This website, including the mobile and online applications, (the "Site") is operated by Cars.com, LLC ("Cars.com"). This Privacy Statement (the "Statement") describes Cars.com's collection, use and disclosure of information practices in connection with the Site. This Statement applies to the website located at www.auto.com, as well as to any versions of the Site that Cars.com operates, including without limitation any mobile or similar versions. Please be aware that Cars.com may share information you submit through this Site with affiliates, as described below.
For purposes of clarification, this Statement also describes Cars.com's collection, use, and disclosure practices with respect to any personally identifiable information and Usage Data (as defined below) that is provided to Cars.com by any of its third-party distribution partners that display Cars.com vehicle listings.
Collection of personally identifiable information
You are not required to provide any personally identifiable information to visit the Site. Cars.com automatically collects Usage Data (as described below) and may collect ZIP codes and other information in connection with your use of the Site (e.g., the type of car you are looking for). Cars.com collects personally identifiable information only when you make it available through your use of the Site. You may be required to provide personally identifiable information to use certain services on this Site, including, but not limited to, the "Email the Dealer/Seller" feature and to purchase and create a "Sell It Yourself" online classified listing ("SIY Ad") and account ("SIY Account"). In addition, you may submit personally identifiable information through the Site in other ways, including: (a) participating in online surveys, promotions, contests and sweepstakes; (b) subscribing to newsletters, editorial content, or promotional content sent via email, (c) using the Site's "Feedback" and "More Information" forms; and (d) in connection with other products, services, features, or requests made available through the Site. We also publish toll-free phone numbers for many of the dealerships that list vehicles for sale on the Site. If you dial one of these phone numbers, Cars.com or a service provider operating on Cars.com's behalf may record the date, time and length of your call and the phone number from which the call originated, along with other information that may be captured. Any Usage Data (as defined in the next section) and/or personally identifiable information resulting from such calls may be used as described in this Statement. The types of personally identifiable information that you provide will depend on the nature of the submission, but could include your name, address, phone number, email address and credit card information.
Passive Information Collection
The Site automatically collects information and may also customize your visit through technical means, including the following:
Cookies: Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer's hard drive by computers (or servers) to identify your computer.
Web Beacons: Web beacons (also known as pixel tags, internet tags, clear GIFs, or single-pixel GIFs) are electronic images embedded into a webpage.
IP Address Logs: Cars.com also logs Internet Protocol (IP) addresses - the location of your computer on the internet – and may log device ID and information about your browser or operating system.
Cookies allow Cars.com to recognize you when you visit the Site, to personalize your experience and generally to serve you better. For example, if you enter your name, address or ZIP code on one of the Site's forms, it may be stored in a cookie so you do not have to enter it again on other forms on the Site. Cookies and web beacons can tell us what advertising you have seen on the Site, which allows Cars.com to offer you a more diverse selection of advertising information and may also be used together to measure the effectiveness of Cars.com advertising campaigns. Cookies, web beacons and IP addresses are also used to compile data regarding Site usage (e.g., what website you came from, what pages of the Site you visit, how long you were on the Site, what type of browser you are using, what website you went to). Web beacons may also be included in emails sent by Cars.com to determine when and if such emails are opened or forwarded. You can disable cookies or otherwise manage them through tools provided with your browser software and with third-party software packages. If you turn off cookies, many of the Site's features will not work as well or at all. Anonymous information regarding use of our Site and services that is collected and/or aggregated by or on behalf of Cars.com through the use of such technical means or otherwise is referred to in this Statement as "Usage data."
Personally Identifiable Information. Personally identifiable information collected by Cars.com through your use of the Site may be stored on servers or in a cookie on your computer and may be used by Cars.com for any of the following purposes:
- To confirm or fulfill a request that you make (e.g., in order to send you a price quote or other information you have requested, Cars.com may share your contact information and content interests with a participating Cars.com dealer and/or manufacturer).
- To follow up on any request that you have previously made (e.g., Cars.com may contact you to determine whether the dealer and/or manufacturer responded to your original request).
- To communicate with you regarding the Cars.com service (e.g., Cars.com may send you emails or call you to confirm a price quote request or to notify you that you have received a lead regarding a vehicle you have advertised or to request that you participate in a survey).
- To send promotional materials, newsletters or other content via email or otherwise. If you no longer wish to receive a particular email newsletter or other promotion from Cars.com, you must follow the opt-out instructions included in such email newsletters and promotions.
- To permit third parties (to whom Cars.com may disclose personally identifiable information specifically for direct marketing purposes) to send you promotional or informational messages, but only if you have first affirmatively agreed to receive such messages.
- To improve your user experience.
- To manage Cars.com's business and its relationships with Affiliates, customers, and other third parties to which Cars.com may disclose personally identifiable information pursuant to this Statement.
- For Site administration, analysis, research, development, optimization and other internal purposes, including, without limitation, to compile Usage Data.
