TrueCar rolls out free access to 2 tools designed to accelerate online sales


Dealers that utilize TrueCar now have more tools from the provider to use — for free.

TrueCar announced on Thursday that it is offering complimentary access to its Payments and Trade Retail Solutions tools for network dealers.

The company said the tools are available for onboarding starting now to franchised dealers and are planned to roll out to independent dealers by the end of the year.

Participating retailers will be part of TrueCar’s Access Network, and will receive badging on the TrueCar marketplace highlighting to consumers that these features are offered by the dealership.

Retailers must opt in to the Payments tool to also be eligible for complimentary access to the TrueCar Trade tool, according to a company news release.

TrueCar explained this new offering was prompted by the recent acceleration in demand for digital car-buying solutions and aligns with TrueCar’s strategic vision of creating a flexible end-to-end buying experience.

Recent TrueCar research of consumer car-buying preferences showed three things the company’s tools can accomplish, including:

— 76% of shoppers would like to calculate and compare monthly payments online

— 65% would like to receive an offer for a trade-in online

— 61% would like to set up the entire deal online, including monthly payment, trade-in and financing.

 “Consumer demand for digital retailing is no longer debatable. While we recognize that not all consumers want to shop 100% digitally or 100% offline, most consumers today fall somewhere along that spectrum and would like to complete more and more of the deal online,” TrueCar president and chief executive officer Mike Darrow said in a news release.

“The key is providing options,” Darrow continued. “Offering our Payments and Trade tools complimentary to our retailer network ensures that they have access to the very best technology to help them stay relevant and competitive to sell cars in today’s market.”

The company highlighted early results from a pilot that included over 2,500 TrueCar Certified Dealers using these tools showed that shoppers who built and submitted their deal online including both Trade and Payments demonstrated a significant lift in close rate.

In fact, TrueCar said AutoNation plans to onboard all 300 franchises with TrueCar Access Payments and Trade tools after a successful pilot.

Based on the company believing that 85% of consumers either finance or lease their vehicle, the company said TrueCar’s Payments tool can serve as a critical piece of the car-buying equation for consumers.

The tool can educate consumers around what their estimated payment will be based on dealers’ own payment structure and customized to the consumer’s preferred term for a retail installment contract or lease, down payment and anticipated credit score.

TrueCar pointed out this process can align expectations earlier in the deal building process and reduce friction at the point of sale.

 “Having worked in and operated dealerships for 24 years, I know that a high quality, high closing connection happens when a consumer has done their research and has realistic expectations around all the deal components,” TrueCar senior vice president of retail solutions David Green said.

“Allowing the consumer to self-service parts of the deal online by discovering lease and finance payments on specific inventory and receiving an accurate VIN-specific trade-in value creates efficiency and delivers our dealer clients more buyers,” Green continued.

The company recapped the most import functions of each of these tools, beginning with key features of TrueCar Payments:

• Pulls in the retailers VIN-specific pricing and allows them to customize their payment specifications through TrueCar’s payment configuration tool

• Enables more precise payment estimates that translate seamlessly from online to offline limiting surprises that cause friction between buyers and sellers

• Automatically pulls in most automaker incentives and rebates, and state level taxes

• Integration of Payments into TrueCar’s Create Offer tool enables dealership personnel to efficiently manage their payment inputs and quickly respond to consumer deal structure preferences allowing the deal to close faster, saving time for both dealers and consumers

• Dealer badging on the TrueCar marketplace highlighting that this feature is available to consumers

The company then reiterated key TrueCar Trade features, including:

• 17-digit VIN-specific evaluation tool allows dealers to accurately evaluate a vehicle so they don’t undervalue or overvalue it

• Makes real time adjustments to the vehicle value, which helps consumers understand the “why” behind the value, reducing friction when they see the cash offer

• Provides dealers with a list of common problems specific to the model that may reduce the value of the vehicle at time of appraisal

• Includes a transparent and proprietary daily depreciation calculation known as the “melt rate,” which makes it easier for dealers to determine the most profitable timing to sell the trade-in

• Shoppers that interact with the TrueCar Trade tool are highly engaged. When receiving a side-by-side appraisal with the dealer after using the tool a consumer is almost twice as likely to say the offer they received was fair, twice as likely to give the dealer a five-star rating and nearly twice as likely to transact

• Dealer badging on the TrueCar marketplace highlighting that this feature is available to consumers

TrueCar mentioned that consumers would also like more transparency and accuracy around trade-in values with 75% of new-car shoppers using a third-party site for their trade-in value.

Since TrueCar Trade launched in November 2018 in partnership with Accu-trade, the company said more than 1.2 million consumers have received a value on their vehicle using the TrueCar Trade tool through the TrueCar marketplace or through retailer network websites.

“Our Payments and Trade tools were designed with dealer systems and processes in mind,” Green said.

“These best-in-class tools enable dealers to enhance their digital offerings and appeal to a broader consumer base while maintaining full control of their payment structures and ensuring a seamless online to offline transition,” he went on to say.

 For more information, retailers can contact their sales representative or visit

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