Tarzana, California-based Authority Auto was started by former dealership general and sales manager Oren Weintraub in 2006. It is a car shopping service that helps buyers get the best deal possible on a new car, with the company’s insider knowledge of the business, paperwork, and negotiation process.

Authority Auto customers have the following option:

  • Full service: Let the company start the shopping process on your behalf, for a $200 retainer fee. This is basically a concierge service that does all of the shopping and legwork for you. The company even schedules test drives for you if you aren’t sure what model you want.

    When you find a model you want, Authority Auto will negotiate with the dealer in your behalf to get the best deal possible. While other car buying services or brokers take a cut from the dealership for the referral, Authority Auto does not. It is paid on a percentage of the savings you get in the car deal.

  • Free car deal review: If you don’t want to pay an up-front retainer, the car buying service is happy to check a dealer offer for you. If you take the lead in the buying and negotiation process, and then want the peace of mind of having someone check your offer to ensure you got a great deal, this is an awesome option. If Authority Auto can’t get a better deal that will at least cover the cost of its services, you don’t pay the company anything.
  • Learn to do it yourself: Authority Auto also offers online access to tools and videos to help you learn the ins and outs of car buying. There are a couple of free options, but with a paid subscription, you can gain access to much more content.

Keep reading our Authority Auto review for pros and cons of this car finder service. 

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The Good

  • Car Buying Concierge-Type Service
  • Fee and Service Options
  • Business Model

Car Buying Concierge-Type Service

If you already know what make, model, color, and features you want, you don’t have to even step one foot onto the dealership. Just fill out an online request form to get your car search started and the company will contact you for a free consultation.

The service will shop, schedule a test drive, and then negotiate both your trade-in and new purchase for you. With daily communication, this can save you time and stress.

Fee and Service Options

Authority Auto wants to save consumers money on their car purchase. You have a couple of options which vary in pricing and services.

  • Full service: You can pay a $200 retainer for the company to start car shopping for you, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of shopping and negotiating on your own. If you live in Southern California, the service will even pick up your trade-in and have your new car delivered to either your home or work. This car buying service will ultimately cost a percentage of your savings while giving you a hassle-free way to purchase or lease a car.
  • Free car deal review: You can shop, drive, and negotiate yourself and then ask Authority Auto to check your deal to see if it is the best price possible. If the company can’t save you any more money, it is a free second opinion. If its team of negotiators can get you a better deal, Authority Auto will split the difference with you as its fee.
  • DIY: Authority Auto also offers users the opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade for themselves at mycarbuyingsecrets.com. You can learn how to get a good deal and how to negotiate for yourself in the future with access to this subscription service. There are three different access levels:
    • Starter: Free. You can access three information videos, unlimited time.
    • Subscriber: $19 for 30 days. You can access 16 informational videos, the DealTracker, a web app that includes negotiating techniques, scripts, and additional videos for a $25 upgrade.
    • Premium Subscriber: $39 for 90 days. This includes access to DealTracker, plus 28 videos, which include lessons on making a sales call about buying a car, negotiation tactics, and what to do during a test drive.

Business Model

To avoid any conflict of interest, commissions from car dealers are never accepted. A negotiation staff with over eighty years of combined experience working at car dealerships carry out the whole purchase process, including all of the haggling for you. Authority Auto is paid a percentage of the money you save as the buyer, up to $2,000.

The Bad

  • New Cars Only

New Cars Only

While we would all like to have such an advocate when shopping for a car, Authority Auto only services clients looking for a brand new car. With its “no commissions from dealers” pricing model, there isn’t as much of a profit in it for used or even certified pre-owned cars.

The Bottom Line

For car shoppers looking to buy a new car at the best price possible, Authority Auto is a good service to try. Its business model favors customers by avoiding commissions from dealers to avoid any conflict of interest.

Customers have the option of taking an online learning course about car shopping and negotiation, retaining Authority’s services to shop for them, or asking the buying service to check over a deal that they have already negotiated with a dealership.

Authority Auto can save you money not just on the MSRP, but on additional things that can get overlooked even when you get an awesome price quote from Costco, AAA, or an associated credit union. These things include trade-in value, lease/buy rate, best financing terms, and backend products from car dealers. This auto buying service uses professional negotiators to make sure you get the lowest price on everything associated with the purchase.

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