TrueCar Reviews

TrueCar
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About TrueCar

TrueCar.com is the online home of TrueCar, an online service who says their goal is to provide consumers with access to price transparency and upfront pricing on new and used automobiles. 

How Does It Work?

As most people who have ever purchased a new or used car are aware, there is always the ability to negotiate price of the car you are trying to buy, to at least some degree. Some prices are negotiated by trading in your old car, and some prices are negotiated simply by haggling over the price. 

The goal of TrueCar is to help people who are planning on purchasing a new or used car see the prices that people in their local area are paying for that exact same make, model, and year of car, so they can use this information in their price negotiation. 

Their website claims that they have created “an intelligent, data-driven online platform” that is powered by proprietary data and analytics – meaning that they are the only platform that has access to these data and analytics – in order to transform the car buying experience for their customers. 

If you become a registered user of TrueCar, their website says that you can take this information to one of their registered dealers and present it as a “Guaranteed Savings Certificate” which can be applied to the price of the car you have chosen. The website says that TrueCar and their certificates save the average user $3,279 off the cost of a car. 

And though customers may think this seems like a service that would upset car dealerships, TrueCar says this isn’t the case. Their service lets them point informed, committed buyers in the direction of dealerships that they have partnered with, making it a mutually beneficially relationship. 

Cost/Price Plans

At this time TrueCar does not charge their customers any fees for their service. Instead, they are able to collect fees from the Certified Dealers who are connected with their service, and in some cases they also receive fees from automobile manufacturers and third-party service providers. 

Refund Policy

Because this company does not charge their customers any fees for their service, they also do not provide a Refund Policy for their customers at this time. They do accept fees from the dealerships they partner with, but these dealerships will need to speak with their account representative in order to have their situation addressed.  

Customer Service Contact Info

Customers who would like to contact their Customer Service team with any questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by phone at 888-878-3227, by email at [email protected], or by submitting them directly to their website through their Contact Us link.

Competitors and Alternatives?

There are many other websites which try to assist customers with their purchase of used and new cars, including Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com, so customers who are looking for different or additional information to what they find on TrueCar will be able to find other sources. 

If you have any experience with TrueCar please leave your reviews below.

134 ‘TrueCar’ Reviews
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1 Review

Does not live up to expectations

October 8, 2016

My experience with TRUECar was not a positive one.

1. I used TRUECar too soon, before we decided on exactly which model we wanted. Unfortunately, three dealers now had my phone number. And dealers who have your phone number do not use other means of communication, no matter how hard you try to carry on a discussion over email.

2. TRUECar gave me MSRP and average actual purchase price of a given model (in my case, for a Prius V Model Three, $29,320 MSRP and $28,251 average price paid). But when I click on "View Pricing on Local Inventory" it shows me two very different numbers (again for Prius V Model Three, $28,060 MSRP and $27,163 average price paid). So TRUECar has trouble presenting a consistent view of its own numbers.

3. The certificates it gave me were a joke--above MSRP or "visit your dealer".
* "Your Guaranteed Savings Certificate is for no more than $304 above MSRP for any in-stock 2017 Toyota Prius v Three."
* " Your Guaranteed Savings Certificate is for no more than $1,059 above MSRP for any in-stock 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE."
* "Savings data not available for this vehicle. Visit your dealer to get available savings."
Without TRUECar's help, I got $3700 below MSRP.

4. TRUECar only applies to in-stock vehicles. You can see that if you read enough of the fine print, but I didn't notice it. Since none of the dealers had exactly what we wanted, TRUECar was not useful unless we compromised on something.

5. The second time through TRUECar web site with a different model, it notified dealers more quickly than expected. I thought I was still entering information when I started getting calls from one of the dealers.

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1 Review

Guide Only

June 5, 2016

True car is an ESTIMATE ONLY. A guideline. And not accurate. DO YOUR HOME WORK. I don't care how smart you are or think you are, this is not a game in which you win. You only can hope to not lose to badly.

If you are on a budget, like most people, then you need to know BEFORE YOU WALK IN, exactly how much money you can spend every month for the next 5-6 years. INCLUDING TAX & LICENSE.

