Car Buying Tips Blog: Find reliable car buying tips & information from the auto industry, and use them to your advantage. Also find car buying tools, reviews, insider advice articles, & research new car prices on BuyingAdvice.

Monday, July 15, 2024

How to Avoid Car Sales Tricks and Scams

Every day, drivers find their new cars with the help of good sales representatives. However, it’s also true that consumers are scammed, tricked and swindled each day. The car industry is not free of tricks and scams. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know how to avoid the most common ones. We’ll help you learn how to identify them.

Where Did It Go? (Whack-A-Mole)

Whack-A-Mole is that old-school arcade game that’s full of holes out of which little rodent heads pop up. When you hit one, another pops up, and you just keep hitting away. Expenses in your vehicle calculations and disappear and pop back up the same way.

Let’s say you want a security system as part of your package but you don’t want to pay the $3,000 asking price. Your salesman might give you a $1,000 discount on it, to appease you. Make sure that $1,000 doesn’t end up somewhere else, like in the sale price of the vehicle itself.

The Old Bait and Switch

They say they have the car you want and they say it’s available at a price that surprises you. When you get to the dealership, it’s gone. “The deal was too good. It was sold already,” says the salesman. Then he proceeds to talk about another fabulous deal. “This deal’s even better,” he says. But it doesn’t look better to you. You wanted the car that was supposedly sold.

Salespeople like working with you in person. Some may use persuasive (sometimes deceitful) tactics to get you into the dealership. Ask a salesperson or manager to email you a statement showing that the vehicle is in stock. Visit the dealership soon afterwards and simply leave if the vehicle isn’t there.

That’s All? (Low-Balling on Trade-Ins)

Sometimes, dealers don’t offer the full market value of a trade-in vehicle. It’s easy for a consumer to simply accept whatever they’re offered. Don’t do that. Negotiate the trade-in value, just as you negotiate the sale price of the new car.

It’s easy to find out how much your trade-in is worth. Websites like kbb.com offer market value estimators that are quite accurate. You can also try offering the car to multiple buyers in order to get a feel for the market.

The Convenience of Leasing

Leasing is thought of as an easy way to drive a new car. Sometimes drivers don’t know that lease deals can be negotiated just like other deals. Salespeople may direct your focus towards the monthly payments. In reality, monthly payments are just portions of the vehicle’s value with interest added on. You should negotiate a car’s sale price and then calculate the monthly payments, even though you’re not purchasing the car. The portion of its value that you pay for is roughly the purchase price minus its residual value, the estimated value of the car at the end of the lease period. Make sure these values are not too low or too high. You can shop around and look up residuals to get an idea of what’s right. Here’s the basic formula:

(purchase price – residual value + taxes and fees) / # of months in the lease period = monthly payments

Dont Fret!

Now you’re prepared to avoid the worst tricky car buying scams. Walk into that dealership with confidence. But before you do that, you should get some quotes online.

Request quotes from all of your local dealers to make sure you locate the best offer. Click here to fill out our secure form and get your quotes.