Online Services Experiences (,, etc.)



  • thefanthefan Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone finance or lease the vehicle s/he purchased with Carsdirect rather than with the traditional bank or dealership?
    I am planning on buying a car soon. Hearing from many in this forum confirmed to me that CD is a reputable enterprise and is a great way to buy a car at discount without haggling.

    Any info is appreciated.....
  • bombersbombers Member Posts: 2
    I ordered a Mazda Protege ES through carsdirect on aug. 11 and am planning to take delivery on sept. 2. They are not honoring their guarantee of delivery in a week or $500 because they said they found the car on Aug. 17. My issue is that the car hasn't even arrived at the dealership yet, so there was no possibility of me taking delivery within in a week. It was not a special factory order or anything. I looked at their website for documentation on this guarantee and couldnt find it. Could somebody clarify this for me? Am I totally off base that I should get $500 back?

    Has anyone else had problems communicating with their sales rep.. sometimes my calls aren't returned and it took 5 days from when I placed my order to even get my first phone call. Also they are making me travel 80 miles to another state to pick this thing up when I have 4 dealers within 20 miles of me. Do they really have that small of a network of dealers or did they shop around for the best deal themselves?

  • hmerglerhmergler Member Posts: 85

    When at their website, at like you are configuring a car. Once at the configuration screen, you'll see their delivery statement. It says "Order today and you can have your car by...". To me, that says that you have taken delivery of the car. I did notice though since they started to re-work their site, they do not have a link from that statement to the explanation of the $500 guarantee anymore.

    - The Merg
  • chlobochlobo Member Posts: 5
    At this point, having tried carsdirect as well as my own legwork I'd have to say that both propositions are iffy. I also was looking for a Protege ES. The reason you have to go to another state 80 miles away is that the car is SCARCE and the dealer probably isn't willing to trade with another dealer when he can easily sell it himself.

    My story is that after going through carsdirect who said they couldn't find the car, I then randomly got a call from a dealer I contacted through the internet. Cd arranged the deal through that dealer but I then decided that I couldn't live with the color (I was told there were *NO* more coming to New England so basically, love it or leave it so I left it).

    Well it actually seems like its more a matter of timing, at least with certain cars. A week later several cars rolled into New England to other dealers and I only found this out because I called every dealer in my area. However, I had done this same thing earlier in the month and no one had it or admitted they were getting any more. After having the dealer provide me with a VIN (he didn't have the car yet) to prove its existence I worked a deal out with him. It was 100 miles from where I lived but I really wanted the car. CD said they would work out the deal but in the end, they took too long to contact the dealer and I got nervous due to the scarcity of this car and worked a deal out myself.

    The lesson I think is that if the car you want is scarce, don't leave your fate up to CD. If you find the car, they will work a deal out for you. Personally I think they got taken to the bank on Protege ESs. Their price was too low to begin with and there never seem to be any cars *on the lot*, only in transit, meaning they usually get hosed out of an extra $500 on delivery. If you ask me, once the cars got scarce they should have voided the delivery guarantee on this car but they didn't.
  • erthquakeerthquake Member Posts: 12
    CarsDirect also "found" my car within the 7 day window, but they found it at the factory, so all we had was a VIN. They still gave me the $500. I ordered the car at the beginning of August, and it just arrived at the dealer today (well last Friday really). CD is trucking it up to me and I'll have it within 7 days.
  • jiimmmjiimmm Member Posts: 15
    Your right they did get taken to the bank on the es proteges. They had to cough up $2,000 when I got mine. They gave me the same line about none available, no more shipments, etc. When I found (2) of them in a 30 miles radius I wouldn't let them off the hook. E-mail's to the rep and sales department forced their hand. Bombers, my advise is to keep the car on order, but plead you case via e-mails. I told them that I had read very good things about them on the internet & was hoping I would be able to add to the good press. IN the end they were very honorable.
  • giovannigiovanni Member Posts: 1
    i just read all the posts on this discussion-carsdirect sounds pretty good so i decided to check out the website,no info on trade ins and as far as i saw, no one here mentioned anything about trading in their cars. i am trying to get as much info as i can beforehand if i do wind up trying carsdirect-anyone out there know how this works as far as if you have a trade in? any help is appreciated
  • qingchangqingchang Member Posts: 1
    What kind of mileage should I expect from the new car? Should I assume there will be almost zero miles on the car when I get the car from dealer? Does anyone buying online concern about the car condition before you decide to buy?
  • skytopherskytopher Member Posts: 10
    I ordered a 2000 Nissan Frontier from carsdirect on August 10. It was a new model and tough to find. My local dealer happened to receive the perfect Frontier on August 18, so I sent an email to my CD rep with the VIN and the dealer's name & phone number. From there it was pretty quick. I bought the truck the next day; the CD price was about $600 off MSRP, plus they gave me the $500 guarantee (9 days instead of 7) so they paid the dealer about $1100. I'm very happy with the truck.

