Fair.com Review: I Got a Car, I Think, Maybe…

If you are trying to gauge the direction of the retail automotive market Fair.com is worth watching. They’re a lot like Maven, Canvas, and Book except the cars are used, and you work directly with the dealership, not the manufacturer.

We opted to use Fair.com because my daughter wanted a convertible and I want her to want to come home for the summer. I also wanted her to be safe and in a relatively new vehicle. I found a fun car on May 9th and put in a request. All of my emails (which in reality are just chats initiated in the app) went unanswered.

Phones are spotty with Fair as well. They say office hours are 9-6, a second voicemail says 10-7, but the reality is that the phones were answered less than half the times I’d called midday. When I did get a person on the phone on May 19th they were like, “Ummm.. yeah, that car isn’t available.”

You’ll recall from my previous post that I’d been trying to get a car from Fair.com for a full ten days at that point.

I found another car, a 2015 VW Beetle convertible. It had 15,000 miles on it and was $800 down and $420 a month, you can turn it in with 5 days notice and the term is as long or short as you please. Additionally one of their employees had been sharing a coupon code all over the web. Recently I got my own so now you can use JG100 to save $100 on the drive off for a Fair.com vehicle. 

It was simple. I signed docs online and then tried to confirm with Fair via the app (it’s email – but whatever) that I wanted to get the car that day. No one responded. I called. No one answered. I sent an SOS type chat through the app and got a phone call saying I could get the car the following day at 4.

There was no indication of who to speak to upon pickup. Communication from Fair.com is abysmal.

I risked it and had my son drive me to Thousand Oaks. He’s a damn hero for making that trek. As I wandered onto the lot, I was directed to the sales manager who had the car clean and waiting for me. He was very nice, it was one signature, he showed me the car, and I was done.

Sort of. The car’s been in an accident. The bumper has fresh paint on it, and it’s out of alignment. No, it doesn’t show on carfax. That doesn’t mean that work hasn’t been done. I’m not even concerned that it’s unsafe, I simply don’t want to get dinged for it when I return the car in August or September.

Of course, there’s been no response from Fair.com. No acknowledgment whatsoever that I sent emails and photos indicating prior damage.

But after speaking with the sales manager I understand why.

Fair.com buys the car from the dealer and leases it to me. When the term is complete the car will roll right out to auction. Fair.com isn’t in the car business. Fair.com is in the banking business. Which is fine, it just explains why they aren’t very good at cars. They’re good at meeting my fiscal needs, so that’s what made me their customer.

There’s a very limited warranty, but I’m not overly concerned as it’s a newer and low mileage vehicle.

I’d also like to add that one of Fair.com’s founders is also the founder of TrueCar.com. I’m going to assume that all pricing is… well…. neither True nor Fair. Again, it worked for me, but I’m waiting to see who comes out of the gates to challenge them because the experience thus far is lackluster at best.

Fair.com emails are a mess

Ten days after my inquiry I received a response from fair. Of course it was for the first car, not the one I’d gotten from them three days prior. It’s a mess over there.

Now learn what it’s like to return a Fair.com lease. 

Comments 30

  1. I agree with you. There’s really no one to talk to if you need any type of help with your lease or any information – they are not in the “car” business – I wish I had know that. Their computer systems are always down and if the phones get too busy, then the calls roll over to India!! And speaking to a Manager is impossible because I don’t think they have any. I mainly end up speaking to people at a call center in Florida who proceed to read my account information back to me but offer no real solutions. It’s been THE worst experience in my life! And, it’s not over yet… sorry to say.. I would not recommend them to anyone!!

  2. Working on my families 3rd fair car other than having to go to timbuktu to get it the experience has been good payments are reasonable down affordable I admit I haven’t had to call for much of anything but on the one occasion got a person with not much effort….for the first car had a no down voucher paid tax and liscense for the second car paid 800 down had a 200 dollar off coupon so I feel it’s worked great for us

    1. Saturday night at what time. I though they stop at 6pm. If it was after 6pm please tell me how. In fact does any one know a good way to maximize your chances of getting a hold of someone.

      1. Yes, you can call directly in the app and it will tell you how long the hold time is prior to calling. I’ve called twice now with no issues. I’m not sure what this lady in the article is referring to; then again, maybe that’s a new implementation for 2019?

  3. I thought I ordered a car. Waited over 48 hours after the initial confirmation email and finally contacted them via their chat app. Dealer canceled the car because a seller off the street wanted it. No one from Fair had even bothered to contact me telling me. In the end they were like, “yeah, select another car and hopefully it all works out”. I’m Not sure this is even a legitimate business.

  4. I know the Car Biz.
    GOOD Customer Service is VERY IMPORTANT
    I look at Fair and see that it can be easy to get
    Used Car. Questionable history hi miles high pmt.

  5. I’m so glad I read the these reviews before leasing an Uber vehicle from Fair. Thank you for taking time to post this experience and helping unsuspecting buyers dodge this bullet. I’ll go to Hertz for my Uber vehicle lease because there is human-being, live customer service if assistance is needed.

