Beware These Four Car Dealer Tricks

Man and woman buying a car

Short of buying a new house, shopping for a new car is one of the most expensive and stressful things a person can do. At Honest Car Dealer, we want to help. We know we’re not the only honest car dealer out there, but there are quite a few scoundrels, too. Some dealers will try these tricks, some will try other tricks, but these are four of the most common or most dangerous tricks a car buyer can fall for.

Car Buyer Beware

  1. Fees and Extras: This is a common one, and while there are some fees you can’t escape, you can make sure that the dealership has the bottom-line final price you’re to pay in writing before you sign anything. If there are extras on the car that you didn’t ask for, negotiate their cost down or simply refuse and be willing to walk away.
  2. Inflated Payments: Never tell the car dealer how much you can afford to pay each month, or they will know exactly how much they can take you for with extras, higher interest rates, and other tricks that inflate the monthly payment. Know what your ideal payment is and know your max, but if the dealer asks, tell them less than your ideal payment.
  3. Holding Your Check Hostage: Do not, under any circumstances, give your check to the dealer until you have signed on the dotted line and are ready to pay. Unscrupulous dealerships will hold onto that check as a kind of leverage, saying they can’t give it back until you do X or Y. Don’t even let your checkbook hit the table until you’re ready for the keys.
  4. Misplacing Your Trade-in Keys: Like with the check, this is another tactic to get you to hang around and make a decision you might not want to make. Believe it or not, drivers will leave with a new car out of frustration after being made to wait half an hour or more to get their trade-in keys back. Don’t be afraid to be firm.

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July 27, 2016 by Jamie Rettig