Usage Data: Usage Data is used by Cars.com for administrative, analytical, research, optimization and other purposes. For example, Cars.com may use statistical analyses of Usage Data in order to measure interest in the various areas of the Site, for development purposes and to inform advertisers and partners in aggregate and anonymous terms about consumers who click on their advertising or other messages. IP addresses are also used for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes.
With respect to promotional materials and newsletters that Cars.com may send from time to time, Cars.com will not continue to send you such communications if you ask us not to, as described below in the Section entitled "Accessing, Changing or Deactivating Information Collected by Cars.com." However, you agree that Cars.com may send to you, and you cannot opt out of, communications of a transactional or relationship nature, including, but not limited to, communications regarding fraudulent or illegal activity, the status of your SIY Account, changes to this Statement or the Cars.com Terms of Service, as well as communications to confirm, fulfill and follow up on your SIY Account registration or a request submitted through the Site.
Mobile-specific information we may collect
Cars.com collects mobile information such as your device and hardware IDs and device type, the request type, your carrier, your carrier user ID, and the content of your request, which does not by itself identify you, though it may be unique or consist of or contain information that you may consider personal. Cars.com may collect geo-location information (this may include when you use location-based products and services on the Site, and/or turn on location-based services on your mobile device). This information may reveal your actual location, such as GPS data, or it may not, such as when you submit a partial address to look at a map of the area. All requests may be sent through your mobile carrier's network and your carrier may have access to it. For information regarding your carrier's treatment of your information, please consult your carrier's privacy policies.
Cars.com may share personally identifiable information that you provide with third parties in the following cases:
- Affiliates. Cars.com may share your personally identifiable information with Affiliates on the condition that the Affiliates' disclosure and use of the information is consistent with this Statement.
- Requests. If you request information or services through the Site, you agree that Cars.com may share personally identifiable information with third parties as may be necessary to provide such information to or perform such services for you. For example, if you use the Site's "Email the Dealer" form in a vehicle listing to request a price quote from a dealership, Cars.com will share the information you entered with that dealership (or its designee). If that vehicle listing was provided by an automobile manufacturer on behalf of a dealer, Cars.com may also share the personally identifiable information you submit as part of the request with the automobile manufacturer and/or its affiliates. Similarly, if through the Site you request additional information from a financial institution, Cars.com will share your information with that institution. Personally identifiable information also may be included in reports to these third parties, but only when you have intended to submit the information to the third party as described above. After the information is provided to such third parties, the subsequent use or disclosure of such information is subject to those third parties' privacy policies and practices and Cars.com does not control their subsequent use or disclosure of information.
- Sweepstakes/Promotions. In the event that you participate in a sweepstakes, contest or other promotion on the Site that is sponsored by Cars.com and a third party, Cars.com reserves the right to share personally identifiable information collected in conjunction with the sweepstakes, contest or promotion with the third party. After the information is provided to such third parties, the subsequent use or disclosure of such information is subject to those third parties' privacy policies and practices.
- Direct Marketing. Except as provided herein, it is Cars.com's general practice not to disclose personally identifiable information of our customers to third parties specifically for the third parties' direct marketing purposes. If you are 18 years of age or older and have affirmatively agreed to receive third-party direct marketing materials, Cars.com may share personally identifiable information with third parties for direct marketing purposes. Although Cars.com will notify all third-party direct marketers that the information provided to them is confidential, the subsequent use or disclosure of such information is subject to those third parties' privacy policies and practices.
- Service Providers. Cars.com may work with third parties that provide services on its behalf, including, among others, providers of analytical, attribution, development, promotional, research, credit card processing, technical and other services. For example, Cars.com may ask that a third party conduct an online survey or sweepstakes or send newsletters on its behalf. Similarly, if you make a payment to Cars.com by credit card, Cars.com may share your personally identifiable information and credit card information with a third party in order to process credit card transactions, or such information may be collected directly by the credit card processing service provider on Cars.com's behalf. In such cases, Cars.com asks that the third party maintain your personally identifiable information as confidential and use the information only to perform the services specified by Cars.com.
- Email List Opt-Outs. In the event Cars.com sends promotional emails to you on behalf of third-party advertisers and you inform Cars.com you wish to opt out of future promotional emails from a particular third party, Cars.com may share your email address with that third party so the third party may add you to its opt-out lists.
- Other. Cars.com expressly reserves the right to release any personally identifiable information or other information you provide to third parties under the following circumstances: (a) when required by law or legal process, (b) to investigate and/or take action against illegal activity, suspected abuse or unauthorized use of the Site, (c) to protect the property or safety of our users or others, (d) to enforce our Terms of Service and (e) in connection with any sale or other transfer of ownership of all or a part of Cars.com. Further, if you make any personally identifiable information publicly available on the Site, Cars.com reserves the right to disclose such information to third parties, including, without limitation, insurance companies and Cars.com's affiliates and third-party distribution partners.
