, does a slightly better job at finding relevant results and it is also a bit faster.


New member
Daily feed of overland vehicles for sale

I've used a number of the feeds and notifications that most of the sites and forums offer coupled with Gmail labels to help organize the noise that comes in when you're searching for a rig. It's pretty useful if you have the time to sort through the posts and refine your notifications.

Here are some ways CL suggests refining your search with some simple regex -

When I was in search of an older Mitsu Delica I used that system of notifications and APIs (application programming interface) where they were available, to help further automate it. It worked and I found my 1987 Delica on the South Island of New Zealand via some local classifieds.

Long story short, I finally got around to revisiting those feeds and found some pretty interesting vehicles for sale all over the place. I forwarded them to friends before finally setup a daily email feed of what I found. It's free if anyone wants to check it out and provide feedback.


It's a lot easier after typing Land Rover to go to 'tools' on the Google header and sort by time.. last hour, last day, last week, etc. Usually old ads aren't worth looking at.. there would probably only be a handful of relevant and recent ads.

Also the way I type the search is like this: "land rover"


I've been searching Craigslist religiously for an item for a fair bit of time now. I've recently discovered (after suspecting) that the google methods described above to search Craigslist now suck, to be blunt.

There is big lag in when Google picks up a new listing... like a few days lag (so what point is the 'in the last 24hr' tool?). It also is not comprehensive. I consulted on a Google forum, and never got a good answer (or suggestion of a better way to search)... they basically said 'it's the way the bots work'.

Anyways, Search Tempest is giving me the quickest most comprehensive results. Fwiw.


Member is a web site with coverage for the Salt Lake City area. Maybe it's due to all the great skiing in the area, but this web site often has used 4x4 SUVs at decent prices. also gets posts for southern Idaho, western Wyoming, and all of Utah rather than SLC. Lots of southern Utah rigs pop up on here...great for red rock and desert.