We have until January 8th, 2024 to submit comments to the FTC about proposed rules to BAN CAR DEALER JUNK FEES. Please visit to be heard!

Monday, August 21, 2023

TrueCar to Aid New Car Purchase - Endorsed by Consumers Report


TrueCar to Aid New Car Purchase

Endorsed by Consumers Report

My last column informed you that it’s time that you can consider buying a new car and paying less than MSRP out-the-door with only government fee added (sales tax and license plate). True Car is a good source to aid you in finding a fair price. New car prices will continue to slowly go down as supply catches us with demand. If you can wait, prices will be better in the following months, but they are much lower today than a year ago. 

I’ve been an advocate of using TrueCar, for many years and was a member of their dealer advisor board about ten years ago. One of the major reasons I have faith in TrueCar is that they are endorsed by Consumers Report, the source of product information that I rank higher than any other. CR is a nonprofit company deriving all of their revenue from contributions and subscriptions. They accept no advertising from any company including auto manufacturers and dealers. 

Once you’ve decided upon the exact year-make-model and MSRP, go to and sign up as a member. Use a fictitious name and phone number and sign up for a free email address on Google MS Outlook, or Yahoo. If you give TrueCar your real information, you’ll be deluged with car salesmen calling, texting, and emailing you. 

When you give TrueCar your zip code, use your real one because they will give you dealer quotes within any mileage radius of your zip code you designate. Be forewarned that the dealers will add junk fees and dealer installed accessories, but they must give you their bottom line, out-the-door, price plus government fees only. This is state sales tax and license plate registration. You will receive as many car dealer quotes as you decide you want to see, based on the radius from your zip code. 

When you’ve chosen the dealer with the lowest price, contact him by email and confirm the price and the availability of the specific vehicle. You will have that vehicle’s VIN in the information from TrueCar. You should be dealing with the TrueCar salesperson designated by TrueCar for that dealership. I recommend that you tell the dealer representative that you will be bringing him a check for payment in full based on the TrueCar stated out-the-door price and expect to drive your new vehicle home.

If you encounter any problems with respect to the price or a specific car being unavailable, call TrueCar immediately and describe the issue. They will force the dealer to honor their contractual agreement with TrueCar or cancel that dealer as a certified TrueCar dealer. 

Monday, August 14, 2023

It Might be Time to Buy a New Car

It Might be Time to Buy a New Car 

Some Auto Manufacturers are Discounting 

You’re a very lucky person if you haven’t bought a new car in the past 3 years; Because, if you did, you paid too much, had to wait too long too to get the car, and weren’t able to precisely buy the car you wanted. Covid and post-Covid have wreaked havoc on the World economy, particularly the price of new cars. Supply is gradually catching up with demand. Manufacturers are building more new cars than they have since 2021, and buyers’ demand is being mitigated by higher interest rates and overall inflation.  

Those manufacturers with more manufacturing capacity are beginning to advertise discounts directly to their retail customers. This is known in the trade as “customer cash”. Manufacturers are also beginning to offer discounts to their dealers, and this is called “dealer cash”. The dealers always prefer dealer cash because that goes directly into their pockets and, most importantly, the retail customer doesn’t know about dealer cash.  

For example, as I write this column, Jeep is offering $4,000 discounts directly to the retail customers on some new Jeep models. The problem is that most Jeep buyers don’t know about this offer and when they buy the Jeep, the Jeep dealer does not tell the buyer about the Jeep manufacturer’s discount. When signing the large amount of paperwork associated with every car purchase, the customer unknowingly signs a document “Assigning all Jeep manufacturer cash rebates to the Jeep dealer”. This way, the Jeep dealer converts your intended $4,000 cash back into $4,000 profit for himself, the Jeep dealer.  

The way not to be taken advantage of is to go directly to the Manufacturer’s website and discover the customer cash discounts yourself before you contact the dealer. Then, shop and compare prices with several Jeep dealers on the Jeep you chose online at Go to the Jeep dealer that gave you the lowest out-the-door price and get a signed vehicle buyer’s order before you disclose that you will be applying for the $4,000 cashback from Jeep, Inc. (Stellantis). Of course, this works with any make new car and the information is available to you online.  

Before you disclose to the salesman and sales manager that you have knowledge of the cashback offer from Jeep, be sure you have a new vehicle buyer’s order filled out, signed by an authorized person in the dealership. You will probably have signed a dealer worksheet before you’re presented with the vehicle buyer’s order. A WORKSHEET IS NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT. Also, be sure you don’t sign any document assigning your cash rebate back to the dealer.