Guide to Buying Cars on TrueCar

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What is TrueCar?

TrueCar is an online resource for car buyers to research and find both new and used vehicles. Using the TrueCar website, car buyers can compare prices, access fair deals and make informed purchase decisions for a faster, less stressful buying experience. 

How does TrueCar Work?

You can search and buy a car through TrueCar with this process.

Buying a car with TrueCar

You can either select general “new” or “used” options or search by make, model or type.

Step 2: Browse vehicle listings

Enter your zip code to see results near you. You can sort by best match, best price, distance and other options—and further filter by year, price rating and more. Vehicles will have ratings like “High Price,” “Fair Price,” “Great Price” and “Excellent Price” that are based on how the asking price compares to the average list price for similar vehicles. You’ll also be able to see the mileage and a history report.

Step 3: Find the car you’re looking for

Click on the vehicle you’re interested in to view more pictures and notes from the seller. You can choose to either “Check Availability” or “Get Your TruePrice” if you want to see the car in person or use the dealership’s information in the Seller’s Notes to contact them directly. 

Step 4: Provide more information

In order to “Check Availability” or “Get Your True Price,” you’ll be required to enter personal information (name, email address and phone number) and check a box indicating that TrueCar and partners have permission to contact you. Be aware this may open you up to spam emails and calls from those businesses. Make sure you are serious about the vehicle before completing this step—or contact the dealership to help avoid spam. 

Step 5: Arrange the remaining details with the dealership

The rest of the transaction, including a visit to the dealership and a test drive, will be handled between you and the dealership where the car is located. Keep in mind that the estimated price listed on TrueCar doesn’t include accessories, taxes, title licensing, documentation fees and other government or dealer charges.

Pros and cons of using TrueCar


  • Dealerships must honor the price quote listed on TrueCar
  • Great for research when car shopping
  • No fees when buying a car


  • No guarantee the same vehicle will be available at the dealership
  • May receive spam emails and phone calls

TrueCar reviews 

“​​Saves a lot of time spent in negotiation hassles. Also provides the inventory available within your neighborhood. No unnecessary trips just to know that the car is unavailable. It was really useful in deciding on the car. I bought my car and the dealership honored TrueCar’s price. Saved around 6-7 hours of negotiations.”
Rajeshkanna ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“With the hopeful understanding that the service that TrueCar is providing is the ability to obtain a “haggle-free” price that provides adequate profit to the car company while providing transparency to the buyer on what costs are appropriate, the price provided was minimal and did not provide any benefit. The absence of additional costs such as estimates of taxes, document fees, etc provided the benefit to the seller and not the buyer. There was no positive value to the buyer with this service.”
Charles ⭐⭐

“I was just checking car prices for 5 minutes, the next thing I know I’m getting texts and calls from pushy dealers – which is exactly what I was trying to avoid by going online. Won’t ever visit that website again.”
RC ⭐

Frequently asked questions about TrueCar

Is TrueCar legit?

Yes, TrueCar works with certified dealerships to provide accurate pricing for new and used vehicles.

Does TrueCar charge buyers fees?

No, buyers do not have to pay a fee to TrueCar when they purchase a vehicle.

How does TrueCar make money?

When a dealership sells a vehicle through TrueCar’s site, they must pay TrueCar a fee. The company also makes money through ad and data sales.

Where is TrueCar headquarters?

TrueCars is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

Can you sell a car on TrueCar?

Yes. Read this guide on selling a vehicle on TrueCar for more information. 

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