TrueCar Reviews

TrueCar
Based on 134  Reviews



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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.

Reputation

The reality of TrueCar appears to be very mixed. Looking for general reviews online actually shows quite a few negative reviews, but customers who take the time to read through them will see that nearly half of these negative reviews are from people who have never actually used TrueCar, but who believe they can explain why it is a scam anyway. 

Once these reviews are filtered away, however, there are still a significant number of people who claim to have had poor experiences when trying to use TrueCar information to purchase a new car. Some customers claim that they offered a lower price than TrueCar suggested right at the beginning of the negotiation, meaning that if they would have begun the negotiation with the TrueCar information they actually would have paid more money for their car. 

Other customers have said that the information they found on this website was simply wrong or out of date or that the dealerships they were pointed toward actually wouldn’t honor the price discount that TrueCar said they would. 

However, there are many other customers who have said that the TrueCar information truly helped them in their negotiation and made a difference to their car buying experience. The bottom line appears to be that since this service is free, customers should treat it as one of many resources they can use to buy their new car; not the only resource.   

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 this company or their products, please leave your TrueCar reviews below.

134 ‘TrueCar’ Reviews
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S.Tan
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Waste of Time



December27, 2011

I got a cool certificate saying I can buy a car for $700 over invoice. Too bad that car doesn't exist. The dealer knows about the TC quote, but there are no cars shipped to them from Lexus without any packages pre-installed. So my price quote is useless. Unless you count the 8 emails from 3 dealers and 3 phone calls for a car that doesn't exist, helpful.

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Truecar
December 30, 2011

"The dealer knows about the TC quote," This is a true statement. The dealers know about the TC quote because they give it to us to give to the consumer =)

We always advise our customers to contact a dealer before visiting the store so they can be informed on what is actually physically available. That way they know what to expect before visiting a dealer. Most understand that when beginning the search for the perfect car, it is almost always going to be slightly different from the dream car.

Tom Kelly
January 03, 2012

It still comes down to dealer A has to compete with dealer B...if dealer A says he will do it and is in a position to do for whatever reason...dealer B will eventually have to try to bait and switch to survive, they have to at least try to remain in business...you say Mr/Ms Truecar "We always advise our customers to contact a dealer before visiting the store so they can be informed on what is actually physically available." The damage has been done...dealer B will do whatever he has to do to try to get a shot....This is consistent with what you are determined to do...drive dealers out and eliminate salespersons as we know them.

Doug
February 12, 2012

S. Tan, Lexus dealers have no control over what is added to the car. Except for the RXs all of their vehicles come from Japan. You can special order a vehicle to avoid options being added.
Lexus will not allow a dealer to advertise a product with "invoice" anywhere in the subject matter. It is actually against the Lexus covenant to use TrueCar. Lexus doesn't allow any false advertising and if caught, dealers face what amounts to big fines.

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M. Smith
Guest

Reality check



December25, 2011

Truecar is a fraud. They were using the WHOLESALE trade value dealers established to exchange inventory between dealerships as a "true sales price." the term fraud my actually be an understatement.

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TrueCar
December 30, 2011

Trades between dealerships are solely between dealerships. Truecar is not involved in dealer trades. Dealer trades are the same thing as dealer swaps; one dealer B receives one car from dealership A in exchange for another car from dealer A - We do not regulate how the dealers trade or what they charge for the transport of a vehicle to a dealer's store.

Tom Kelly
January 03, 2012

But you plan on being involved with dealer trades as soon as you can...just as soon as you can figure how to work the end against the middle and you take the profit.

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Jack
Guest

Bait & Switch



December23, 2011

A new tactic to an old game... Bait & Switch! When you receive a “True Car” quote, immediately call that dealerships sales manager directly and request a copy of the window label of the vehicle they quoted on, be sent to you (fax/email) so that YOU can verify the vehicle and equipment are what you are expecting. When YOU are refused such a simple request by the dealerships sales manager… maybe then you’ll understand this nothing more than Bait & Switch.

BTW… if a gas station advertised gas at $1.49 per gallon but doesn’t have any of that particular gas in their tanks, would the Government step in and stop this false advertising? Of course! Yet they allow this type of stupiness.

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Truecar
December 30, 2011

"immediately call that dealerships sales manager directly and request a copy of the window label of the vehicle they quoted on, be sent to you (fax/email) so that YOU can verify the vehicle and equipment are what you are expecting."

If you want to pay from the MSRP (sticker price) you are welcome to do that, however, if you ask for the factory invoice to be sent to you and then deduct / add your Truecar savings to or from the factory invoice, you'll be getting a much better deal

Tom Kelly
January 03, 2012

...and add in the 300.00 to 400.00 TC charges the dealer if you buy!...they really don't want the consumer to know that...

Doug
February 12, 2012

Jack, you expect a Sales Manager to remove the label from a vehicle and fax it to you? Obviously, you have never tried to remove one and put it back on.
They are going through this trouble to sell you a car below their cost and pay TrueCar $300 for the benefit? People, you need to think!

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Jon
Guest

Make car buying easy



December22, 2011

I do not see how anyone could buy a vehicle not knowing if they are getting a good deal on it. A friend of did just that. He fell for the dealers BS that the value of his spotless F150 with 48K miles would plummet after 50K. He walked out the door with a Silverado at MSRP. OOPS!!! He got hosed, but it was his own fault.

