TrueCar Review – Truth About Car Industry

The car industry is one of the few industries in the U.S. where haggling at the consumer level on common. When in other countries it’s common to haggle for pricing. That’s just business. But in the U.S., we’re used to being given a price and deciding whether to buy or not. The car industry is unique because almost nobody pays MSRP for a car. MSRP is usually considered the “starting” point. Even though consumers have become more educated in the different pricing schemes used by automakers, consumers often still pay more than necessary. This is where TrueCar comes in. Now, this isn’t a complete TrueCar review since I haven’t used it to purchase a car yet, but I’ve used it for information purposes and if I ever purchase a new car I’ll definitely use it.

TrueCar is quickly becoming the authority in the car industry when it comes to transparent pricing on new cars. TrueCar aims to level the playing field when it comes to negotiating car prices by ensuring both sides of the transaction have access to all information. This is great for consumers, but TrueCar also serves Dealers. TrueCar partners with dealers to give them real-time, accurate information about the market and competitors, so they can adjust their business accordingly and increase marketshare.

Ford Focus 2011 TrueCarSo, you’re probably wondering what TrueCar can do for you. Well, there’s two major services that TrueCar provides. The first of these is its pricing information. Let’s say I’m looking to buy a 2011 Ford Focus. So I go to Truecar and find the Ford Focus page. Now, prepared to be giddy. When I first found this website I was ecstatic. So, if you click on the “Details” tab you can see a great pricing chart that shows you what the dealer really paid for that 2011 Ford Focus: Ford Focus TrueCar Dealer Cost

As you can see, the dealer cost is much less than the “invoice” price. You can often find this info elsewhere on the internet, but I think TrueCar makes it really easy to find and it’s all compiled for you. I think TrueCar’s benefit really starts to shine though when you use its compiled data.

Ford Focus 2011 Pricing Saving

TrueCar also provides the above pricing information based on its dealer sources. The above chart uses 53,347 transactions from the past 6 months. TrueCar uses all of this info to construct an average price, as well as standard deviations.

Ford Focus 2011 Local DealerRemember earlier when I mentioned that TrueCar partners with dealerships to collect information? It also partners with them to sell cars. It obtains “no haggle” prices by partnering with local dealerships. You configure the car as you want, and then you get a price guarantee. You can walk into the dealer and they’ll sell you the car for that price with no negotiations. No need to waste time. They’ve figured out the minimum they can sell the car for and be happy, and that’s the price you get. The dealer saves by not having to pay their salesman commissions for all that time he spent to sell you on a car. It’s really a win-win in this situation.

It would be really awesome to see something like this for used cars, but I think there would be issues because all used cars are definitely not the same. However, TrueCar says that they’re currently working on a beta for new cars. I’m definitely eager to check TrueCar Used Cars when it’s available.

What about you? Have you used TrueCar or another similar service to buy a car? What was your experience like? If you haven’t used it before, do you think you’ll consider it now?

77 Responses to “TrueCar Review – Truth About Car Industry”

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  1. Money+Power says:

    Oh man this site is killer. I love cars and can’t believe I never heard of it. I wish I had this when I bought my 2010 Mustang.

    • Stick Bogart says:

      To all who love Truecar, when you have the need for any kind of service or help is Truecar going to be there or are you going to run to the dealer? Dore Truecar have a rep that you can CALL when you need any warranty help ? Is Truecar going to have a service department for your service needs? I think NOT. All and I mean ALL dealers are willing to do what EVER they car to earn your business. Also would it up set you if you paid a auto sales rep say $300 for him or her to sell you a car, say spend 2 or 3 hours helping you find a car and helping you understand all of the features of the car you bought? Well You will pay Truecar $300 and Truecar will NEVER MEET you, They will NEVER help you at the dealership when you are in NEED of a service department when you are in NEED.

      So RE-THINK your THINKING. CEO LibriumMedia

      • Vegas Dealer says:

        I’m 50 years old and have purchased well over 100 vehicles both personally and professionally. Everything from Fords to high-line Mercedes and Porsche. I have purchased dozens from private parties still under warranty. Dealers ALWAYS honor them. So to think a Dealer won’t honor a warranty because you got it form True Car is False.

        $300 to spend 3 hours reviewing a car with me…hmmm, not bad. $100 and hour. I have NEVER had a sale person know more about a vehicle than me. Can’t say that about service dept. They are almost always up to speed! Unfortunately, service doesn’t do the walk through.