    From reading these posts, the impression I have is that you can be most successful dealing with CD when you find the particular car yourself. That keeps them from having to find it for you, and I think that is where the hangups are occurring. In my case, I emailed the VIN to CD about 10am, and I was driving the truck home some 11 hours later.

  • dkfanndkfann Member Posts: 6
    See post #186 for the first part of the story. Here's how it worked out:

    The 2000 model I had a deposit on came in last week. CD quoted me a price which was way too high plus a higher financing rate than was on the 1999 model. I balked. She said she would see what she could do and came back the next day with a much lower price. I still balked at the financing rate. She said she would see what she could do. Monday she came back and said there was nothing they could do about the financing; the special rate was for 1999's only. I accepted the terms. Last night I went to pick up my new car and it was fine. Test drove it first, checked it over well, then signed. It turns out the price I got was the no-haggle dealership's normal price! In the end, CarsDirect did not get me any special price or deal of any kind, and even though it took 8 weeks to get the car, and it was not the car I originally wanted, they did not honor the $500 guarantee.

    So in the end I would only consider CarsDirect again if they had an exceptionally low price and it was a commonly available car. Otherwise they are just not worth the hassle.
  • lpcavslpcavs Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone have a carsdirect 1-800 or 1-888 phone number? Or, the direct number of a sales representative. Thanks.
  • erthquakeerthquake Member Posts: 12
    I finally got my silver ES 5-speed. The
    CarsDirect truck delivery guy, Steve, left early
    Thursday morning from Los Angeles and was at my
    parents' place in the Bay Area in 7.5 hours. He
    was actually 2 hours early, so he waited for 1.5
    hours before I finally got to my parents' place.
    My mom kept him company til I got there. Really
    nice guy. After we got the car off the truck and I
    signed everthing, my mom made us a big lunch and
    we just talked...UNTIL 7PM! I think he knows my
    family's life story. I felt like I was in a Saturn
    commercial. Of course, I have a much better car

    The car is in perfect condition as far as I could
    tell, except for the dirt it had aquired during the
    450+ mile drive up to me. It had only 5 miles on
    it. The dealer sent up the papers a couple of days
    ago. I ended getting a car with a different VIN
    than I was supposed to get. CarsDirect wasn't
    happy with that either, but it all worked out.

    The whole process was pretty smooth. It just took
    a while to get the car (I ordered on July 20), but
    that was due to Mazda shipping practices, and no
    fault of CD or the dealer. I recommend CD because
    of my pleasant experience. My CD rep, Lyn, was a
    great person--very friendly and upbeat.
  • erthquakeerthquake Member Posts: 12
    The guy who just delivered my car from CD told me that they're getting ready to move into a new building this month. This will probably result in some hassles. Bear with them, for me it was worth the deal that I got.
  • howie99howie99 Member Posts: 5
    I sent them an email about the honda accord and got no responses. I don't think that you can get a deal. As more and more people find out about car direct, the higher and higher their prices will go.

    Case in Point, a week ago you could order a 2000 maxima at invoice. Now you can't touch one for $1000 over invoice.

    Why not goto the fleet manager yourself and cut out I don't think that they get a kickback from the manufacturer?
  • cfeliciacfelicia Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how CD works with rebates? I just put in my order for a 1999 Mazda Protege LX 5-speed. The price they quoted me was $12,972, which is below invoice. I assume it is below invoice because they included the $1000 rebate Mazda is currently offering. The catch is that the rebate offer expires Monday. I haven't been able to get in touch with a real person at CD either by email or phone to find out if the price will stay the same if the rebate is no longer in effect. A local dealer has the car I want but won't budge on $13,600. Does anyone with experience with CD know if they have ever changed the price that is supposedly "locked in" once the $250 deposit is made? It seems to me that they should honor the price they quoted no matter what (especially since they don't mention the rebate when the price is quoted). Thanks.
  • bolliecabollieca Member Posts: 2
    I, too, just purchased a Protege LX through CD. The dealer gave me the $1000 rebate ON TOP OF the quoted CD price. I had originally thought the rebate was included in the 12,972 but the dealer deducted the rebate and I didn't question it!
  • charlesfcharlesf Member Posts: 28
    I bought a Chrysler 300m last week with 1.7 on the odometer.
  • BushwackBushwack Member Posts: 258
    Bought a new 300M w/ less then 2 miles on the odometer??? That's low! Must have already been in for service :)
  • crankkycrankky Member Posts: 45
    OK, I'm curious enough about Carsdirect to ask the question:

    How do they make money? I'm not naive enough to believe that is just giving money away.

