Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Watch Out!: Common Tricks Used by Car Dealers

In the market for a new car?  Make sure you know five (5) tricks commonly used by car dealers to scam you out of your hard earned money. 

Trick #1: Lies, Lies and More Lies 
Wonder what the value of your trade-in is?  What the market price for the vehicle you are considering is?  What the availability for the particular vehicle you are looking at is at other dealerships?  What the history or condition of the vehicle you are looking at is?  Don't trust the dealer to tell you the truth because, chances are, they won't.  
Rule #1: Do your research before you walk in the door.  Know the average trade-in value, what average sales prices, the CarFax Vehicle History, and the availability of the vehicle by researching these issues online.  In car sales, consumer knowledge is power.   

Trick #2: Focusing on Monthly Payments
Most consumers focus on the monthly payment for the simple reason that they want to make sure that they can afford the purchase.  However, car dealers will often use this focus to trick consumers into paying more for the vehicle in the long run.  For example, the dealer may tell you that they can get you financed at a lower monthly payment, but not tell you that the term of the loan will be longer and/or the interest rate will be higher and or the purchase price will be higher.  This allows the dealer to raise the purchase price and interest rate, or include additional add-ons, without you even knowing it.
Rule #2: Always negotiate based upon the purchase price of the vehicle. 

Trick #3: Low-Balling Trade In

Rest assured that if you are trading in a vehicle, the dealer's first offer will be a low-ball offer.  The dealer wants to know just how low you will go and how badly you want that new (or new to you) vehicle.  Then, the dealer will likely turn around and make thousands on the sale of your vehicle to another consumer.  Don't believe the what the dealer tells you about the value of the vehicle-- research the value of your trade-in before you ever walk in the door so that you know what range to expect to get as an offer. 
Rule #3: Know the value of your vehicle before you walk in the door and be willing walk away and shop the trade in value at other dealers.

Trick #4: Packing the Deal with Soft Add-Ons
One of the best ways for new car dealers to make money these days is to secretly pack your deal with soft add-ons that you simply don't need and don't even know you are paying extra for! Examples include: "personal assistant", "environmental package", "etch", "key care", "pro-pack", or "credit life", just to name a few.  If you don't pay close attention, you could be paying thousands of dollars for these "soft add ons" that you simply don't need.
Rule #4: Make sure to read the sales documents and don't let the finance manager rush you through the documents or hold his hand over the documents while you sign them.  

Trick #5: Spot Delivery
This common scam typically occurs with car buyers who have a lower credit rating.  The
dealer leads the consumer into believing that the financing is final and the consumer drives off in the vehicle.  After the consumer has shown off the vehicle and settled into it, the car dealer calls the consumer and tells them that they financing fell through and they need to come in and sign a second set of paperwork at a higher interest rate.  
Rule #5: Come to the dealer with financing already arranged.  This way the dealer can't muscle you into a higher interest rate 2 weeks down the road.

Already purchased a vehicle in Ohio or Kentucky and think you were the victim of one or more of these common tricks?  You can call Burdge Law Office on our Toll Free Hotline, 1-888-331-6422, to see if you have been unfairly mislead or deceived.

Beth Wells
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 11 Years Running

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