        It is illogical to equate $300 to a walk-through and a site that saves on *avg. 6% compared to the average new car sale (*bankrate.com). According to ftc.gov that would equal $1,704… the smart shopper, i assume, would skip the walk through and pocket the cash.

      • Steven says:

        All TrueCar does is provide the consumer with amazing information about pricing that let’s you get a better deal with no haggling. The dealer still sells you the car. I’m not sure what objective Stick has in spreading disinformation about missing warranty, 800 number etc.

        I’ve bought three cars using TrueCar and each was a simple experience with a great price.

        The dealers complaining about TrueCar intrigue me. They don’t want the customer to know the real price of a car and they certainly don’t want their competitors underpricing them so they complain about TrueCar enabling their competitors. Sounds like a losers strategy to me

        • manuel says:

          No Steven there is nothing wrong with knowing the price of the car, whats wrong with truecar is that they are disclosing what the dealer paid for that car. When was the last time you bought a pair of shoes and the store showed you the price they paid for those shoes? That is what is wrong with Truecar.com when competition is not present because of the lack profit for the seller the consumer will pay the price in many different ways.

          • Jordan says:

            Why is knowing what the dealer paid for the car wrong? For years, before the internet educated consumers, dealers tried to rip off every customer who walked through the door. Because of this, they developed a reputation for being the scum of the earth, and that reputation exists today. Websites like TrueCar leveled the playing field, and at a minimum, educated the consumer how many ways a dealer will try to rip them off. The dealer is nothing but a middleman, and they have abused that role in the past. I remember the first car I bought. Walked in the dealership and fell for every scam tactic to exhort the most amount of money out of me. I knew nothing about buying a car and had no information on how reasonable the deal was. In 1999, I came across carbuyingtips.com, which revolutionized the way I thought about dealers. They showed all the tactics dealers used to make a criminal profit. Years later, the internet has offered transparency and fairness for the consumer.

            The car selling business did this to themselves. The “old school” and “glory days” of running a dealership has forever ingrained in the American psyche, that car dealers and dealerships in general, are the scum of the earth. The internet will change that, and restore some sanctity to the dealership name.

        • Edward says:

          What other industry has their costs published on the internet? Let’s get HomeDepot, Sears, The Gap, so on and so forth, to publish the costs….. you people are sick! When you find out the mark up in a shirt, jeans, TV it’s a joke!

          • Edward says:

            Let’s be real here… all TrueCar is is an entity marketing a service with their hand out to take a cut of the pie. If you give these TrueCar people money to help you purchase a car it just got that much more expensive! PERIOD! I’ve been in the buisiness 20 years and the people I’ve made the most money with are the most happy!

      • John Schexnayder says:

        The dealership will still honor warranty because you are buying the car through the dealership with TrueCar simply being the broker in the transaction.

    • Stick Bogart says:

      To all who love Truecar, when you have the need for any kind of service or help is Truecar going to be there or are you going to run to the dealer? Does Truecar have a 800 number that you can CALL when you need any warranty help ? Is Truecar going to have a service department for your service needs? I think NOT. All and I mean ALL dealers are willing to do what EVER they car to earn your business. Also would it up set you if you paid a auto sales rep say $300 for him or her to sell you a car, say spend 2 or 3 hours helping you find a car and helping you understand all of the features of the car you bought?

      Well You will pay Truecar $300 and Truecar will NEVER MEET you, They will NEVER help you at the dealership when you are in NEED of a service department when you are in NEED. So if you have not used Truecar you would not have paid them $300 to use their web site one time. EVERY and mean EVERY car dealer new or used will do what ever they can to earn your business. Truly happy car buyers will return to the car dealer that was there when the car buyer has needs. Does Truecar have a number that you can call for help seven days a week? I think not. All sales reps will give you their number so if you have any needs they are there to get you the service you want or need. Does Truecar have a service department you can run too? Fat chance..

      So RE-THINK your THINKING. CEO LibriumMedia

    • Stick Bogart says:

      Also would it up set you if you paid a auto sales rep say $300 for him or her to sell you a car, say spend 2 or 3 hours helping you find a car and helping you understand all of the features of the car you bought?

      Well You will pay Truecar $300 and Truecar will NEVER MEET you, They will NEVER help you at the dealership when you are in NEED of a service department when you are in NEED. So if you have not used Truecar you would not have paid them $300 to use their web site one time. EVERY and mean EVERY car dealer new or used will do what ever they can to earn your business.

    • mrbobo says:

      These must be car salemen posting the negative feedback about Truecar. Anyone that doesn’t use it is a fool in my opinion. I just bought a 2012 Altima for 18,275. Don’t listen to the BS about the warranty. The dealer doesn’t honor the warranty the manufacture does. The argument “When was the last time you bought a pair of shoes and the store showed you the price they paid for those shoes?” doesn’t hold eater either as I am not paying 25,000 dollars for a pair of shoes. If the store store rips me off for 10 or 20 buck more power to them. When a car dealer rips you off by you paying full sticker or sucking you in for needless “extras” he/she will be relieving you of 2 or 3 thousand dollars of your hard earned cash. These guys laugh about it when they reel in a “sucker” (uneducated consumer). Car dealerships have been screwing the public for years. The internet has leveled the playing field. Go Truecar!!!!!!

  2. blengas says:

    Never heard of TrueCar but it seems legit. Best Regards.

  3. Frederick says:

    I have used Truecar several times with outstanding results. Recently I assisted my child to buy a new Nissan. I first contact several dealers and obtained internet pricing. One dealer responded with a price of over $23,000, which was the lowest I received. I then went to Truecar and used their service. The Truecar price for this vehicle was $22,000. The Truecar dealer was the same which had provided the internet price of $23,000. The only additional fee (not tax and tag) was the dreaded $100 documentation fee. Clearly, in this case my use of Truecar saved a considerable amount of money and, as important, a lot of haggling. This dealer also provided full KBB for the trade and the low Nissan financing. One other dealer offered the Truecar price by attempted to lowball the trade value. My suggestion is for people to use Truecar to identify those dealers who want to sell but still shop for other aspects of the deal (trade, financing). As always, a good price can be offset by a bad trade-in value.

    • Will says:

      Wow, that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing Frederick.

    • Stick Bogart says:

      To all who love Truecar, when you have the need for any kind of service or help is Truecar going to be there or are you going to run to the dealer? Dore Truecar have a rep that you can CALL when you need any warranty help ? Is Truecar going to have a service department for your service needs? I think NOT. All and I mean ALL dealers are willing to do what EVER they car to earn your business. Also would it up set you if you paid a auto sales rep say $300 for him or her to sell you a car, say spend 2 or 3 hours helping you find a car and helping you understand all of the features of the car you bought? Well You will pay Truecar $300 and Truecar will NEVER MEET you, They will NEVER help you at the dealership when you are in NEED of a service department when you are in NEED.

      So RE-THINK your THINKING. CEO LibriumMedia

      • MH says:

        Ummmm, why do I need to go to Truecar for service, how about the mechanic down the street that doesn’t charge high markups like all dealers and does a honest job. Or your dealer, are you turing people who didn’t buy there car there? Probably for the best since you don’t know what you are doing.

      • Steven says:

        Stick has a strange perspective that is divorced from reality.

        All TrueCar does is provide the consumer with amazing information about pricing that let’s you get a better deal with no haggling. The dealer still sells you the car. I’m not sure what objective Stick has in spreading disinformation about missing warranty, 800 number etc.

        I’ve bought three cars using TrueCar and each was a simple experience with a great price.

        • bubba says:

          Stick Bogart. Perfect name for a car salesman.
          I’ll bet he wears polyester suits with the shirt collar pulled over the jacket.

          Hey Stick, I just visited your website. Seems you also want to shut down Autotrader.com too.

          Not to force you to justify your existence or anything but why don’t you explain to all us rubes why Autotrader is so evil?

  4. john smith says:

    you lose all credibility once you state that you haven’t bought a car yet. I quit reading after that.

  5. Solopilot says:

    I just bought a VW GTI using Truecar pricing. It is also used by AAA, and the underlying service is ZAG.com. It gives you the 3 best prices local to the zip code you entered. Try entering zip codes that are 50 miles away, you may locate a dealer with a much better price, if you don’t mind driving a bit more…. I did indeed drive away paying the quoted price (+tax & title & doc), but I had to endure a little bit of icky salesmanship. I wish we could buy the car direct from the manufacturer over the Internet using nothing more than a browser.

    By the way, this was the second time I have used Truecar. The first experience was just as smooth.

    • Carl Bonroy says:

      You don’t like icky salesmanship? Why don’t you just pay sticker price? There would be no haggling then.

      As far as buying direct from manufacturer, go for it. When you buy from a big company, you’ll get the 1-800 number for service, vs driving it in to your local dealer who knows you. (Some dealers are bad, most are good).

      Oh, and the manufacturer will charge you STICKER price, and the manufacturer won’t haggle and give you more for your trade-in either.

