TrueCar Shifts Into Gear, Lets You Check If Your Neighbors Got That Mercedes At A Better Price

TrueCar, an information service launched at TechCrunch50 that aims to give potential new car buyers an idea of what the price tag of the vehicle they’re considering purchasing should really be reading, is officially launching its free consumer-focused website today by taking the beta label off.

In essence, the service allows car buyers to check if the price for their next car is on par with the price others have paid for the same vehicle in the past, hopefully bringing some transparency to the automotive retail industry.

So how does it work? When a new car buyer visits the TrueCar website, they are asked to enter their zip code and all vehicle details down to the specific options. TrueCar then generates a complete Price Report with nifty graphs, displaying the full distribution of prices paid by other people for the exact same vehicle in a given market area. In addition, the web service calculates the actual dealer cost structure of a particular vehicle.

TrueCar claims it holds data for more than 25% of all new vehicles sold throughout the United States, which is quite impressive and a high enough percentage for comparisons to be made, although we noted in our coverage from the TC50 event that the company was going to try and hold off from launching publicly when they actually reached 50%.

And where exactly does all that data come from anyway? The company says it currently processes thousands of transactions on a daily basis, from a variety of sources across the U.S., ranging from financial institutions to vehicle registration organizations that collect and store new car transactional data, to generate its Price Reports. Using this data, TrueCar is able to tell you if you’re getting a good, a great or an over-priced deal on a new car based on actual sales data and not estimates.

For the occasion, TrueCar is taking the wraps of its blog, called The Truth, where it aims to regularly report car pricing facts and trends backed by real market data. In their latest blog post, TrueCar gives some insight in the top 10 deals on new cars at this moment:

I’d say considering a Ford is probably a good start to getting a good deal.

On a sidenote: TrueCar isn’t founder and CEO Scott Painter‘s only venture: the man is also co-founder of both Pricelock and BrightHouse, and also acts as founder and CEO of Zag, which recently raised $32.4 million in venture capital. One wonders where he finds time for all this.

You can see the video of his presentation of TrueCar at TC50 right here.