By on February 4, 2020

We’re not talking about my Golf Sportwagen purchase today; they were slow to negotiate, but not sleazy. The topic at hand is what happened this past weekend when I helped my grandmother purchase a used car.

It turns out that at some dealers, even though the calendar says 2020, sales practices are more in line with 1980.

(Read More…)

By on March 6, 2019

Image: Toyota

While U.S. new vehicle sales are expected to drop in 2019, average transaction prices and interest rates are climbing fast. That spells a potential bad day ahead for drivers reaching the end of their lease, Edmunds warns.

Those looking to get behind the wheel of a new sedan in the coming year might have to spend some quality time with a calculator. (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2018

car buying

It’s happened to all of us, right? You’re reading a review on a website like TheTruthAboutCars.com, and then you decide to go browsing for some cars online at a dealer’s website, perhaps casually looking for a weekend toy or a new family hauler. Since you’re like most car shoppers, 95 percent of whom don’t take action the first time they visit a car dealer’s website, you leave the site and go about your day on the internet.

But when you go to ESPN.com to check the latest World Cup results (Viva Colombia!), there’s an ad for that same car you were just looking at. Whoa, that’s a little creepy, right? And then, the next day, you get an email from another dealership — you never even went to that website! How did they get your information?

Car dealers are getting more sophisticated than ever when trying to get your attention online. Luckily, your old friend Bark is here to tell you how they do it.

(Read More…)

By on May 24, 2018

Average fuel prices in the United States managed to triple between the years of 1999 and and 2012. While we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy relatively low prices at the pump over the last few years, analysts predict the current spike will continue through the summer.

However, a recent study from Kelley Blue Book suggests most new-vehicle buyers don’t give a flip about it, with consumers claiming the price surge won’t influence their vehicle purchasing decisions in the slightest.

The assumption that the cost of gas will stabilize in the fall could play a factor for some, but many respondents say the price per gallon would have to reach $4 before they became rattled enough to consider swapping to a more economical vehicle.  (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: Chevrolet

You’ve decided to take the plunge. To lay down significant cash for a personal vehicle that burns no gasoline and isn’t a bicycle. Unlike the plethora of dino juice-sipping models competing for your attention, your choice of electric vehicles is still modest, albeit growing, and comes with a list of ownership concerns never mentioned around traditional cars.

Range, charging times, home connections, and the impact of temperature on the battery pack (and its longevity) are just some of the questions a salesman might be asked about. Pricing is easy.

This past fall, research firm Ipsos RDA Automotive sent secret shoppers into 141 EV-selling dealerships in the U.S., where the spies feigned interest in purchasing one of 11 fully electric models. The experience was a wildly mixed bag. It’s not entirely surprising, but in many showrooms dominated by gas-powered cars and SUVs, the sale the dealer employee attempted to close was not for the EV the secret shopper came in to buy.  (Read More…)

By on April 3, 2017

Honda dealer sign

After retiring on April 1 following 13 years at American Honda, former executive vice president John Mendel isn’t fading quietly into obscurity.

Sure, he plans to form a distillery business with his sons — who doesn’t? — but retired auto executives rarely take both feet out of their former world. So, it doesn’t come as a shock that Mendel is poised to join the board of directors at the car shopping website TrueCar. (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2016

2017 Accord Hybrid

TJ writes:

Greetings Bark,

With a growing family, it’s about time for me to move out of my 2007 Frontier Crew Cab into something more family friendly. The crew cab has been great transporting our toddler, but we’re planning on having another one, and I don’t think the backseat will work for two little ones.

After a long search that has included newer midsize pickups without much more inside room, full sized cars (namely Impala, LaCrosse and Azera — nice car, horrible seats), I think I’ve settled on a V6 Accord. I have my grandfather’s old C10 for pick-up stuff once I get it running again, and my father is interested in buying my Frontier, so trade-in won’t be a problem.

I’ve test driven the Accord twice, and the dealer is absolutely pressure-free; which my wife and I appreciate. BUT…the dealer only has three V6s in stock — all standard, easy-sell black or silver. I prefer Honda’s Obsidian Blue, and the salesman said getting one shouldn’t be a problem. Am I setting myself up to get taken if I email him requesting the blue one?