      I’m an insider in the car business and I’m about to sell my dealership for a lot of money to a big company.

      Guess what? Soon, “icky” guys like me will be gone. A few big corporations will own ALL the dealerships and guess what? You’ll be paying 1000′s more for a car thanks to no competition.

      But hey, that’s what you want.

      Soon, you’ll long for the good ol’ days where you could haggle at a dealership.

      • MH says:

        Sounds like you weren’t very good at being a car dealer, if you needed to sell and are so bitter about it…

        • Adam says:

          MH….Maybe he got bought out by a big business (ala walmart and and every mom and pop store) There is absolutely no reason to expect a dealership to turn a profit. We buy TV’s, iPods, furniture etc…. with HUGE profit margins and don’t bitch. We “Sleezy” car guys may have 2-3% margins on all of our vehicles. Pay MSRP let us give you great service and buy cars you like not the ones with the biggest discount. They are on sale for a reason!

  6. Solopilot says:

    Note that the pricing typically applies to cars in stock at the dealer. If the dealer who has the best price does not have what you want, he is not obligated to order one for you at the quoted price. It usually works out, unless you are looking for a car with an unusual combination of options and you are not willing to wait. I don’t know the validity duration of the quote, it is probably a month.

    • Adam says:

      Dont forget you get quoted prices on cars that do not exist. Just take a step back and google Truecar you will see a video Truecar sucks. Check it out. The guys quoting these prices are lined up to get a ton of information about you. Be careful.

  7. Steven says:

    They have a used version now called “Clearbook” It has data on asking price, Wholesale price and actual transactions. It’s way better data than KBB and seems to consistently support a lower price than KBB. This makes sense when you consider that KBB’s customers are dealers who want an artificially high price shown for the cars.

    • Paul says:

      Why would dealers want KBB to show high prices for used cars? Dealers want real prices for used cars, not high or low because while it would help them to sell a car at a high price, it hurts them to have to pay a high price to get a trade in. There isn’t a used car factory, the market sets the value based on supply and demand, no website can make something worth something it isn’t…..

  8. Welcome to Yakezie!

    Truecar is probably the best source of statiscal data on new car sales and their “price protection certificate” is hard to beat. Great data to have going into a negotiation.

    That said, I suggest not just settling for that price….you can still negotiate with multiple dealers and see if you can get the price a little lower. It’s also good to remember that car price is not 100% of the negotiation dance….there are still other aspects of the deal that require attention like financing and trade-in. But Truecar does make it a lot easier!

    • manuel says:

      Hey car coach if your coach people for a living on how to buy a car you might not have a job pretty soon. Coach your self out of that one!!!

  9. Robert says:

    PROFIT IS NOT A BAD WORD!!! EVERYONE WHO WORKS DESERVES TOO GET PAID!!! INCLUDING DEALERSHIPS……

    • Robert says:

      Dealerships DO get paid, even when selling cars at invoice price. That’s what dealer holdback amounts and dealer cash are for. Dealers are guaranteed profits that you don’t see in either the invoice price or MSRP. So don’t whine about not getting paid. Smart consumers know the dealers’ games.

      • Adam says:

        Robert… That holdback money is used to pay the interest on the loans that we use to keep the cars on the lot so you can drive before you buy. Not to mention its about 1% or $100-$200. Smart buyer may know our “games” but we are still entitled to a profit. Is 3% of invoice to much to ask for a $20,000 car? Most people think so but dont think twice about buying a tv for $2000 that cost $300 to make. If you are reasonable you will get a great deal and great service.

        • Devin says:

          Adam…
          TrueCar doesn’t tell you the cost to make the car, as you stated in your TV reference, only the cost to the dealership. Also, if every dealership across the country would sell that “TV” for the same price (i.e. Best Buy), then consumers wouldn’t need this information. The fact is that if every consumer that went into Best Buy paid a different price for the same exact TV, consumers would be clammoring for best price info. Also, if you want to make 1% or 3% or whatever on a vehicle, then you would just list that as your selling price on TrueCar. TrueCar doesn’t force dealers to price their vehicles, the dealers choose what up-front price will be offered on TC.com. Get your facts straight and stop comparing apples to oranges. There is no other industry selling a commodity at a 25% swing in price from one retailer to another. It’s crazy! Thank god for TC. It’s about damn time.

