TrueCar vs. Edmunds.com vs. AutoTrader: Best Site To Purchase A Car
TrueCar connects car buyers and sellers through their network of TrueCar certified dealers. Customers will be provided with prices that other car buyers have paid for a make and model of car in their area. TrueCar has over 7,000 certified dealers across the U.S. that consists primarily of new car franchises that represent all car manufacturers.
Finding a Car on TrueCar
TrueCar is a data company and when you have all of this data, consumers gain purchasing power. Within minutes, car buyers can get upfront car pricing information from their certified dealers. Car buyers will not get sticker shock at the dealership with surprise fees and miscellaneous costs.
You can search for new cars or used cars. When you click on new cars, you will be presented with a list of car makers and then a list of models with photos.
Once you have chosen the make and model, customers enter in their zip code. At this point, you can configure the vehicle by choosing your options.
Car buyers will then be shown the following information:
- Estimated monthly load payment
- Estimated savings off MSRP
- TrueCar price estimate
- Average paid price and the MSRP
- Price certainty percentage
TrueCar will also show car buyers a graph of the average price paid over the previous 6 months and a complete list of specifications for the vehicle you have chosen.
Below the vehicle specifications, you will be shown any dealer rebates and cash bonuses that might be available for that particular vehicle. You will also know the car price negotiability, which is a score that indicates whether or not car buyers have the potential to negotiate a better price.
Purchase a Car
Once you register, TrueCar will show you a list of prices from certified dealers in your area. With each dealer, you will be shown their estimated monthly loan, estimated savings and estimated TrueCar certified dealer price.
- A certified dealer will email you the upfront prices on the vehicle you chose that are in stock.
- Click on Next to get your printed Guaranteed Certificate.
- Car buyers can also go to a certified dealer with a Guaranteed Savings Certificate and get upfront prices on any vehicle in their lot.
Using the same process, car buyers can also use TrueCar to find the best deal on used cars, which makes buying used cars hassle-free.
You can use their ClearBook and find the value of used cars. ClearBook analyzes millions of used car listings and sales that can determine the trade-in value of your used car.
Edmunds.com started out as a paperback book found on newsstands in the 1960s, which today has grown into one of the best known sources for automotive data, reviews and advice. Whether you are interested in new cars, used cars or car research, Edmunds.com has it. They were rated as the highest ranked third-party automotive website by JD Powers.
Edmunds.com Car Information
On Edmunds.com, you can find the following information for new cars:
- Car Finders
- Compare Cars
- Find Dealers
- Get Monthly Payment Information
- Incentives and Rebates
- True Cost to Own
Car buyers can get the following information for used cars:
- Appraise Your Car
- Certified Cars
- Selling Tips
- True Cost to Own
- What’s Hot
- Car Reviews and Road Tests
- Tips and Advice
- Long-term Road Tests
- Dealer Ratings and Reviews
Finding a New Car on Edmunds.com
On Edmunds.com, car buyers can start their search for a new vehicle by choosing the body type or the make. Once you choose the make and model, you will be shown a list of MSRP for last year’s model, this year and next year. Customers will see a list of features for the car or truck you chose, including basic warranty and consumer rating.
Edmunds.com Price Promise
Edmunds.com has a Price Promise. Car buyers will see a Special Offer listed in green on specific cars and includes the following benefits:
- Gives car buyers an upfront locked-in price from the dealership.
- Customers will then go to the dealership to buy the vehicle with no haggling.
On Edmunds.com, car shoppers will see a list of the vehicles features, customer rating and which ones have the green Special Offer listing. For example, looking at a 2014 Ford F-150 truck, Edmunds.com Price Promise showed me a savings of $5,640 off of the MSRP.
AutoTrader is the online version of the well-known AutoTrader newspaper. AutoTrader is great for buying and selling new, certified and used cars. Their website has more than 3 million vehicle listings from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners. AutoTrader attracts over 14 million car and truck buyers each month.
Finding a Car on AutoTrader
AutoTrader has more than just cars and trucks for sale, they also have the following:
- A comprehensive list of vehicle buying and selling tips
- Complete research and vehicle compare tools that include reviews, videos and photos
- Safety information and vehicle history reports
- Sellers specials and dealer discounts
- Monthly payment calculator and affordability calculator
If you are looking for a car on AutoTrader, all you have to do is enter in your zip code, vehicle condition, price range, style, make, model and other car options you want to include in your search. Car buyers can also search by make or style.
Once you have entered in enough information, you will be shown a complete list of all vehicles that fit your search parameters.
Sell Your Car on AutoTrader
You can sell your car on AutoTrader by yourself or with their VIP expert help. AutoTrader provides sellers with many helpful articles like Pricing Your Vehicle, Test Drives and Inspections and Paperwork to Close the Deal.
AutoTrader has several types of ads for the following prices:
- Premier – Runs till it sells costs $75
- Deluxe – Runs till it sells costs $55
- Enhanced ad runs for 8 weeks and costs $40
- Standard ad runs for 4 weeks and costs $25
All ads come with a money back guarantee.
- 20% Off Classic or Performance Car Listings at AutoTrader
- 20% Off VIP Car Selling Services at AutoTrade
All three websites are great for buying new and used cars. TrueCar has certified dealers across the U.S. that will email you upfront prices. You will then get a Guaranteed Certificate that you will take to the dealer to purchase the car.
Edmunds.com can get you locked-in upfront prices from dealerships so that you can purchase a car without haggling. Auto Trader is great for car buyers for looking through all types of new and used car deals from private owners and dealers. You can also sell your used car on Auto Trader.