Whatever you are told the sales price is, figure the T&L in your area and add that in, because it can change your monthly note by $30 more a month.

True Car is a guideline. A marketing ploy to get you into the dealer. You will never pay the True Car price because it is a lie. All rebates, by law, come AFTER you factor in Tax & License.

The question you need to ask is: WHAT PRICE AM I PAYING TAX & LICENSE ON? When True Car shows you what you "should" pay for a new car, it reflects ALL the rebates and discounts to give you a net price and that IS WRONG.

Forget every number you are told. Know the number that you can afford and the car you want and then fight like hell.

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1 Review

False information...

June 3, 2015

Said they would not give out my email until I granted permission; first lie. Then, when the email pricing came in from actual local dealers, their pricing was thousands more then TrueCar advertised, second lie. Will not offer opportunity for a third!

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1 Review

cost me money

May 26, 2015

If I could give truecar 0 stars, I would. Its a sham that costs dealers $400 per used car and $300 for new cars. It gives the dealer a lead and even if you buy a different car, the dealer still has to pay them. That cost me money!!! Truecar didn't save me a penny never use them for a lead

June 01, 2015

Hi there:
I am a legal investigator who is investigating True Car for false advertising and misleading claims. Would you be willing to let me your story? Please email me [email protected]

Kate

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1 Review

scam

April 2, 2015

eight dealers, NONE would sell at TrueCar price. ALL tried to switch me to a more expensive model. Sell their stock!!!!

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1 Review

Finance Expert

March 2, 2015

Truecar nor Edmunds can give any buyer the true cost on a vehicle purchase unless they can do one thing. They must be able to run a credit report on every single buyer that is searching. Car purchases aren't based on MSRP or Dealer Mark Downs. They are based on credit worthiness. Example Dealer advertises vehicle for 20,000.00 3K less than MSRP customer A has 700 Beacon Score and several TRADE lines. This customer will receive a better rate and term based on his or her score. Customer B looking for same exact vehicle same features with 625 Beacon and No Trade lines will get a less than favorable term and rate and thus spend more for the same vehicle out the door. Ultimately all the numbers given buy Truecar are subjective from dealer to dealer. Some dealer price cars on volume some based on local or product availability. These platforms are marketing and scam people with huge ad budgets. The average car buyer is generally uneducated about the entire process thus always paying more than they should. The best way to purchase a car is to do your homework on all the dealers in a certain. Look at the reviews from past customers sometimes cheap is always the best. Look at the service department reviews also this is a huge factor one should consider. And always before you go shopping know your credit score and try to negotiate your financing in advance through your own finance lender. This will give you the ability to leverage that information at the dealership in your favor. The other thing is to always negotiate price before you tell the dealer you have a trade if you have one. But TrueCar and Edmunds are hacks. Every person that says they got a better deal says that because they were caught up in the hype. Haggling is always the best way to get the best deal.

June 01, 2015

Hi there:
I am a legal investigator who is investigating True Car for false advertising and misleading claims. Would you be willing to let me your story? Please email me [email protected]

Kate

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1 Review

Where's the car??????

February 7, 2015

What a scam. There was no car waiting at the dealer. It's just a way to get you in the door of a select group of dealers that paid to join the club. The dealer I went to was only interested in up-selling me on a car that cost 10k more. bait and switch?????

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1 Review

DUH...It's a SCAM!

January 27, 2015

Did anyone really think that dealers could go from making several thousands of $$$ on a car...to just giving you a car "at cost" over night? LOL!!! Of course, it's a lead generator! The only one making money by using TRUECAR is.....TRUEcar! Dealers provide a valueable service and the overhead and vehicle selection they offer costs millions of dollars to maintain!!! They deserve to make money on you....and you don't deserve to know the cost of their inventory anymore than you deserve to know what that can of soup or that Shirt or that bouncy ball costs from Walmart (which you would never think of negotiating the price with). Most dealers make about 5-10% on a car. When's the last time you shopped at Walmart? They have products that are marked up thousands of a percent!!!!! Did you DEMAND to see their invoice? Did you negotiate their PRICE? Well, why not? Why are they allowed to keep their costs secret and fixed....but, car dealers cannot??? Hmmm....