  10. Bubba says:

    Here in NJ it seems Truecar is being used as a dumping ground by unethical dealers (is there any other kind?) to move cars that for one reason or another they can’t sell on their lot.
    I had one dealer try to sell me a “NEW” 2012 truck @ one dollar under invoice. It turned out that it was “previously titled”…meaning it was a used truck. Unbelievable. To this day (11/2) it is still on their website, being advertised as new.
    Another one quoted me $275 under invoice but the truck was so top heavy w/options and dealer add on’s any savings were greatly diminished.

  11. Gabby O says:

    I have purchased two cars now using TrueCar – one for me and one for my son. I’m a single mom who really knows nothing about cars, so I know dealers think they can take advantage of me. NO longer! I probably saved $5 grand on both cars.

    One word of advice…. some dealers aren’t as great as others – cheeseballs even on TrueCar. Make sure that you talk to each dealer (BTW, they will all meet or match the lowest price) and feel them out. Also, ask them to send you a list of cars they have on the lot so you don’t waste your time going out there.

    I’m soooo happy to have found this site. If you’re going to buy a car, you have to visit Truecar even if you’re there just to double check whether you got a good price. Makes no sense not to.

  12. Jt says:

    The truth is that this website is just as much of a scam as all the other car sights. You might think it provides you with great information, but for the most part, you are setting yourself up for dissapointment. The truth is that the dealers that true car recommends are only dealers that pay to be a part of the true car network. I do work at a dealership and an informed customer is a great customer, but I do know that we don’t belong to the true car network because they tried to hold us hostage for a rediculous fee to receive the leads. However, people have called us with prices that these “preferred dealers” are doing and we beat them all day long. I only say this to warn people about the truth of this website. It’s not a pay for use site, so they are making all of their money charging dealers for the leads. Get the info and shop the prices. Don’t take their word that those are the only dealers to go to.

    • Devin says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong. TrueCar NEVER charges dealers for leads, nor is there a fee to sign up. They only charge when a car has been sold so JT, i’m pretty sure you’re either being untruthful or are simply uninformed. Either way, you’re 100% wrong.

      • Stan Esposito says:

        Devin,
        Do you think the dealer passes the $300 fee to you? Do you thhink you are buying the car under “dealer cost” and the dealership is paying truecar $300 for this priviledge? I have read the comments here and most seem to be reps for truecar answering. Here is a guy (Scott Painter CEO of truecar) who is so arrogant he thinks he is smarter than the dealer and the customer while screwing both at the same time. My message to both,If it seems too good to be true it probably is!

  13. ML says:

    Take a look at http://www.pricehub.com – the site has actual prices paid for new & used cars. If you want to find actual values for cars based on what others paid, this is the place.

    • Devin says:

      ML – pricehub is a completely different concept than TrueCar, and with about 3% of the data. This is simply a lead generation site. FAIL!

  14. Rick says:

    TrueCar.Com is bogus… The store pays them a fee for the service and you get to pay 100% of it. NewDlash.. it’s not “FREE” tor you
    Profit is not a bad word people and if the store didn’t make some profit, they close and no one has a job. For everyone of you who get a pay check, some one up the food chain made a profit so you could get paid. That si how the wolrd works. Get off the car guys case just beccause his cost are public knowledge. Ask a buider what it cost to build a house that he has 30-50% profit in. You’ll never get an answer.

    • Devin says:

      Rick – dealers choose what up-front price they want to offer on TrueCar.com so if you’re not happy with the margins…simply raise the price. Right? Also, you’re wrong that TrueCar charges dealers for this service. They only charge dealers a fee once a vehicle is sold ($299 for new, $399 for used). This easily trackable fee is faaar less than the industry average to market a vehicle through traditional channels (classifieds, print/tv advertising, etc). Also, a house is not a commodity, nor is that specific builders service. A car IS. I don’t get why some dealers don’t understand that.

      • Stan Esposito says:

        Devin,
        A car is not a commodity to everyone. You get what you pay for. They will fire all of the salesman. You can pay a fee for a test drive you can pay a fee for the prep and everything else. If your credit is less then perfect? If your trade is out of equity? Ask your boss Scott Painter if a car is a commodity. He has a nine car garage to keep his commodities out of the elements.

  15. MARK says:

    WHY IS IT THAT CAR DEALERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE A PROFIT?…WHO WANTS A TRUECAR CUSTOMER ANYWAY?..NO PROFIT..NOT EVEN SO CALLED DEALER HOLD BACK!
    1000 UNDER INVOICE..WON’T COMEBACK FOR SERVICE BECAUSE THERE TO CHEAP..

    iF YOU DEPENDED ON COMMISION FOR YOUR INCOME WOULD YOU WANT A SHOWROOM FULL OF TRUECAR CUSTOMERS?