My friend could have at least looked at the ads in the Sunday paper. He could have gone to get quotes from a bunch of dealerships. He could used TrueCar as a resource.

Let's forget about the ads because a dealer would be dumb to advertise their best price. Getting qoutes from multiple dealerships can get you a good deal but it a is time consuming and confrontational approach.

Want to make your next car buying experience fun? Wander aimlessly around the showroom looking at every vehicle on display. Watch the interactation of the sales people and see how long it takes someone to help you. When a person finally approaches you and asks, "How can I help you" Respond, "I would like to buy a car from you today" The sales person just sold a car if the dealership has the car that you want and the price is right (TrueCar other internet sources). Now it is just making the numbers work for both sides. If the numbers don't work, then walk away from the deal.

The bottom line is that you can never be a victim of supposed "high pressure" sales tactics if you educate yourself before starting the negotiation process. AND TrueCar is a factastic place to get that education.

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TrueCar
December 30, 2011

I applaud you. Very true and very well said =)

Doug
February 12, 2012

I have been in the car business for over 30 years. I've heard "I want to buy a car, today" hundreds of times. It is usually "I guess nobody wants to sell a car". In all of my years, I have never seen one of these people actually buy a car. This is a key clue that the customer is a pure flake.

Car dealers suck!
September 02, 2012

I just bring a bunch of my buddies with me when I go car shopping, and then I buy them all a few rounds of beer afterwords....or beforehand even.

BenSeattle
May 29, 2013

>

That's correct, and if saves you $2,000 to $4,000 what's so bad about that? Only if you're time is worth more than $2,000 an hour, I guess.

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Robert
Guest

Got a great price from Truecar



December21, 2011

Truecar was great, I got a price for the vehicle I wanted with specific features, printed out the price guarantee sheet brought it to the dealer. The only extra fee I had to pay was the dealer fee. It was easy, and I didn't have to play those sales games and or deal with a rude salesmen. I will be using true car for my next vehicle purchase as well. Thanks

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Truecar
December 30, 2011

Robert, thank you. It sounds like you had a smooth experience because you knew not to deal with pushy retail salesmen who are not trained / versed in the Truecar program.

Etienne
January 01, 2012

Whoa, Please tell us about this 'dealer fee' you paid. How much was that and is that the exact explanation: dealer fee ?

Glad you were happy, but please disclose this info.

Robert
January 07, 2012

I paid a $299 dealer fee

Doug
February 12, 2012

You probably bought the coldest thing on the lot. When something doesn't sell new, it really doesn't sell used.

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Stan Esposito
Guest

truecar has been exposed



December15, 2011

Dealers are dropping truecar like a bad habit. They are tired of paying $300 per car sold thru truecar. Truecar takes the dealers own transaction info and uses against them. Truecar says cars are a commodity? They want to get rid of salesman too.
truecar is a fraud and will soon be a memory.

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Andrew
December 20, 2011

I hate true car. They are devastating car lots. Why should a dealer loose $1,000 to sell a car. They are literally starving sales people. Hey true car, do I rob you? Do I take your money? No! How can I steal from you? I cant without going to jail. You guys are bad people and other companies alike.

john
December 22, 2011

You sound desperate....

Mojo
December 25, 2011

Truecar is a fraud. They do not know what the dealer has, you are quoted on a fictional car. The price they "quote" you is not a price the dealer has or even can advertise in compliance with both governmental and manufacturer regulations. After their fool of a CEO said he did not need dealers, all legitimate dealers dropped them like a bad habit. Truecar is a fraud using false or at best misleading pricing information NOT agreed to by any dealer.

Truecar
December 31, 2011

The fact is, we don't know what any given dealer has in their inventory. The certificates are not a confirmation that a particular vehicle is available as the customer has configured it on our site. The car that is quoted on is a virtual car and chances are good that there may be a car very similar to what is configured but not exact. Anyone who's ever been car shopping understands when we go car shopping, it is rare to walk off a lot w/ the car exactly as we wanted it. We may need to settle for a color we didn't want, or for options we didn't really want to pay for. On the other hand, we may have to change vehicle models in order to get the options we must have. Understanding the dynamics of car shopping, how to use the certificates and what to expect would clear the air for a lot of consumers who visit the Truecar website.

Etienne
January 01, 2012

To your comments...
dealers have become conglomerates with seperate multi line dealersships across counties and states. The single owner is a dinosaur. Hence the sales are 'packaged' with staff trained to understand the individual models less , but profit lines and dealer mark-ups stressed. They can't pump you for pin stripes, chrome wheels, or their own 'financing' and various add-on insurance packages through the internet (only a few examples here). Every dealership recovers a minimum large flat fee that varies by property and you hardly hear of it. Additionally go to dealers on a busy day and simply pay attention to staffing and the many offices with various titles facing the showroom.
All these offices are revenue points and all those people are on the payroll... and it's actually your payroll.
-Stay focused with written price points before entering, have financing covered elsewhere BEFORE shopping and cover 3 or more dealerships...ensure they belong to seperate ownership parties. Take the time and save many hundreds to thousands !!!

Lou
January 17, 2012

25 years ago 100% of airlines tickets were sold at travel agencies (read dealerships). Today 100% of airline tickets are sold on websites. Get ready it's coming.

Dave
January 25, 2012

All PA Toyota dealers were told NO MORE TRUECAR LEADS. It's ruining the TOYOTA name.

Math Wizard
August 19, 2012

Dave, you sound like a Car Salesman :)

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