If websites like TRUECAR and others like it start to gain traction, then it will ruin an already hurting industry. But, why should you care? You're just entitled to the "lowest price", right? You're just "entitled" to the best deal, right? Well, Imagine this....what if you had to reveal to the world your pay. And what if.....a website came around that exposed your salary or commission and let people know that you are available to work for FREE just to make them happy?. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL? I hate stick and move "charlatans". So far....TRUECAR is making millions on you and screwing the car industry a little bit at a time. And in the end, you the consumer, will suffer.

If this is the future of car buying....I want NO part of it. The end result is a monopoly where just a few stores would exist. If there's not enough profit in the sale...most stores will fail. In fact, why have dealerships? We could just order cars from the factory direct online, have them deliver your car to your house by an autonomous robot and let them make all the profit....which should lower car prices. Right? But then.... Truemanufacturer.com would start. Where does it END?

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November 05, 2015

First, we are entitled to the best price possible. We are spending thousands of dollars for these cars. Not a dollar on a 10 cent bounce ball. Second I would absolutely love having my car come straight to me from the manufactirer. When I order something from amazon, I get it at my doorstep in a few days. That's awesome.

November 05, 2015

So we aren't entitled to the best possible price? It's a free market and if someone wants to make a sale, they will give it to you. Also, we are talking about thousands of dollars and high ticket items are negotiated. If you go to buy a house are you going to see what other houses are selling for and make an offer or just give them whatever it's listed at? Oh and robot delivery of my car would be totally awesome. I know what I want before I go to a car dealer and ordering it online and having it show up a few days later would be great.

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1 Review

Bait and Switch

January 24, 2015

True Car is joke ! It's primary focus is to act as a lead aggregator for car dealerships. The consumer will go to the TC website, provide their contact information, then choose their desired car. After selecting the trim, color and accessories, the consumer is shown "certificates" that outline offers from local dealerships. The certificates are NOT worth the pixels on your computer screen. Within 24 hrs of the inquiry the consumer is then blasted; phone calls, emails, and telemarketers from dealers that are just giddy to start negotiating. Worse yet, each dealer will have a reason for NOT honoring the certificate, and furthermore, no where on the certificate, or within the TC site, it is clearly disclosed that the certificates DO NOT pertain to vehicle leasing. All certificate offers are ONLY VALID for vehicle purchasing, which I am certain defeats the entire purpose for many consumers such as myself. Lastly, the TC customer service is just as irksome. In this sketch, the consumer will speak to an entry level Millennial that has just enough time to look away from their smart phone. When faced with tough questions the Millennial will resort to their TC handbook and robotically recite pre scripted rebuttals as provided by the TC writing staff. Once the rebuttals are exhausted the Millennial will gladly apologize on behalf of TC and then resume their social media obligations. Please, don't make the same mistake and save yourself the time and hassle. TC is a business venture with bad management, and lousy ownership !

June 01, 2015

Hi there:
I am a legal investigator who is investigating True Car for false advertising and misleading claims. Would you be willing to tell me your story? Please email me [email protected]

Kate

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1 Review

Total Scam

December 12, 2014

Nothing but a lead generator for dealers. Don't waste your time.

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1 Review

Scam to provide sales "leads"

October 29, 2014

This site does nothing more than provide sales leads for subscribing dealers. They don't provide prices for add on equipment that you require. They simply provide an avenue for crooked car dealers to do what they do best.
I purchased a new Xterra from a dealer and the invoice said it was a 2015 model. The vin indicated that it was a 2013, but it had certain requirements, for me, such as factory installed towing package, Bluetooth, over the roof lights etc. These were hard to find but I wanted to see what sort of discount I should have been given for non current year after being lied to.
Truecar only contacted a subscribing dealership which would only provide prices based off 2015 MSRP. They would not provide any technical data or otherwise regarding towing capacity (it did have a rating) or cost of add ons.