    BUT IT’S OK FOR WALMART TO MAKE MILLIONS..GO THERE AND TRY TO BUY A LOAF OF BREAD FOR 1/2 WHAT ITS MARKED..

    • Adam says:

      I agree…. Consumers are so freaked out by the notion of getting “screwed” they end up buying cars that are not right for them or walking away from a truly great deal. Crazy!

      • Stan Esposito says:

        I love when these selfish customers want to cut out the sales consultant and buy their “commodity.” After they take it home they call a salesman to ask why it does not have bluetooth or power seats. You get what you pay for!

        • bubba says:

          Yea Stan, I hate it when those selfish customers do that…

          Don’t hold back Stan, why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel about your “customers”.

    • Jim Bo says:

      Mark – I do want the dealer to make money. What the auto dealer industry has done is created an atmosphere where the consumer feels ripped off every time they walk into a dealership. I go to a dealer, ask what is your lowest price for this car – he gives me a price. I say thank you and go to leave – he follows me, and says he can do better. He gets me the next price, I say thank you, he says he can do better. He says wait, I will talk to my manager, he can do better.

      • Devin says:

        Mark/Adam – i’m assuming you’re in the car biz?? If so – knowing what you know, would you let your mom/wife/daughter go buy a car without you? I have sold cars and i most definitely WOULD NOT. TrueCar’s goal is to help eliminate friction in the sales process and to empower dealers to start building back trust…through transparency. How many times have you given a customer a crazy good deal (better than TC deals) and they STILL got up and went to another dealership because they didn’t trust you. A LOT!! Now, you have a tool to justify the price you’re offering and to build trust. Quit bitching and take advantage of it.

    • anon says:

      I say you just need to find a new job. I got laid off just like everyone else several years ago. Couldn’t find a job for the life of me. I read an article that there were over 20,000 jobs unfulfilled the previous year in the tech industry. I simply googled all the different tech jobs, and figured out what I wanted to learn. I started googling coding, website design, seo, etc. Spent months reading and downloading free books, youtube, blogging etc. Educated myself, all this while doing odd jobs to somehow keep my head above water. Within 6 months a company gave me a chance to interview and go over my knowledge and landed a job. From there I was eventually recruited by another tech company increasing my pay by 20k. Got recruited again added another 15k bump. All that because I took it upon myself to get off my ass, educate myself for free online and find a solution. TrueCar is changing the industry, you can sit back and continue to practice the old way of doing business, or get with the program and adapt to better your situation. This is why our country is going down because we have created a bunch of lazy pampered society who is always looking for our government to give them handouts.

  16. Steven says:

    All TrueCar does is provide the consumer with amazing information about pricing that let’s you get a better deal with no haggling. The dealer still sells you the car. I’m not sure what objective Stick has in spreading disinformation about missing warranty, 800 number etc.

    I’ve bought three cars using TrueCar and each was a simple experience with a great price.

    The dealers complaining about TrueCar intrigue me. They don’t want the customer to know the real price of a car and they certainly don’t want their competitors underpricing them so they complain about TrueCar enabling their competitors. Sounds like a losers strategy to me.

  17. Rob says:

    TrueCar and Zag are extracting data from participating dealers DMS (Data Management Systems) without disclosing it to the consumer. This may seem like a benign service, but they have access to all of your personal information from where ever you buy a car or have purchased in the past in that dealer is on TrueCar or Zag.

    You sign a Privacy Notice at the dealer at time of delivery, but that paper is not worth anything since the dealer will feed ALL of your personal information to True Car within 24 hours. This is FACT, just ask TrueCar.

  18. Doug Davis says:

    TrueCar is a scam. They charge the dealer $295 for new cars and more for used.

    I went to their site and and selected a car and looked at the participating dealers. Because they exclude dealer installed options, I know that on arrival to the dealership, I would be charged $1750+ for stripes, wax, fabric sealant, wheel locks etc.. Not only would there be those charges but a $395 documentation fee.

    If a buyer really wants a deal, go to AutoTrader of Cars.com and sort by price. You won’t be bombarded with emails and there is no fee to be passed on.

  19. Simone says:

    I just purchased a new 2012 Nissan Altima using TrueCar.com I saved at least $2,000 over what I was willing to pay! I was thrilled. Also, it helped to have other dealers contact me from 50 miles away. It expanded my view of buying. I did end up buying from a local dealer who also honored TrueCar, but had they not, I certainly would have traveled 50 miles to save $2,000!! The dealer took off another $500.00 rebate that lowered my bottom line even more! I am very thankful I saw the TV commercial to learn about this great website! Thank you TrueCar.com!!!

