How do CarGurus' dealer reviews work?

CarGurus strongly believes in transparency in car shopping. We're confident any transaction between a car shopper and a dealer will be easier and pleasanter if that shopper and dealer communicate openly and honestly with each other before and after the transaction.

We let car shoppers publicly review dealers they've worked with while they're shopping for a car, and we allow dealers to respond to those reviews directly. In order to ensure high-quality reviews, we invite only those shoppers who have recently interacted with a dealer to review that dealer.


Any car shopper who contacts a dealer about a listing via the CarGurus site will get up to two emails inviting them to review the dealer, starting about a week after that first contact. These invites will allow the shopper to rate the dealer overall with a star rating of 1 to 5 and to document his or her experience with that dealer.

If you plan to post a review, here are some things you should know:

  • We want as many specifics as possible in reviews – saying a dealer is "Good" won't give other shoppers a very clear idea of how you felt about working with them.

  • We don't allow accusations of criminal conduct. If you think a dealer did something truly awful or illegal, please simply state the facts.

  • We don't allow profanity or any language that may be considered offensive in reviews.

  • We don't allow personal attacks.

  • We don't allow the use of last names in reviews.

Each dealer review CarGurus receives gets screened, and if we receive a review we can't publish for some reason, we invite the submitter to edit and re-submit it.


Dealers who have an account with CarGurus will receive a notification shortly after a shopper submits a dealer review. That notification will include an invitation to respond to the review directly or challenge it as fraudulent. The tools to respond to reviews are available to any car dealer with stock on the site, regardless of whether it has a business relationship with CarGurus. Things to bear in mind:

  • We will NOT remove negative reviews simply because a dealer advertises with CarGurus.

  • Dealers must submit evidence to support any claim that a review is fraudulent.

  • A dealer's response will be published just below the review itself – make sure it is fit for public consumption and not aimed at the reviewer alone.

  • CarGurus strongly discourages dealers from asking customers to write reviews while still at the dealer’s or providing any financial incentive to a consumer for leaving a review.

  • Though they are still available to users, we do not include reviews older than 2 years when calculating a dealer's overall rating.

Ensuring review integrity

CarGurus takes the integrity of our reviews very seriously and has a zero tolerance policy for fraudulent review submissions. We have a variety of systems in place to monitor for and prevent fraud.

Individuals who are determined to have submitted fraudulent reviews may have their ability to submit future reviews revoked. Dealers determined to have directly or indirectly participated in the submission of fraudulent reviews will be subject to warnings and, if repeated attempts at review fraud are detected, potential negative impact to their reputation on our site.

Dealership change of ownership reviews policy

It is our mission to provide the most accurate and trusted dealer reviews to our users. As such, in the event of a dealership change of ownership please follow the policy below to ensure a timely and transparent handling of reviews.

  • The new owner must provide CarGurus with a valid, executed purchase and sales agreement clearly indicating the prior ownership, the new ownership, and the date upon which the change occurred.

  • Dealer licences, lease agreements, state records or other documentation will not be accepted as evidence of an ownership change. The purchase and sale agreement may be redacted but the old/new owner data and date of ownership change must be present.

  • Reviews written prior to the provided notice of ownership change will display with a clear indication that the reviews were submitted under previous ownership.

  • Reviews submitted following the provided notice of ownership change will age out to zero impact on deal rating within a 6-month time frame from the date that valid notice was provided and accepted, with the greatest impact reduction occurring within 60 days

  • After 6 months, prior ownership reviews will no longer factor in to the aggregate star rating. Additionally, after 6 months, prior ownership reviews will be moved to the ‘Old reviews’ section in the VDP reviews widget and will continue to be clearly marked as reviews from the prior ownership, including any management responses.

  • New reviews have a greater weight, which will further help to accelerate mitigation of old reviews.