The 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.
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.