  20. Mike says:

    I do find it hilarious the dealers commenting here as if they are the ones being persecuted. They have no one but themselves to blame. They have created an atmosphere where consumers no longer trust them and it’s not unfounded. Most dealers, by nature, will use the complexities of car buying to screw a customer over. Any dealer denying that is just lying. For example, in looking for a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I emailed a bunch of dealers. In informed one that I had negotiated some decent lease deals and what was her best offer. Her response? She emailed me a lease deal where the payment was based upon the cap cost being equal to the MSRP plus costs minus my down payment. Seriously? Did this woman think that I would walk into her dealership to lease the car after she knew I had been talking with other dealers? Did she think other dealers would come in higher than MSRP?

    Car dealers bring much of their negativity upon themselves because they treat consumers as if they are morons and more often than not waste their time. Unfortunately, dealers do often catch some consumers asleep at the wheel (sorry for the pun) who significantly overpay for their cars. So I guess that justifies them trying to screw all consumers.

  21. Jordan says:

    Why is knowing what the dealer paid for the car wrong? For years, before the internet educated consumers, dealers tried to rip off every customer who walked through the door. Because of this, they developed a reputation for being the scum of the earth, and that reputation exists today. Websites like TrueCar leveled the playing field, and at a minimum, educated the consumer how many ways a dealer will try to rip them off. The dealer is nothing but a middleman, and they have abused that role in the past. I remember the first car I bought. Walked in the dealership and fell for every scam tactic to exhort the most amount of money out of me. I knew nothing about buying a car and had no information on how reasonable the deal was. In 1999, I came across carbuyingtips.com, which revolutionized the way I thought about dealers. They showed all the tactics dealers used to make a criminal profit. Years later, the internet has offered transparency and fairness for the consumer.

    The car selling business did this to themselves. The “old school” and “glory days” of running a dealership has forever ingrained in the American psyche, that car dealers and dealerships in general, are the scum of the earth. The internet will change that, and restore some sanctity to the dealership name.

  22. CW says:

    I just discovered Truecar. If so many dealers are so obviously upset with it, it has to be a good service, right?

  23. jt says:

    TrueCar is only a broker with a snappy website. Dealer pays TrueCar $299 for any lead sold, and TrueCar has NOTHING invested. Obviously, that has to be passed on to the consumer. The best deal is not always the cheapest price. The sweet taste of a low price is forgotten long before the bitter taste of poor service. TrueCar already banned in Colorado and Kansas, with litigation ongoing in many other states. Check back in two years, they will be history.

    • Bubba says:

      I’m betting con men like you will be out of the business in two years because you can’t cheat enough consumers to “make a decent living”.
      I’d much rather pay the 299.00 knowing that I didn’t get screwed on the front end and then focus on making sure I don’t get screwed on the back end or my trade-in either (using TrueCar tools, of course).
      The salad days for the sleazy car dealers are long gone. Wise up and start treating the customer with honesty and respect or go sell vacuum cleaners.

      • jt says:

        Does TrueCar provide complimentary loaners or oil changes? Free car care clinics? Nevermind only PRICE is important. If you want a steak, which do you prefer, Ruths Chris or Western Steer? Western Steer obviously.

        • bubba says:

          Oh, OK. I think I understand now. Your steakhouse analogy really helped……

          I should spend 4-5 hours negotiating with a highly trained dealership grifter whose ONLY objective is to squeeze every nickle he can out of me so I can get free oil changes?

          Don’t make me laugh.

          With the sole exception being for warranty work all my cars are serviced by my mechanic. Know why I bring my cars to my mechanic instead of a dealership? Because he’s honest and I trust him.

          Get it?

          Let me clarify:
          IT’S MY MONEY SO PRICE IS THE ONLY THING THAT’S IMPORTANT.

          At a stealership, nothing is “free” or “complementary” and you know it.

          • bubba says:

            Also jt, they are not banned in Colorado or Kansas but clowns like you lie so much everyday you don’t even notice it anymore, do you?

            Take my advice and go back to your handlers on the dealer forums and request more training because you are a total FAIL on the open public consumer forums….