    When you say that carsdirect is mailing the dealer a check, how's that work exactly? Are they supplying the difference between the dealers price and the online price quote? If so, I again ask, how do they make money? Why would carsdirect give anybody money on my behalf?

    Just curious.

  • erthquakeerthquake Member Posts: 12
    Three words...Initial Public Offering. They're going public later this month. They will make money from the stock offering since their sales volume is nearly doubling every month. The cash infusion will help to set up their dealer network. The streamlined dealer network will help to keep their prices within their goal of the top 10%.

    I just bought my new Mazda Protege ES from them, and my experience was very positive. If you're thinking of buying a car from them, do it soon, while they're still selling some cars at a loss.
  • crankkycrankky Member Posts: 45
    OK, I'm curious enough about Carsdirect to ask the

    How do they make money? I'm not naive enough to
    believe that is just giving money

    When you say that carsdirect is mailing the dealer
    a check, how's that work exactly? Are they
    supplying the difference between the dealers price
    and the online price quote? If so, I again ask,
    how do they make money? Why would carsdirect give
    anybody money on my behalf?

    Just curious.

  • ajuliusajulius Member Posts: 10
    The reason why they are willing to subsidize the cost is quite complex and has various reasons. Ill try to simplify as best I can. There are 2 main reasons. The first one has to do with the fact that they want to get a customer base. It is very hard for people to try something new for a very expensive item, and in order for these people to try Carsdirect or a competitor, they need to take a loss and then with word of mouth and recommendations by people, they will gain more customers in the future. The second part has to do with the fact that they are trying to make huge amounts of money on a percentage of the car sales. Imagine someone can make a percentage on only 1 million of the new cars sold each year. $400 a car total profit x 1 million cars = $400 million. So rather than car sales being corrupt and alot of money on a few cars, they will make even more money on many cars. But there is a problem in that dealers have access to all the cars, and CarOrder will not be allowed by the manufacturers to become a franchised internet dealer. So they need to gain access to the volume sales even if it requires a big loss so they will have more pull with the manufacturers and the dealers and so they can eventually get their own access to new cars whether it be by convincing dealers to work with them or by buying up dealers after they take many of the sales away from them.

    To sum it up, short term loss for big term gain. Its just that in this case, it involves them subsidizing deals to accomplish this goal.
  • anon222anon222 Member Posts: 1

    I picked up a '99 Alero today (it hasn't started
    falling apart yet!). The price was about $100
    over invoice minus a cars direct check for
    $1200 minus a factory to customer incentive. My questions are:

    Why is cars direct sending $1200 checks to
    dealers? The price before their check was more
    or less what I could get from my neighborhood
    dealer. Is cars direct picking up something
    from the holdback or carryover allowance that
    doesn't show up on the purchase order? The
    neighborhood dealer actually had the first color
    I had chosen on the carsdirect order form. If
    there wasn't something going on behind the scenes
    they could have sent my neighborhood dealer $1200
    and he would have given me the car. So,
    does anyone know what is really going on?
    Nobody gives away $1200--even Michael Dell,
    especially Michael Dell! Anyway, I will buy $1200
    worth of the IPO. Thanks, carsdirect....

    Please add your insights!
  • jiimmmjiimmm Member Posts: 15
    when I picked up my car at the dealer, I asked them if carsdirect were tough negotiators, they said not really, that they just asked them to fax them the invoice price. From what I figured carsdirect then paid the dealer about $900 over invoice. Bear in mind my protege es 5 spd is not an easy car to find. I think that carsdirect is still getting their feet wet and will be fine tuning their operation as time goes on.
  • davacydavacy Member Posts: 5
    Well, I took the plunge and placed an order for a Frontier CC with Carsdirect on Monday morning (9/6/99). I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes.
  • howie99howie99 Member Posts: 5
    Sorry folks. CarsDirect has discontinued there $500 off guarentee to deliver your car in a week. I just got a note from CarsDirect Rep that they will not honor the $500 promotion.

    I also noticed that 2000 prices for Accord are available but they are near list price.

