Even though most car dealers work hard to build long-lasting relationships with their customers, some are still pushy and live up to the stereotypes shown in TV and movies. It’s understandable why car salespeople have to be pushy at times – they’re working off commission. But that doesn’t mean that you have to fall for any of these traps – it’s your money after all!
Below are some of the most common car dealership tricks to be aware of. If you notice someone trying to pull these tactics on you, you’ll probably want to shop elsewhere. Cars are an investment, and you deserve to make a decision that you’re fully comfortable with.
1. Bait-and-Switch Trap
The bait-and-switch trap is one of the oldest in the books. The dealer promotes a great price on a vehicle and features it in an ad to bring in more traffic. When you arrive, however, you’re notified that the vehicle is no longer available. Instead, there’s a different car waiting for you – and it’s priced higher.
2. Fine Print Details
Always, always read the fine print. Car ads come with small print that the dealers hope you miss – and many people do. That’s because hidden within the print are disclaimers, stipulations and conditions that will make it nearly impossible for you to get the price that’s featured in the ad. For example, the dealer may require you to have near-perfect credit to get a particular financing offer.
3. Monthly Payments
Another common tactic is for a car salesperson to ask you how much you want to spend each month. This question seems innocent enough – your budget makes a difference after all. However, if you say your budget is $400 a month, the dealer can sell you any car and string the payments into a longer loan.
4. Payment Method
Car dealers may also ask how you will be paying for the car. Keep quiet, as how you pay makes a difference. For example, if you’re paying with cash or third-party financing, the dealership is likely to bump up the price since they won’t be making money off your loan. If you choose to use their financing department, you can expect to pay more.
5. Marking Up Interest Rate
Dealers may also offer sweet deals on the front end and then make up for them by increasing interest rates. They’re able to do this because dealers partner with different financing companies that offer indirect loans. In exchange for the loan, many of the partner banks let dealers mark up the interest rate and keep the difference. So, if a lender approves you for a loan with 6% interest, they might tell you the interest rate is 8% and then keep the 2%.
When you need a car, your options of where to shop may be limited. If you do choose a dealer, make sure that you don’t fall for any of these sneaky dealership tricks. You can also shop with RepoFinder – we have a huge database of repossessed vehicles for sale. Take your time reading through each listing, ask questions and make an offer. No pushy salespeople involved!