  24. Dennis says:

    This works to a point, you must read the pricing sheet that you get from True Car very carefully, at the bottom of my 3 Price Protection sheets there was a Dealer Documentation Fee it ranged from $399 to $899 it should be in bigger letters and tell you add that this amount will be added to the price that is listed on your sheet and is not included in the guaranteed price on the sheet. You end up with the same negotiating that you normally have to do when you buy a car they want to charge you this fee plus numerous other bogus fees and it was not a smooth experience.

  25. conrado says:

    I sell cars. We show our customers the invoice and we let them decide on what’s a fair profit. But I don’t like the idea that True Car can tell someone they can pay less than invoice. It doesn’t make sense for a business to pay $23000 and sell it for $22000. Why is it that any business in America are allowed to make profit except for car dealerships. Let’s do the math. The average car sales person sells 8 cars a month. The minimum commission in some dealerships are $100. If there is no profit in the sale, which True Car won’t allow dealerships to profit, 8 x $100= $800. So that salesman who has a wife and 2 kids and worked 200 hours that month, doesn’t have the ability to provide for his family. They say the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. While True Car is profiting off dealership sales because a dealership pays them $300 per lead, the poor car salesman who did all the hard work is probably out of a job and is starving. I’ve seen at least 100 salesman come and go for that reason in the 8 months I’ve been selling cars. It’s 2012, you can’t lie to a customer, invoice on a car is all over the internet. people come in the dealership and know how much we bought the cars for from the manufacture.

    • Dan says:

      When I started reading Autonews my eyes were opened to how cars were priced. The invoice cost on Edmunds etc is really a list price for dealers. Each manufacturer uses a few ways to provide incentives to a dealer to get “list less” where the less can be as significant as $2K on a $30K Invoice Cost car. There is no need to know what the dealer has actually paid for the car as a competitive market with TrueCar and the like services allows consumers of cars to compare prices paid, and because of this smart dealers will compete on price + quality in a more honest fashion. With the slowdown globally, the next few months is going to be great time to buy a car.

  26. Bob says:

    All these dealers complaining about Truecar.com tells me that Truecar is good for the consumer. Thank you, angry dealers, for confirming this for me.

  27. Dana says:

    Before the internet it was consumer reports, then Edmunds, KBB, USAA and on and on and on. I’ve been selling cars and running new car dealerships for 28 years. Now everyones is either complaining or praising True Car. Who cares. It doesnt make a difference. For my fellow dumb dealers out there that want to cry on these blogs, complaining about True Car and trying to justify a lowly 2-3% markup I have a little advice. STOP! NO ONE BELIEVES YOU ANYWAY AND NO ONE CARES. Inventory is real lean and we cant get enough cars. PASS THE DEAL. SAY NO. YOU HAVE THAT RIGHT. If the consumer wants the car bad enough they’ll pay a fair price. Let your idiot competitor take a nothing deal on a car you cant keep on your lot for 2 days. Sell the car to someone else for a deal that you’ll be happy with. True Car. Who cares. I’ve been doing this for 28 years, I’ve always made a ton of money and I still play ball with all of these buying services. And dont forget. No matter how much infornmation a customer has we still have the upper hand. We do this every day. We’re experts. STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES, YOUR PRODUCT AND THE PROFITABILITY OF YOUR DEALERSHIPS.

    • Larry says:

      Amen! You hit the nail directly on the head. TrueCar and the rest are just data thieves…Data that dealers have worked hard to get. Just like this gentleman said. As a Dealer we still have the upper hand because we are the ones that have the products. If the dealer down the street wants to work for nothing, So Be It. A Dealer is entitled to profit…

  28. Will says:

    We’re dealing with a high-priced product, which means there will almost always be negotiation (just like with a house). We’re also dealing with an industry that has long had an issue with imperfect information for consumers. At this point, most consumers are aware that “invoice” doesn’t equate to that price the dealership pays. I think that dealers, like all businesses, need to make a profit to stay in business. That much is obvious. However, like all businesses, they don’t have to sell a product for any less than they want to. If they want to sell at invoice, at MSRP, or at MSRP + $2,000 they can list it for that and not budge. Consumers will then decide with their dollars whether that transaction makes sense or not. If a dealer down the street will take less money for the same car, then he’ll get the business.

  29. robert51 says:

    i did not find this service helpful in any way… first it says members can get this car for 23,300, then you click and it says your savings 4,300 under retail so you click further and its say we found your car and your savings are 1,700 big difference but wait they are not done yet… Then you click on one of the colors offered and now your savings are 900 dollars and then the phone starts ringing … what a waste of time big deal 900 dollars under suggested price a waste of time

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