    I guess they have come down to realty.
  • howie99howie99 Member Posts: 5
    I think that the free lunch is over at CarsDirect. I found out that they discontinued the $500 guarentee to find your car in a week. Plus the prices on 2000 models are near list price. So, so much for the free checks.
  • ajuliusajulius Member Posts: 10
    I got a 1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 over at for invoice. If they dont find the SR5 with my specs, they will give me a 2000 at my price instead which will be factory ordered. Not a bad deal considering at year end the best price is around $800 over invoice. Your right the invoice pricing deals are long gone. I was one of the last to get in due to CarOrder adding a new feature which keeps the price for 7 days for cars saved in the virtual garage.
  • acharyaacharya Member Posts: 1
    We have just ordered our Blue CR-V, LX Auto from Lauren, our advisor has informed us that we should be able to pick it up in a couple of weeks. We are paying 19,176 (+8% taxes +registration) here in WNY. None of the other dealers bothered to negotiate down from 20,165. I shall keep the board updated after I pick up my CR-V
  • davacydavacy Member Posts: 5
    (The Continuing Saga, see post 210)
    Hadn't heard from Carsdirect by 9/9/99 so I fired off an email. Later that evening a rep called and informed me they had found an exact match at a local dealer. My girlfriend and I canceled plans and rushed down to look over the truck. Alas, my exact match was my second color choice (no big deal), an EX instead of an SE (a huge deal), no utility package, and a power package that I didn't order. Needless to say, I have no truck.
  • davacydavacy Member Posts: 5
    Here's how I was told to purchase a vehicle through Carsdirect: After you check out the automobile you have to send your payment to Carsdirect, not the dealer. Carsdirect then sends the funds to the dealer. The dealer will not hold the car until they get payment from Carsdirect so there's a chance that someone else could slip in and buy your car.
  • howie99howie99 Member Posts: 5
    We'll, so much for their promise to call you after two days. I sent my order 4 days ago and have not heard back from CarsDirect.

    I think that they earlier post of good service and good deals may be legit but not the norm.
  • bolliecabollieca Member Posts: 2
    Just a suggestion but why don't you place an order through AND That way you have two brokers looking for the car at the same time. The "deposits" are not actually charged to your car, the prices (at least for my car) are comparable, and you can cancel your order at any time for any reason. Just a thought.
  • ajuliusajulius Member Posts: 10
    In regards to using both and, doesnt ask you for secondary color. They get you EXACTLY what you order. I ordered a Toyota 4Runner through and if they dont have the exact one in stock anywhere, I will get a 2000 model at the price I was given for the 1999. Its true that I got in at the invoice pricing deal, which Carsdirect didnt have at the time and is now expired for both services. But if both find you exactly what you want and you back out without good cause, you will be charged the security deposit for the one you back out of. Overall I think CarOrder is better in many ways because its more computerized and gives you exact amounts upfront with the exact options upfront. Carsdirect appears to be playing tricks such as not including destination in the current prices it gives, but lists it in small print and appears to be more dealer like. Ive been very pleased with CarOrder and the way the system is setup for exact pricing with taxes and fees. If I didnt get in at the invoice pricing and both had prices cheaper than my local dealer I would choose
  • ssonnetssonnet Member Posts: 27
    What's the deal now that the 7 day $500 guarantee is no longer in effect? Does this mean there is no longer any incentive for them to act expeditiously? What happens if they can not get the vehicle you ordered by the stated delivery time?
  • jj427jj427 Member Posts: 1
    Maybe I can give carsdirect a try, their quote on a 99 toyota corolla auto CE with Value PKG and speed control is about $13,200. Is this a reasonable price for a 99 car or I could get better deal at dealers(kansas city area)?
    A couple questions for anyone who has shopped at carsdirect:(1) their price does not include tax, registration, or "document or title fee". I know tax and registration should be standard. but what about so called "document fee or title fee"?It can be pretty stretchy, anywhere from $50 to $200 in my area. What and how much should I expect to pay dealer besides tax and registration? (2) What kind of mileage will be on my new car? less than 50, or near 100 as the test cars at dealers?

  • wenmingwenming Member Posts: 4

    Just drop a quick note. If you plan to buy a 2000
    Corolla, you will be better off to negotiate
    directly with a dealer instead of going through
    Carsdirect. Yesterday, one dealer gave me a quote
    on a 2000 Corolla CE (Auto,CC, VP) for $14000 which is almost invoice. The same car would be $500-600 higher from CD which I just checked a minute ago.

  • wenmingwenming Member Posts: 4

    Just drop a quick note. If you plan to buy a 2000
    Corolla, you will be better off to negotiate
    directly with a dealer instead of going through
    Carsdirect. Yesterday, one dealer gave me a quote
    on a 2000 Corolla CE (Auto,CC, VP) for $14000 which is almost invoice. The same car would be $500-600 higher from CD which I just checked a minute ago.

  • howie99howie99 Member Posts: 5
    I agree. I have placed an order for an Accord and have not heard back from them. It's been one week already.

