Does TrueCar truly deliver the lowest price on new or used cars?

truecaraddThe way people buy cars is changing greatly due to the app economy and Internet. When buyers are connected to the average sales price of other buyers it gives them an edge reports TrueCar. Knowing what other people are paying is not making the dealers at other non-TrueCar dealerships happy. A class action lawsuit against TrueCar claims that TrueCar engages in deceptive buying practices, injuring other car dealers.

TrueCar works with dealers and believes that the anxiety and uncertainty of the car buying process can be alleviated by knowing prices. TrueCar notes that car buyers spend an average of 13.75 hours researching cars and 3.6 hours at the dealerships. There goal is to get the buying process down to one hour.

We recently spoke with a rep from TrueCar who clearly stated that TrueCar offers a data service empowering buyers by letting them know sales prices.

When you go to TrueCar website, after you enter in the make and model of the car you wish to buy, you are sent via email certificates from dealers. The certificates have a bar code on it. You must take the certficate to the dealer for the discount. A few weeks later the bar codes did not download anymore in our email client making the prices invalid.

We found that most of the dealers with the best prices were out of our area, however, savings were greater than other online price portals. TrueCar clearly states that they show you an average sale price on their website.

We also noticed that the the average pricing did not necessarily have typical packages available at dealerships when compared to other shopping websites. We saw the greatest discounts on base car packages.

The emails from dealers from TrueCar we received showed the model and all the additional packages and a price on the certificate. It has been reported that TrueCar does not get paid by its dealers unless the certificate holder buys the car and that dealer pays $299 for every new vehicle and $399 for every used vehicle sold from a TrueCar price offer or dealership introduction.

It seems that the service does save research time for the buyer

TrueCar provides services for AAA, Allstate, US News and World Report, USAA, American Express, GEICO, AARP and PenFed.

We are currently working on buying a “green” used car using TrueCar. We found that with used cars TrueCar has the absolutely best prices anywhere.  We saw one car that was three thousand dollars below Kelly Blue Book. I went to the independent dealer and he said “You know more about this car model than I do.” The car was clean and drove like dream.

A dealer about 50 miles away has a huge selection of the model we are looking for with prices that are rock bottom. Although it would be nice to find a dealer closer, to save $3,000 we are willing to go the extra miles.

We will report on the findings later.

3 thoughts on “Does TrueCar truly deliver the lowest price on new or used cars?”

  1. I have a friend who is an attorney. The first dealer he went to using TrueCar was a disaster. After taking the deposit, they sold the car to someone else. However the second time, he went through with every option he wanted on the car and ordered at another dealer. He had a reduced price plus $500 off from the buying service. He was VERY happy with the car he bought.

  2. I think TrueCar is a scam. They are the only ones winning by getting paid $399 no matter where you buy from as long as you’re in their system. The best way to buy a car is still the old fashioned way. Find a salesperson you like and work out the deal you want. Best advice I can give is to shop for a salesperson first, then you will get your best deal. Its still about a relationship with that salesperson and dealership. This company is just costing us time and stealing profits from dealers. The dealers will need to make that profit up elsewhere and I don’t want it to be me!

  3. I tried true car to buy a specific Ford F-150. Not one dealer returned with a valid offer, that had the options I wanted. I was able to get an F-150 with the options I wanted direct from a dealers internet salesman for about $1000 less than any of the true car prices with more options.

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