I have bought a couple cars in my lifetime. The first was a 68 mustang that I bought to restore with my dad when I was 16. The second was a 2005 Toyota Corolla, which I bought from a private seller and boy oh boy did I get taken advantage of. About the same time my husband (we were just dating at the time) also bought a car from a private seller, and had a similar experience. When his car died 2 months after it was paid off, we decided to go through a dealer.
I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.
At the time we were working across the valley from each other, and my husband was commuting almost an hour for his last college classes. There was NO WAY we could make it work with one car and so we were forced to buy a car fast. Our first mistake, and the biggest piece of advice I would give anyone buying a car, is to not rush the process. We knew what we wanted and how much we had to spend but we didn’t have the luxury of taking our time to ensure we were getting a good price. We didn’t mention this fact but our dealer sure picked up on it anyway. We ended up in a great car but had some pretty big battles with our dealership. We got roped into a frivolous warrantee and things that were promised on their end were never held up. It was extremely frustrating and left a horribly bitter taste in my mouth for car dealerships. I realize this is not fair because I know there are many honest and well run dealerships out there.
That being said, I honestly wish I had known about TrueCar.com back then. I will definitely being using their services next time I buy a car. TrueCar.com offers transparent and anxiety free car shopping. They have partnered up with like-minded dealers to address the primary stress point – the negotiation and haggling of price. The exact stress and pressure that I hated so much and remember so clearly from my last car buying experience.
TrueCar’s process is really quite simple. They show you what others paid for the new car you are considering, new or used. That gives you confidence that TrueCar Certified Dealer prices are honest and fair. Then their dealers offer guaranteed savings to for new vehicles in-stock and on the lot. It is such an easy way to do all your research in the same spot. Then you have the reassurance of never over paying for your car, while eliminating the hidden surprises we faced during our last car buying experience.
If you are in the market for a new car, go ahead and save time and money by using TrueCar.com. I know I wish I would have avoided all the headache a few years ago.