    Corolla are massed produced and you should pick one up at the dealer at invoice.
  • erthquakeerthquake Member Posts: 12
    When I ordered my car from CD, the destination charge was included in the online price. Chances are the dealer didn't include the destination charge. Also, if you were quoted a price over the phone, don't believe it. Never believe a 'quote' a dealer gives you unless it's in writing. They'll say anything to get you to the lot.
  • quisquis Member Posts: 2
    I second that. I worked at a dealership and was surprised at how a "quoted" price (which dealers call low-balling) could change into a profitable deal. At least, with carsdirect you know what you are getting.
  • oasis47oasis47 Member Posts: 4
    Well everyone, my dealings with are just about coming to a close. I'm looking to take delivery of my 99 Integra GS/with auto sometime late this week. I must say that carsdirect hasn't been that bad. I'm getting this car for $800 below invoice. Things were slow to get going because the dealers who CD deals with were lying, along with every other dealer around here. Btw, to anyone who cares, dealer incentives are DIFFERENT from rebates and if there's special financing going on, you're supposed to get was the case with the recent specials on Integras but no dealer wanted to honor that. Anyways, after all this blabbering I have just one question: the car will be brought to my house because they had to ship it up from San Diego (I'm in the SF bay area)....what should I expect and what should I look for?
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    A dealer doesn't have to give you any part of his "dealer incentive." They are unadvertised incentives to the dealer to try to encourage pushing of a certain model that may be overstocked. So, if a dealer says they won't give you part of their dealer incentive you really don't have any ground to get angry. If they want to they can cut you in on it in order to make a sale but they have no legal or moral obligation to do so.
  • oasis47oasis47 Member Posts: 4
    I understand that...but what made me angry in recent dealings with dealers was the dealer would give me bs lines such as "Acura doesn't let me let you in on the 1k incentive AND the hands are have to pick one or the other and that's what Acura says...if it was in my power I'd do it for's all Acura's fault." THAT'S the stuff that makes me angry. If you don't wanna give me a cut on that incentive, then say so, but don't make up some ridiculous lie. That just insults peoples' intelligence.
  • erthquakeerthquake Member Posts: 12

    CD delivered my car to the peninsula (Redwood City) from Irvine. It came on a flatbed truck, and the driver, Steve, was a great guy. I was waiting for the car to come from the factory, so it only had 4 miles on it (Mazda Protege ES). If your car has been on a lot, it might have a few more. Your rep should give you a call to give you a time when the car should arrive. Mine was 2 hours early, but don't worry if you can't get home until the delivery time.

    The driver will have you sign the papers (if you already haven't) and will go over the paperwork with you. He/she will also give you a tour of the car to make sure you understand all of the controls, etc. The car will also have a few bugs splattered here and there from the trip up.

    Just make sure you go over the car with a fine-toothed comb before the rep leaves. Enjoy your new wheels!
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    Now that you have elaborated I can see what you meant by dealers trying to give you the snowjob.

    I just have heard people in other topics who got ticked off when a dealer wouldn't give them the dealers incentive and they acted like they were getting ripped off.
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    I have you ALL beat on the amount of time that I've been waiting on my car from CarsDirect! I've been in the queue since April 9th. Go back and check the first few messages in this thread. You'll see! Anyway, the time is rapidly approaching when my deal will finally be done. CD will be paying my dealer ~$4,000 for my deal. I got a one of a kind deal from them, back in the "Guaranteed Invoice" days. Anyway, if you are interested, read the start of the thread, and then check out my site for the info. (It's Massively Anal, I'll warn you!) 8^)

    <<A HREF="">;
  • expexp Member Posts: 2
    I read all the posts but I do not understand how the financing works. Can I go through CD and still get a financing through dealership (48 @ 2,9 %).
    Also, when does my order become a real order. Maybe when I put a deposit. They quoted me a 1055 under the invoice. Is it enough just to fill out the order or do I have to call somebody at CD to.
  • expexp Member Posts: 2
    No need to answer my question above. I called their customer service and got all the questions answered. Thanks anyway.
  • BushwackBushwack Member Posts: 258
    Helping my brother-in-law buy a 2000 Infiniti I30, we used CarsDirect as a guideline (one in many) for his purchase. His I30 (loaded except for communication systen & rear spoiler) came to $1,600 above dealer invoice. We took this price from Cardirect to a nearby dealer (here in Los Angeles). To make a long story short, he got the car for $500 over invoice - not bad considering it's a new model year AND the dealer is located in L.A.

    My advice is use ANY Internet offerings as a guideline towards a purchase. The best deals are made eye-to-eye.
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