Online Automotive Buyer
Behavior Report 2011
First Annual Report
TrueCar, Inc. initiated a nationwide survey with market researcher
Synovate, to gauge the new and used car auto purchasing opinions
and behaviors of consumers who research online prior to making an
auto purchase. The following report reveals the results of the
analysis and offers new insight regarding the 21st century,
The study was conducted October 10th - 15th, 2010 with 1000
males and female adults, 18 years of age or older in the contiguous
U.S.A. The sample is balanced to be representative of the general
population based upon region, gender, age, and household income
data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Q. When going to purchase a new or used vehicle, please indicate your
agreement with the following statements:
85% of new car shoppers and 86% of used car shoppers believe that knowing
A. what someone else paid for the same car within the last 30 is very helpful.
New Car Buyers
Used Car Buyers
Information about what everyone else paid for the 89%
same car within the last 30 days would be helpful. 86%
I trust the brand. 85%
I would value having a good friend in the car 76%
I will get a good deal. 60%
I will be pressured by the dealer. 58%
The dealer will have the vehicle I want on the lot. 56%
I know (to the dollar) that the price I get will be a 55%
fair or great deal. 46%
The dealer will have the upper hand. 53%
It will be a pleasant experience. 45%
I trust the dealer. 40%
I will pay too much for the vehicle. 31%
Survey by TrueCar Report, 2011 1
Q. When going to purchase a new or used vehicle, please rank each of
the following in order of importance when choosing a dealership:
When choosing a dealership to purchase a new or used vehicle, the two most important factors are price (78%)
A. and trust (70%)
I will be able to get a good price 78%
I will have a haggle-free experience 39%
The dealer will have the vehicle I want on the lot 30%
Great service department 25%
Previously bought from that Dealership 19%
Dealer is in a convenient location 16%
I will save time 14%
Dealer has professional staff 9%
Survey by TrueCar Report, 2011 2
Q. When buying a vehicle, how valuable would it be to know what
others have paid for the identically equipped vehicle in your area
over the last 30 days?
90% of respondents agree that having information
Agree 90% A. about what others paid for their vehicle in the past
30 days would be helpful.
Q. Before going to a dealer, how valuable would it be to require the
dealer to provide you with their best no-haggle, upfront selling
price as a starting point for the process and as a way to help you
decide which dealer to buy from?
Over 90% of in-market new car buyers believe it
Agree 91% A. would be valuable to require a dealer to provide a
no-haggle upfront selling price.
Survey by TrueCar Report, 2011 3
Q. Indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following
statement - “If trading-in or selling a vehicle to a dealer, I know
that the dealer will either not give me a fair trade-in price or they
will make it up on some other part of the transaction, either on the
price of the car I am buying or on my financing.“
82% of car shoppers agree that the dealer will not provide a fair price during a trade-in or will make profit on
A. the vehicle through other services (i.e. financing, extended warranties).
Strongly Agree 45%
82% of those
Neither Agree or Disagree 13%
Somewhat Disagree 3%
Strongly Disagree 2%
Survey by TrueCar Report, 2011 4
Q. How much do you think a dealer makes as profit on the sale of a
$0 - $500 2%
Over half of respondents believe dealers
A. make at least a $4,000 profit (10%) on a
$40,000 car sale.
$500 - $1,000 9%
$1,000 - $2,000 16%
$2,000 - $3,000 17%
$4,000 - $5,000 27%
$5,000 or more 28%
Q. How much do you think is fair?
$0 - $500 9%
Consumers believe that on average, dealers
A. should make nearly $1800 or 4.5% on a
$500 - $1,000 28% $40,000 car.
$1,000 - $2,000 30%
$2,000 - $3,000 23%
$4,000 - $5,000 9%
$5,000 or more 1%
Survey by TrueCar Report, 2011 5
Q. If you were the member or subscriber of a trusted organization
and found out that they offered a car buying service which could
save you money, time and the hassle of negotiating, how likely
would you be to use their service to purchase your vehicle?
Very Likely Somewhat Unlikely
Somewhat Likely Very Unlikely
15% Neither Likely or Unlikely
80% of respondents would likely use a car buying service to save
A. money and time.
Q. When purchasing a new vehicle, if you knew you could get a
guaranteed average savings on your new car purchase, how far
would you drive to a dealership?
Less Than 15 Minutes 45 - 60 Minutes I wouldn't drive any
amount to save
15 - 30 Minutes 60 - 90 Minutes $2,300.
30 - 45 Minutes More Than 90 Minutes
3 out of 10 shoppers are willing to drive an hour to achieve this
Survey by TrueCar Report, 2011 6
TrueCar. Inc. is a revolutionary online automotive solutions Zag.com, a TrueCar Inc. company, private labels its auto
provider on a mission to change the way cars are bought buying and technology platform and Certified Dealer
and sold. The company is pioneering the automotive network to more than 50 of the nation’ s leading affinity
industry’s adoption of upfront, transparent pricing by distrib- brands.
uting timely and accurate transactional data on what other
people actually paid for a particular vehicle locally, region-
ally and nationally. As a complement to the TrueCar.com
new car pricing solution, ClearBook.com provides price
confidence around used car trade-in values.
This report and the information contained herein is for your The information contained in this report may include techni-
noncommercial, personal use on an “as-is, as available” cal inaccuracies or typographical errors. Neither TrueCar
basis and may be used by you for informational purposes nor any of its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, or their
only. TrueCar makes no representations or warranties, respective partners, officers, directors, employees, or
express or implied, with respect to the information agents shall be held liable for any damages, whether direct,
contained in this report and the results of the use of such incidental, indirect, special, or consequential, including
information, including but not limited to implied warranty of without limitation lost revenues or lost profits, arising from
merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non- or in connection with your use or reliance on the information
infringement. presented in this report.
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Visit us at www.truecar.com
TrueCar Report, 2011 7