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CarsDirect Guarantee: Beware the fine print
CarsDirect offers a low price guarantee on their instant car quotes, but I urge you to be wary of the fine print. It’s a good idea to check this price as it may be the best deal in town, however, you may find too many stipulations in the fine print to make the guarantee viable. But first….
What’s the difference between an Instant Quote and a Dealer Quote?
Before we look at the guarantee, you must understand that an “instant quote” is different than a local car dealer quote. Both are available from the CarsDirect site, but they are definitely unique. The instant quote is provided immediately (hence the name) and is based on CarsDirect’s group buying power. This quote is non-negotiable, but is usually lower than most.
On the otherhand, dealer quotes come from local automotive dealers who receive a “request for quote” when you submit your email address to CarsDirect’s certified dealer network. Once dealers receive these requests, they will respond to you within about 24 hours. Their quotes are somewhat independent from the CarsDirect site. They simply pay an advertising fee to CarsDirect in order to get in contact with you, the buyer. These quotes are definitely negotiable, but will likely start higher than the CarsDirect instant quote.
So what is the CarsDirect Low Price Guarantee?
Taken from the CarsDirect website:
If, within three days after purchasing a vehicle from CarsDirect, you find a lower price for the same vehicle identically equipped, CarsDirect will refund the difference between the price you paid and the advertised or other dealer’s price. Or, at its discretion, CarsDirect will repurchase your vehicle. This guarantee is for vehicles purchased directly through CarsDirect and is not applicable to vehicles purchased through our VIP Dealer referral network.
So why is the guarantee so hard to use?
When you read the fine print closely, you’ll realize why it’s easy to offer a guarantee and very challenging to redeem. Let’s look at a few snippets of the terms and conditions: Continue reading