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Build & Buy car-buying service

Get a no-hassle buying experience

Last updated: December 2013

Consumer Reports Build & Buy Car Buying Service adds to our suite of auto ratings, reviews, and buying advice. Once you've used our information to decide which is the best car for your needs, subscribers can use our Build & Buy Service to get competitive prices from local dealers who are held accountable for high customer satisfaction.

Developed with TrueCar, Inc., Consumer Reports Build & Buy Service is available as an extra benefit to ConsumerReports.org, Shop Smart, Consumer Reports, on Health, and Money Advisor newsletter subscribers and to purchasers of Consumer Reports New Car Price Reports. To access the service, visit our Build & Buy Car Buying Service home page.

Advantages of the Build & Buy Service

  • Upfront dealer pricing information (in most states).  The Service provides you access to robust, current information about the make and model of vehicle you may be interested in buying.  Plus, you can access this information before even visiting the dealership. 
  • Guaranteed Savings off MSRP. In most states, the Service allows you to obtain a Certificate from a participating dealer that will guarantee you a certain amount of savings from MSRP on any in-stock vehicle of the same make, model, and trim as the “virtual vehicle” you configure on the website.  In some states, guaranteed savings are not available, but in this case your Certificate will contain an estimate of what you could reasonably expect to pay for your “virtual vehicle” based on analysis of current market data.
  • Pre-screened dealers. The Service includes more than 6,500 participating dealers nationwide who have agreed to follow strict guidelines of conduct in order to help provide an easier, more transparent, and consumer-friendly car-buying experience.
  • Easy-to-use tools. The Service allows you to quickly configure a “virtual vehicle” with the trim, color, and options you want and then get a Consumer Reports Build & Buy Car Buying Service Certificate.  In most states, this Certificate will provide an Estimated Dealer Price, which is an estimate of the pricing available to Consumer Reports customers from participating dealers in your area for the “virtual vehicle” you configured.  In some states, Estimated Dealer Prices are unavailable through the Service and the Certificate will provide a Target Price, which is an estimate of what you could reasonably expect to pay for your “virtual vehicle” based on analysis of current market data.
  • Your identity is safeguarded.  Subscribers can use the Service as much as they want without revealing their identity to any dealers unless they choose to.  Your identity will be concealed from dealers, and theirs from you, when the Estimated Dealer Price (or Target Price in applicable states) is initially displayed.  You may then choose to send your identity to one, any, or all of the dealers, and in return, their identities will be revealed to you. 
  • No obligation. There is never an obligation to buy when using the Service.  You can always change your mind about the vehicle, price, or dealership, or whether you want to buy a car at all.
  • You receive all applicable incentives.  Participating dealers are required to pass along to you all applicable vehicle specific manufacturer incentives for in-stock vehicles.

While Consumer Reports has long provided unbiased ratings and in-depth car-buying advice, subscribers have been on their own in finding dealerships that they want to work with. The Consumer Reports Build & Buy Service is intended to help make car buying easier, with less hassle and anxiety.

The Service also helps Consumer Reports further its mission and ongoing work.  TrueCar pays Consumer Reports a flat fee for each vehicle sold to a Service participant by a participating dealer.  Consumer Reports has no direct contact or any financial relationship with any dealerships. For more details on the service, see the Build & Buy FAQs.

   

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