June 22, 2009

TrueCar – The Truth About Car Pricing


If you’re sick and tired of haggling with car dealers, TrueCar just might be your new favorite web app. We like TrueCar because they’re completely data driven (no hidden agenda), focusing on the consumer and providing you with fair and accurate automotive-buying statistics.

The way it works is pretty simple. They aggregate sales data from a variety of different sources and provide you, the consumer, with an accurate report on the pricing of cars and trucks within your area. The idea is that the consumer then takes the report to the local car dealer, getting a fair deal without the extra hassle.

The website is easy to use and the statistics are seemingly accurate (they’re updated weekly). There’s no signup and searching is quick and easy—simply enter your zip code and click on the car you’re interested in purchasing. For consumers who are less web savvy, they also offer a convenient and free phone service. One of our minor complaints was that they don’t offer statistics on used cars—so we’re delighted to hear that they’re working on a beta version of TrueCar for used cars. Really great news from an already stellar service.

Practical Uses:

  • Negotiate a good deal on pickups in your area
  • Find the best price on a minivan for your growing family
  • Seek out the perfect car for a new, young driver

Insider Tips:

  • Custom dealer accessories aren’t included in the pricing, so add them on manually if needed
  • Ask for a price above or below the invoice if the exact vehicle isn’t available
  • Consider licensing TrueCar pricing for your automotive dealer website

What we liked:

  • It’s offered on the phone and online (and it’s all free!)
  • Statistics are accurate and updated weekly
  • Easy to use website—no signup

What we didn’t like:

  • Some vehicles don’t have price reports
  • Doesn’t currently offer reports on used cars (they’re working on it)


Company Info:

  • Launched: May 2008
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA
  • Founded by: Scott Painter and Tom Taira
  • Web site:


  • Free


  1. Excellent post! I like your post and take pleasure in it.
    Maintain it up!

    • What can I say Get rid of a car. Imagine how much money you will save. Then you can use this money to rent a car whenever you need one. Furthermore, if you are lucky and you live in an area with cotnmuimy cars, such as Zip, then you are all set. You did say you mostly use public transport. Also, you can bike pretty much everywhere.As far as the mechanics are concerned, I don’t think I had a good experience with them ever. I think there is some genetic thing or perhaps breathing all those fumes. The worse one was the Toyota dealer in Sunnyvale. I took a Camry with a check engine light there and they figured out there was something wrong. $800 and a week later, the check engine light came back. $500 and a week later the check engine light was on again. I then took it to another place, they fixed the original problem for $200 and said that Toyota dealer was full of well, you know. That said, this guy did other weird things, so he is not super great either.I guess the whole thing is like voting. You vote for less of an evil instead of for somebody you care about. Same with mechanics. You go to a less bad mechanic.Ditch the car

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