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.
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.
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.
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
Did not work for me. I got three "certificates" and none of the dealers were able to honor them. (Although on the phone they will tell you "sure, absolutely we can honor it"). They tell you we don't have one with the features in the certificate. If you want to try Trucar, I would call the general manager of the dealership (don't be shy or feel pressured, that's what they're there for) and ask him/her if s/he can honor it. When you walk in the door, the first thing you do is ask for the general manager and ask where the car for the Trucar price is. If they give you an answer other than "here it is for the price" just walk out.
Dealers don't honor the pricing. It's just another lead generation tool. Use it like Edmunds TMV, carsdirect, etc., to get a sense of where pricing might be.
This is the greatest Scam I have ever seen! Let's see? They are not a lead provider to dealers? They give consumers proprietary information they have stolen from Dealer data bases. IF a consumer has never pushed a button on a TrueCar site, the Dealer still has to pay TrueCar a Fee if somebody purchased a vehicle from said residence irregardless of name., even though the dealer has not contracted or sold a vehicle to the one in said household that inquired through one of their companion sites. IF their so called leaded generating companions knew that trueCar was charging dealers $299 New $399 Used car they would not have companions. Please folks do your home work and deal with dealers that are up front and don't play games. TrueCar is just a data stealing organization that preys on consumer weakness. Everybody wants a good deal, let's All face it! When is the last time you went to your local market and asked for invoice on a head of lettuce? Invoice on a new washer? A pair of Levi's. Is it fair that a Dealer makes a reasonable profit on his goods? What is invoice on a gallon of fuel? So many people that think they know everything about an Automotive Dealers P & L statement? In closing I wish all get a fair deal when they make their next purchase., and by all means have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year., as for TrueCar? One can not change the stripes of a Zebra. Think about it? If not for a dealers CRM TrueCar would have nothing to sell. They simply steal Dealers inventory and customer information right down to the IP address of a dealers customer. Don't you get it? If not for the Dealers that have worked so hard and diligently. TrueCar would have NOTHING. Without access to the dealers consumer information ( that they stole) they would be like the scum of a toilet bowl like they really are. Glad I got that off my chest. Bud
Was looking at a Mazda 6 on TrueCar and the target price they quoted me was a joke. First the MSRP that was listed on their chart was the MSRP + destination Fee ($30,490) not the true MSRP. The True MSRP was $29,695 and it told m my target price should be $29,424. A whole $271 savings since if I negotiated the target price they suggested I would still get hit with the destination fee anyway. By listing the MSRP + the destination fee makes it makes it look like a better deal when they list the target price. Why not just toss in the $199 documentation fee on the MSRP also so it looks like even bigger savings.
I entered some cars,I am thinking about,plugged in some #s didn't actually follow through with contact info--But changed zip codes to check
different locations- Found prices for the same model car,with similar options, varies by thousands of $$--Not a viable result- Going back to
I was searching for a 2014 Camry SE , TC quote $20412, so I called and emailed dealership was told $20412 out the door. After reviewing the contract the dealership tried to rip me off $3000!! WTF basically they did not want to honor TC price quote. After 4 hours of arguing and threatening to document my experience on YELP, Google and alike they finally relented and took another $2000 of the price. I will never buy another Toyota again. Buyers beware ALL dealerships are fucking rip offs .....
11-26-13---true car---saves $3000 --not really this is a misleading and false statement they save you that but but do not not tell you that you could save that too--- you haggle and get a discount too---they don’t tell you that when you ck they tell the dealers distance and anyone can figure it out--- I came within 300 even though I never used their service and so they would say true car saved 2000--------- wrong wrong- GUESS WHAT THEY-IN SANTA MONICA ----- --and they are sexist---probably some lesbian writes the ads that hate men—I dont have to take dud with me---sick sick---this is liberal co using their company for political gain---don’t use them go your self and quote what true car did and not give it to a lesbian feminist activist bitch—there are plenty of other on line services that are not liberal scum