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1 Review

It's BS

October 15, 2014

It's a sham. I've owned a Acura TL, Mercedes C300, Lexus GS350 and currently Siena SE. I was always able to get a price 10% under invoice price. According to true car these kind of deals don't exist.
They'll have you believe 5% off MSRP is a great deal. 5% off MSRP is a ripoff. I wouldn't be surprised if true car was secretly own and operated by some coalition of auto dealerships to fool the general public into accepting a new guideline of pricing. I absolutely do not trust their opinion of what a great deal is. I'm not even sure I trust what they list as invoice price. I'm digressing here but folks do the foot work. Be nasty with the sales people because they are out to screw you blind. Either way you put it, buying a car is one of the worst investments a person can make. make sure you're getting the best deal by at least visiting 3 dealerships. don't be passive with sales people. also check with brokers too, some of them offer you only what a fleet managers best friend gets. Bottom line. Don't trust true car.

December 12, 2014

This isn't the 70's. Salespeople aren't out to get you nor are they terrible people. They are hard working individuals trying to earn a living just like everyone else. How do you think it feels having customers treat you like dog poo from the first moment we say hi to you? I'd love to know how much markup you think a new vehicle has these days bc I can guarantee you will be WAY off

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1 Review

Where do they get their numbers?????

July 11, 2014

I WORK for a car dealership and have had several customers show me their "truecar" printouts. When this happens, I go straight to the invoice of the vehicle and show it to them as well as provide any rebates they are eligible for. They are usually about $3,000 UNDER what we can actually sell the vehicles for!!! This is turn pisses customers off and when they go to the next dealership and get the same thing, they will either come back to me and purchase or they are so sick of the pricing game they purchase from the dealer they are at. I HATE TRUECAR!!!! I've been selling for a long time and would LOVE to have one of these Truecar idiots come to my dealership!!! I hope more people realize that Truecar DOESN'T SELL CARS!!!

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August 03, 2014

what dealership do you work at?

September 26, 2014

true car is a scam. I have been able to get pricing $1,600 below the "great" true car price. Don't waste your time with these liars.

September 26, 2014

He is a true car operative. He places reviews to get people to think true car is legit

September 26, 2014

He is a true car operative. He places reviews to get people to think true car is legit

September 27, 2014

You're a TrueCar hater Griffy. There's no way you beat a real TrueCar quote by 1600 for an "apples to apples" deal. Great service. Dealers hate it because you CAN buy a car behind invoice using this service. Dealers have hold back, incentive monies and other things that make the real invoice less anyway. Just try the service and see what it can do.

October 22, 2014

Joe, True car almost tanked the auto industry a little while back and was slammed with a class action law suit because of it. True car is a sham to get you in the door and if you buy they have your personal information from the request on true car and they charge the true car dealer about $500 when the sale is reported. The dealer in turn pays a sales person a minimum and makes next to nothing on a car. It is going to sink all of the mom and pop dealerships. I hope that you enjoy traveling to buy a car because that is were it is headed with all of the blind faith in true car. The bid dealerships will end up pushing product to make up the lost money on the back end. So be prepared for pushy sales people on accessories and warranty too. While we have all hoped that it would push for transparency in the auto industry it has created a monster where you will lose as a consumer in the end.

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1 Review

Worked Perfectly

June 28, 2014

Service gave me the best price within 100 miles. Dealer honored my certificate exactly as advertised. Amazing service!!!

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September 26, 2014

BS. I received a quote from a dealer who assured me they were competitive
I showed up with a signed quote $1,600 less and "magically" they were able to match it. Don't waste your time with these dolts, they barely got through high school.

September 27, 2014

My TrueCar quote was way better than any quote I could find anywhere else. If you beat TrueCar by $1600 you're an amazing negotiator or a big story teller.

September 27, 2014

Or did you use your TrueCar quote to get a local non-participating dealer to match TrueCar? I suspect TrueCar sells a lot of cars they don't get paid for that way.

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1 Review

Worked Well For Me

June 21, 2014

Just bought a new Honda. The dealer honored my True Car certificate. I added a few options but the base price was just as promised. Guess it depends on the dealer.

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