Please note that the messages that Cars.com sends to you to confirm, fulfill or follow up on a request may incidentally include promotional material or other content from Cars.com or its partners. In the case of these messages, Cars.com is not sharing your personally identifiable information with those third parties. Cars.com reserves the right to share aggregated non-personal data elements of Usage Data such as clicks, web impressions, etc. with any third party for any reason.
When purchasing an SIY Ad, it is important to note that any information you choose to include in an SIY Ad may be made publicly available via the Site and other media in which Cars.com vehicle listings are published, including third-party Web sites and print publications. You are required to include at least your phone number and, optionally, an email address to allow users to contact you regarding your SIY Ad. As such, you may receive unsolicited phone calls and emails from third parties. Except for required information, you should not include any contact or other information in an SIY Ad that you do not want other parties to see or use. If you wish to access, verify the accuracy of, or change the personally identifiable information in your SIY Ad account, or to remove your SIY ads, you can use the interface available at http://siy.cars.com/siy/editSignIn.jsp.
Review Platforms and Message Boards
Cars.com also may offer review posting platforms, message boards, bulletin boards, chat rooms, comments areas or other forums ("Forums") on the Site for use by visitors who are 18 years of age or older. Any information you disclose when posting a message in these Forums may become public. You should not include any information in your posting that you do not want other parties to see or use. Moreover, if you post any messages in the Forums that include your email address or phone number you may receive unsolicited emails or calls from third parties.
Email a Page
The Site offers you the ability to email certain pages of the Site to a friend or other third party. If you choose to use the "Email a Page" functionality, your name, email address and any message you are allowed to include will be visible to the recipient of the email. The "Email a Page" functionality is for informational purposes only and may not be used for any unlawful purpose, including any harassment or threats. Information collected by Cars.com through the "Email a Page" functionality shall be used in accordance with this Statement.
Changes to this Statement
We reserve the right to update and periodically amend this Statement at our discretion and at any time. If we make changes to this Statement, amendments will be posted online and the date of update will be included. Your continued use of Cars.com and its affiliated sites after any such update indicates your agreement to the same.
Your personally identifiable information is one of our most valuable assets. We take steps to keep it physically secure in our data centers and it is accessible only to authorized personnel as needed to perform operations governed by this policy. In addition, when Cars.com collects credit card information from you, Cars.com uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, the industry standard for protecting privacy in web transactions. Please keep in mind that despite these measures, Cars.com cannot guarantee or warrant 100 percent security of its servers and databases. Moreover, Cars.com cannot guarantee that personally identifiable information that you submit through the Site will not be intercepted or otherwise disclosed.
Cars.com believes that it is especially important to protect children's privacy online. Cars.com does not knowingly collect or use any personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13 and Cars.com does not knowingly provide any personally identifiable information, regardless of its source, to any third party for any purpose whatsoever from visitors younger than 13 years old. No information should be submitted to or posted at Cars.com by visitors younger than 13 years old.
Notice to California Residents – Your California Privacy Rights
If you are a California or Nevada resident, state law may provide you with additional rights regarding our use of your personal information. To learn more about your California or Nevada privacy rights, please visit Auto.com California & Nevada Privacy Statement.
Notice to European Residents
This Site is intended for use solely in the United States by U.S. residents. Cars.com makes no claims that the Site is appropriate for use outside of the United States. Cars.com does not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from residents of the European Union. If you believe that we may have any information from or about an EU resident, please email us at email@example.com or use our online feedback form. No information should be submitted to or posted at Cars.com by any EU resident.
Collection of Information by Third Parties
Third-party service providers may also collect information from your devices and may combine personal and non-personal information about you with information from other sources including your visits to this and other websites, mobile websites and/or mobile applications across your various devices. These activities may enable them to identify you in order to provide content and advertisements about goods and services of interest to you across those various devices.
If you would like to obtain more information about the practices of some of these parties, or if you would like to make choices about their use of your information, please click here:
More information and additional consumer choice options may be found at this link:
Information and opportunities to opt out of information use and recognition services of our partners Adobe and LiveRamp may be found at these links:
Information and additional consumer choice options regarding mobile device tracking may be found at these links:
IDFA limit ad tracking:
AAID reset and opt-out:
Cars.com adheres to the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. For more information please visit http://www.aboutads.info.
Finally, additional information regarding our use of your personal information, as well as options for deleting and opting out of information use, may be found at Auto.com California & Nevada Privacy Notice.
If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Statement, the ways in which we collect and use your personal information, your choices and rights regarding such use, or wish to exercise your rights under California, Nevada or other state law, please do not hesitate to contact us at:
Finally, you may also mail us at:
Attn: Auto.com Privacy at Customer Care
300 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60606
©2020 Cars.com, LLC, 300 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1000, Chicago, IL 60606
Last Updated — January 18, 2022