By on July 26, 2016

dealerrater

If sales and service reviews were gold, Cars.com will soon the the richest third-party shopping website in all the land.

Cars.com plans to buy DealerRater, making it the largest soundboard of criticism and praise for dealers, salespeople and servicing in the industry, Automotive News reports.

Details of the purchase haven’t been released, but the deal is expected to close at the end of August. Once wrapped up, Cars.com will be able to bolster its own reviews (and new and used vehicle listings) with 14 years of sales and service feedback from DealerRater’s information bank.

In a statement, Cars.com CEO Alex Vetter said the acquisition positions his site as the one to beat. Speaking to Automotive News, he touched on the importance of user reviews when buying a vehicle.

“Online reviews are becoming more critical than ever in all shopping categories, but even more so in the auto category,” Vetter said. “[Consumers] trust reviews as much as they do their family and friends.”

DealerRater, founded by Chip Grueter in 2002, sees 14 million hits a month, and hosts about 2.5 million reviews. Earlier this year, it launched its CustomerConnect tool to showcase the best salespeople at certain dealers. Cars.com bowed in 1998, and currently has about 1.5 million reviews.

Gary Tucker, who took on the role of CEO at DealerRater in 2014, said both sites have a “strong strategic alignment.”

Last year, J.D. Power ranked Cars.com as the second best third-party vehicle shopping site, behind NADA guides, in terms of overall customer satisfaction. The site’s ranking was well above the industry average.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

14 Comments on “Cars.com Wants All the Reviews, Plans to Acquire DealerRater...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Current Cars.com Reviews:

    2002 Lexus ES
    *** / *****

    MY COUSIN SISTER BOTTED HER GX450 IN 2010 N SHE DIDN’T LIKE MILES GALS’. LOTS OF GASSING, N’ THERE WAS BUSTED CUP HOLER. SOMETIME IF A MARK LEVITICUS RADIO GOT STATIK.

    Would you recommend to a friend: Ya, N/A

    So I should think a larger database would be helpful to them. Their collection of archived newspaper reviews of old cars is helpful, and often funny in context. The data they provide on older cars is often unfortunately full of holes.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, what the hell is the woman driving in that pic? Looks like old Jag seats and headrests, but the steering wheel looks to be a Ford PAG era thing, and the gauges look Chrysler, while the center stack looks Japanese.

  • avatar
    jammyjo

    Was asked to write a review on DealerRater while waiting for the finance guy. Don’t take the reviews too seriously.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Cars.com has turned into a steaming pile. Half the time their search results page hangs on a spinning circle. They used to be good.

    If the #1 use of your website is searching for cars, then you damn well should make sure that part of it works.

  • avatar

    OK, I thought it was just me who was having problems. Cars.com needs to rollback the site software about a year.

    On line reviews are good, but you need to ignore the top and bottom, and read the middle reviews. If you want to lose your mind, read reviews of any hotel or vacation spot. Half are posted by friends of the owner and the other half are by the competition, so does the hotel have a great staff, clean rooms, and a view of the city, or did you die at the intake desk in a dirty lobby while the hotel was taken over by an onion-eater convention, with bedbugs ?

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Their mobile app is the worst I’ve ever used. Search hang-ups and the filter functionality rarely works properly. But don’t worry they’ll hit you with multiple pop-up ads and ask a dozen times if you want to provide feedback all in the first five minutes. Cars.com mobile app is awful.

  • avatar
    zip94513

    Dealer rater is so polluted with employee’s pumping up the ratings it’s the equal of used toilet paper. Yelp is so much better.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • Carlson Fan: “The best/greatest tires are nice but one should frequently test the traction they give you with...
  • theflyersfan: Being an ex-government employee with work all over the world, I would drill it into their heads to...
  • theflyersfan: Growing up, my Dad always tried to drive in sound financial planning and spending. Pay cash as much as...
  • Urlik: Yup, they’ve even warned the troops about them but still they go there. Even seen them so bad they were able...
  • Scoutdude: We also aren’t good at teaching financial literacy which certainly results in people getting taken...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber