TrueCar.com has been around since 2005, and they advertise an easy and transparent process for selling your used car. Sounds great, right? But is TrueCar just as good at helping you sell your EV for top dollar as it is for getting rid of an unwanted, gas-powered pickup truck?
We don’t think so, and we’ve got a few reasons why.
But first things first: let’s take a look at what TrueCar offers and how they market their service from website to picking up your car.
Are TrueCar Offers Legit?
Is TrueCar a reputable company? They are—this is true (no pun intended). They’ve been in the game for nearly two decades, and they’ve acquired a large network of car dealerships from around the country.
At its heart, TrueCar is an online research option for those who want to buy and sell used cars. They focus on the data surrounding the new and used car markets, and they provide that information as a service to both consumers and dealers. You can think of them as a competitor for Kelly Blue Book, with different methods of researching and valuing used cars.
But that’s where figuring out TrueCar’s Instant Offer gets a little tricky. They don’t buy or sell cars themselves; TrueCar is a service, not a dealership. When you use TrueCar’s Instant Offer feature, the price you get back after you enter your make, model, condition, and so on isn’t guaranteed and doesn’t mean you have a real offer. It is a soft opening for TrueCar to get more information on you and your vehicle. They then pass this info on to their dealerships.
The estimate-to-offer pipeline is where we find a few issues with TrueCar and their process when it comes to EV brands like Tesla and Rivian. Let’s dive into our 4 reasons why not to sell your electric vehicle through TrueCar.com:
Reason #1: Their Offer Is Just a Tool for Local Dealers to Get Your Info
First things first: when you give your second round of info to TrueCar (remember, the first round is just an estimate), you’ll be giving access to your contact information. This contact info is shared to the TrueCar certified dealership network.
Honestly, we don’t know exactly how many dealerships are given your info and a chance to contact you, but we know it’s at least three close to your location. Once that’s done, you may receive a barrage of texts, emails, and phone calls that may or may not contain offers that are anywhere close to the estimate you received on the TrueCar Instant Offer screen.
Here’s why that matters: there are no guarantees that the dealer will honor TrueCar’s estimate. Does this mean you can negotiate TrueCar prices? Probably, but it mostly means that you may be disappointed by the actual TrueCar cash offers you get while being hounded by dealerships that you could have chosen to talk to (or not) locally, without the extra steps through TrueCar.
When it comes to pre-owned EV quotes, we prefer prices to be clear. That’s why our dealer partners provide you with a genuine, guaranteed quote and enough time to consider it without being hounded to make the sale. Our Instant Cash Offer system doesn’t produce estimates; what you get is a real offer from an EV-informed professional.
Reason #2: You’ll End Up at the Dealership Anyway
One reason you’re probably looking online to sell your used EV is to avoid the hassle of having to drive it to a dealership. While TrueCar says they want to make your car buying process easy and convenient, their dealerships also find it convenient for you to be flexible enough to bring your car to them. Any ease of getting the initial estimate and quote is offset by the fact that you’ll still be going to the dealership to do all the drop-off and inspection procedures that can vary from dealer-to-dealer.
In other words, a typical sale through TrueCar’s True Cash offer doesn’t include them picking up your used EV. You deliver.
At Find My Electric, we’d rather see an online process stay online as much as possible. All vehicle inspections of your EV are done virtually, with no need to drive to a dealer’s location and without a reduction of your offer on inspection. Pickup is scheduled right from your driveway or at a location of your choosing. We know your time is valuable, and our dealership network is committed to keeping the process smooth, convenient, and on schedule.
Reason #3: Their EV Knowledge is Unclear
Unless you live unusually close to a lot of EV dealerships (density maps tell us that this probably only includes places like Los Angeles, California, and Dallas, TX, or possibly New York), the local dealers that contact you through TrueCar are probably not specializing in used EVs. This can cause a lot of problems when you need to communicate something about the charging system, features, your software, or an unusual perk like Tesla’s Unlimited Free Supercharging.
TrueCar dealerships may also only give you a quote based on prices in your local area, not based on your EV’s current value in the market as a whole.
Find My Electric’s dealership network is not limited by your location. When you initiate a sale through our Instant Cash Offer system, you get an offer from a verified EV dealer with knowledge of the used EV market as a whole. Our system operates throughout the continental US with EV informed dealers available in every region. And we’ve vetted and verified each member of our dealer network, making sure that their knowledge of current EVs and features is top-notch. We trust each of them to know EV specifics such as the difference between Tesla Raven and pre-Raven powertrains and the value of a Launch Edition Rivian R1T.
Reason #4: They Don’t Offer You Another Option
Here’s the last reason we think you shouldn’t sell through a TrueCar True Cash Offer: they don’t offer you any additional options for selling your used EV. During the time you are left waiting on or returning calls from local dealerships (sometimes the wait can be up to three days), you’re pretty much on your own if you’d like to try any other way to get top dollar for your EV.
Why waste time setting up in a system that can take 3 days to get started when you could be getting a quote and listing privately at the same time?
We’ve set up our listing system for used electric vehicles from Tesla, Kia, Lucid, Rivian, and more. It’s specifically tailored to help you show your potential buyers exactly what your EV has to offer in a clean, professional, easy-to-use format. Best of all, you can set up a listing for your EV and get an Instant Cash Offer at the same time with no extra effort!