  6. It is a good concept that dealerships who need to get rid of old used cars jumped on for more options to move questionable trade-in vehicles. I sold cars for 17 years, this is an option for 10% of the general population of consumers who want to lease for a specific amount of time. To hear 16 good stories and 64 horror stories and think this is a good idea, when it goes bad for you just simply look in the mirror and not the financial company for your complaints. All the signs are there, if you chose to ignore them you will be a victim as well. $1000 down and $420 a month for the summer? There is NO value in that!

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  7. I had some issues with finding a car that was still available (their inventory goes fast!). However, once I got one that was available, it was the best car checkout and pickup experience I’ve ever had. I completed all signatures at home within the fair app, and spent only a few minutes at the dealership for them to hand me my keys.

    If anyone is interested, here’s a promo code for $100 off the start fee:

    W5RLDP3R

  8. Thanks for all the reviews, it really helps, but just curious, has anyone actually returned a car with fair.com? I wonder if there are fees and stuff that comes when you return the car no matter what condition it is in… Thanks!

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  9. Chatted with FAIR chat today and several days ago. All I get is scripted answers to my questions. I had 4 very specific questions. Took quite a while to get any response then all they did was sent me scripted info that was on the app already. I explained the good customer service is a deal-breaker for me and that I needed my specific questions answered. I was on chat 45+ minutes and not 1 of my 4 questions was answered so I told them nevermind and uninstalled the app. If they cannot answer questions now then I cant count on them when I get a car either. They are not worth the headache and I havnt read any good reviews about them other than the ones thats THEY post on themselves.

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      1. How do they compute extra miles? If I drove 12,000 miles in three months. Would buying the extra miles work?

  10. Here is $100 off promo code for your start payment 4VTE7F2B. I used it and it’s working successfully. I have good experience with fair and now days they quickly provide the car at the low monthly rate. Must Try Deal for everyone.

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      I was over on miles and it was no big deal, I just paid for them, a few extra dollars as it wasn’t many miles. You have to have cars insured and if you don’t have insurance currently it would be an easy way to have a minimal policy. I don’t think those are the limits I’d want as a homeowner but if I was 20 something with few assets maybe.

  11. ES I got a car though fair everything was fine until they deleted my fair appt on my phone . Now they keep asking me if I want a car I already have a car though fair . They was taking the money out of my bank account for January and February and March April they don’t now I am a payment late . So be careful dealing with fair they don’t take May payment out of my account . I been in contact with them though chat on their Fair appt . My car for personal use not share a ride program they have me set up for two accounts

  12. Here’s my personal experience with using FAIR.
    The good news first. This is actually quite a good idea. The way it works is cars are often sitting on dealer lots doing nothing, and certainly not making money for anyone. This is especially true for middle aged cars that are hard to move. What FAIR does is match a client interested in a car with a dealer that has what they’re looking for. The prices are quite reasonable, and the best part is that you end the lease whenever you want. This is perfect when you’re between cars, or if you just want to test out a new model. You pay an upfront fee (mine was $1,000) for a Mercedes C300 with 60,000 miles on it, and a monthly fee that is way below the usual lease price. Thus, the longer you keep the car, the lower the monthly cost. My car drove beautifully and I learned that I really like the Mercedes class of cars. Also, the end of the car lease is simple — just give them a call and the car is picked up within 5 days; in my case the car was picked up with no issues at all just two days later. End of story, or so I thought.
    The bad news. In retrospect, I did not like the car dealer I had to deal with at all. They stripped the car clean before handing it over (they even removed the spare tire) along with anything associated with navigation. Not nice — my guess is they’re trying to make a few bucks by doing so. If you use FAIR, be sure to check the car thoroughly that you’re getting the exact same car you bargained for. The real bad news is that this company is very poorly run; it’s nearly impossible to get a human on the phone; their electronic transfer system is completely circular so you’ll end up where you started without getting to whom you want to speak with; and even when you get a human on the line, they’re almost entirely incapable of handling any problem at all. They pass you along to someone else who is equally incompetent. If you have a billing problem, you can forget about ever being satisfied. I’m now two months past my lease end, and they’re still trying to charge me for the car, so I had to contact my credit card company to have FAIR blocked. No one at FAIR is able to figure this out.
    Bottom line? This is a great idea, and I look forward to some competition coming in and putting this idea to good use. This company is largely incompetent and poorly run, but the concept is superb. It will eventually fly as successful once someone steps in and solves these issues.

    1. I have new information. Just today the 26th of August I received a letter from Fair indicating that I’m required to keep up my insurance on the car per our agreement. However, since I turned in the car about two months ago, it’s astonishing that Fair would want me to keep up the insurance on the car. I finally got through to a person in their “concierge” division, and she had no record that I even leased a car through Fair. She connected me to someone else who confirmed that I should not receive such a letter or request from Fair, but she herself was incapable of handling this issue, so she passed me off to someone else.
      BUYER BEWARE — this company is totally incompetent!!!!!!!!!

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