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
My wife and I were looking to buy a 2014 Honda Accord Sport and had been looking at the cars at local dealers and thought about using our Costco connection, but that proved to be a joke. The only dealer they sent me to was about 45 miles away, when there are several participating dealers within 15 miles of our home. On a lark, I went to TrueCar.com and filed out the information and within an hour we had three quotes and one dealer was local and two were some distance away. The quotes were within a few hundred dollars of each other and all were better than we expected. I tried working with one dealer in Vallejo and wrote an email asking a few questions. I tried three times and never received a written response.l One salesman called and left a message on our answering machine that I couldn't understand; it was at a high volume and so distorted, the recorder kept cutting out. When they called again, it was two days after we bought the car we wanted at Manly Honda in Santa Rosa. Coincidently, we bought our last car there 5 years ago and were pleased. Use TrueCar.com; it works!
Just wanted to check out a few prices for curiosity purposed. Put my information in and didn't think as soon as I hit next all my info would be sent to every dealer in my area in a 30 mile radius. Before I was off the website I had 6 emails and 2 voice mails.
You have to use edmunds tmv and true car and you get an idea on how to actually make the purchase.
You can get pretty good deals directly to your email and you can (certainly) negotiate at the dealership if you are showing you are willing to close a deal.
I'm not sure what is worse TrueCar or Russ Darrow. Lies, mistakes and BS.
This is a misinformation service. They quote all the rebates wrong. They blame the dealers. They "TrueCar" suck! Waste of my time
This service lets you believe that they won't give out your contact information without your permission first. Well apparently I didn't read the fine print. Before I even completed my online profile, my phone started ringing and my email inbox was full. I had at least 15 calls or emails from dealerships within 24 hours. That's not what I thought I was signing up for...
Its a excuse to get you in the door. Mcgrath Hyundai in Illinois laughed when I walked in stating I was a truecar customer. Stating I try to get you as close to the price as I can. Thousand off. Also the car that was quoted, which I called to verify it was there, turned out not to really be there. They showed me what other colors and models. Now Im on the junk mail list with numerous calls and email. It was a big mistake.
I used trucar for two new car purchases in the last few years. Recently went to purchase again and their site has changed. No longer does it show invoice and the best deals, they show the deals from their partner dealers now. They've sold out, time for the next startup to move in. Just skip them and Go straight to the dealer with an email copying all the other local dealers.