When you think about buying a new car, there are so many variables involved. There’s the average fuel economy and reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. There’s the cost to insure the vehicle. Then there’s the actual cost of the vehicle itself. How can you be sure you’re getting the best price, or even a good price, for the vehicle you choose?
A new site called TrueCar aims to solve this problem. They noticed an information gap in the marketplace that made it difficult for consumers to get a fair deal on a new car. Using information they provide, car buyers can now be confident they won’t be taken at the dealer.
You start by entering in the make and model you’re looking for and your location. On the next page, you get a price report based on the options and trim level you choose. They tell you what your “target price” should be, which is the price you can reasonably expect to pay. They also provide a helpful graph that shows the typical range of prices other people have paid for the car.
One thing I really like about TrueCar: They tell you what the actual dealer’s cost is. This gives you bargaining power if you decide to negotiate with the dealer on your own.
When you’re satisfied with your selections, you’re able to locate dealers near you and get a guaranteed price certificate. All you have to do is go to the dealer with your certificate in hand and drive off in your new car at the guaranteed price (assuming you’ve arranged financing.)
As an example, I chose a 2012 Ford Fusion SE. The dealer’s cost is $19,933, and the target price for my area is $20,647. It tells me that a great price is anything below $20,806. There are 3 certified dealers in my area willing to provide a price.
There’s no cost to the buyer to use this service. TrueCar makes its money charging dealers about $300 for each customer that ends up buying a new car through its service.
This site has the potential for increased sales at dealers, but many aren’t happy. Profit margins are already fairly thin on new cars, and dealers fear that TrueCar will further reduce their ability to make money. They also fear that customers will simply obtain a dealer’s best price, then go to another dealer to ultimately buy the car at an even better price. There’s no question though that TrueCar and other similar services will revolutionize the way we buy cars going forward.
For a lot of people, the worst part of buying a new car is haggling with the dealer over price. If this sounds like you, TrueCar can make the car-buying experience as painless as possible, and maybe even enjoyable!
Photo by fordinthenews.com