(Read More…)

By on November 10, 2016

Donald Trump, Image: Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Threatening to move isn’t new.

16 years ago, legions of American citizens promised to leave the United States if Republican George W. Bush beat Democrat Al Gore. While there’s evidence that suggests emigration from the United States to Canada occurred at an accelerated rate during Bush’s two terms in the White House, it was more likely tied to the state of the economy overall than differences in personal politics.

But that didn’t stop Americans — not just celebrities, but Americans en masse — from shutting down Citizen And Immigration Canada’s website with excessive traffic on the night of 2016’s Trump electoral victory earlier this week.

Had the website operated normally, you would have discovered that moving to Canada isn’t easy. Yet your desire to relocate will not be sated by a move to sunny SoCal or the Florida Keys. You’re determined to live in Cape Breton, or Portage la Prairie, or Trois-Rivières. And in the automotive sphere, there are some things you really need to know. (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2016

dealership

The r/askcarsales subreddit is a great source of information about car buying and the inner workings of dealerships. Flaired users are verified to be actual salespeople, which makes for highly qualified car buying advice. They’ve helped a great number of people save money and help calm the adversarial nature of the buyer-seller relationship.

Buying a car is a big decision. We all like to think that we are unique in the choices we make and how we go about negotiating a sale, but buyer stereotypes do exist. When one subreddit user posted a question about typical buyers for each brand, many of the salespeople jumped in to offer their opinion on the type of buyer that shops each brand. Some of the opinions might cross into racial profiling territory, but many are just hard truths about the customer base each brand has built up.

(Read More…)

By on August 7, 2015

Marta

Rather than begin in media res, let’s recap:

I sold my first Porsche 911 (a “993” as they call it, which means it was built sometime from 1995 to 1998 and was the last version of the 911 to feature air-cooling; mine was a 1996) to a nice guy in Minnesota.

The very next day, my second Porsche 911 (a “997,” which means it was built between 2005 and 2012 and was intended to fix the ugly looks and perceived dubious build quality of its immediate forebear — the “996” 911, which was the all-new car that succeeded the above-mentioned 993; my 997 was a 2007 example of the hardcore GT3 variant) met its end after a teenaged driver failed to yield immediately in front of me, resulting in a collision.

With no means of transportation beyond the shared mobility lifestyle or MARTA, it was time to start shopping for another car. I didn’t really have a defined budget, so I considered cars across a fairly wide price range.

(Read More…)

By on June 29, 2015

isf

The august founder of TTAC, Robert Farago, asked me to shop around for a Lexus IS F nearly seven years ago.

Those were bad old days. The “Fall of 2008” was a brutal, hopeless, and downright dire time in the American retail car market. Nobody was buying $50,000+ sports cars like this Lexus, and the few that could afford to were too busy watching their stock values sink like stones and their home values dive straight into the ass end of a 20 year time warp.

(Read More…)

By on March 30, 2015

Millennials In The Back Of A Subaru BRAT

According to a study, Millennials not only prefer to shop for cars via mobile devices, but also at the dealership.

(Read More…)

By on January 27, 2014

jsw

TTAC has learned that Google is shutting down its car shopping service, which existed only in beta form for San Francisco Bay Area shoppers. Visitors to the site have received a message stating

“The Google San Francisco Bay Area car search beta program has been discontinued as we focus on building the next version of our experience for car-related searches. Stay tuned for more news!”

Google previously tweaked their new car search in late 2013, allowing users to see results on the main search page. TTAC had previously touted Google Cars as a potentially disruptive car shopping tool, though dealers apparently had some reservations about the way their inventory and pricing was displayed (namely a lack of differentiation among different stores), as well as the higher cost of leads.

One can only wonder what’s next for Google.

Recent Comments

  • Scoutdude: I believe they don’t do any market research since they don’t even pay attention to the market....
  • slavuta: amwhalbi, yes. At 100K you’ll start to notice oil disappearing, visibly. But give it another 20K, it...
  • slavuta: The engine that @ around 100K starts burning oil, and by 120K – drinks it
  • ToolGuy: HVAC: Do I have to make temperature changes on both dials if I’m driving by myself? (I don’t see...
  • SCE to AUX: “the third or fourth owner of a somewhat battered S60 often lives on a Pontiac G3 budget”...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber