13 car dealer tricks to avoid Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by offering you interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing objective and unique content. This allows you to conduct research and compare data for free to help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that are advertised on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. But this compensation does have no impact on the content we publish or the reviews appear on this website. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be accessible to you. Maskot/Getty Images
6 minutes read. published on October 06, 2022.
Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances with precise, well-researched and well-researched data that simplifies complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee
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We are compensated for the promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or by you clicking on specific links that are posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products are listed in the event that they are not permitted by law. This is the case for our credit, mortgage, and other home loan products. Other elements, such as our own website rules and whether the product is available within your region or within your self-selected credit score range may also influence how and where products appear on this website. We strive to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about each financial or credit item or service. At the core, dealers aren’t trying to rip you off. But as an informed consumer it’s important to be prepared for potential situations where you meet a more aggressive salesperson with an arsenal of tricks that are designed to increase profits. Tricks of the dealer to keep an eye for. These are a few ploys some car dealers — even the most reputablemight try to use against you when it’s time to buy. 1. The credit counselor may tell you that you aren’t eligible for rates that are competitive. Although this might be the case in certain instances, the salesperson will imply your credit score is lower than it is, so you think you’ll have to pay a higher interest rate. How to avoid: Come in with your on hand before meeting with the salesperson so they don’t try to trick you. It’s better to get an auto loan to ensure that you don’t need to rely on dealer financing. 2. The single-transaction strategy People often think of purchasing a vehicle as a single transaction. It’s not, and dealers recognize this. There are actually three transactions that can be all in one: the car’s price, the cost and financing. Each of them is a way for the dealer to make profits, which means that all three of them are places you could save. What to do treat every transaction in the same way the dealer would: independently. You can shop your trade-in at multiple dealers to find the most competitive price. And coming in with typical prices for the vehicle you’re interested in will help you ensure that the salesperson is up-to-date. 3. The payment ploy or finance department might hand you a fantastic monthly installment — one that you are likely to qualify for. But there’s often a catch. In some instances the dealer might have included a substantial down payment or extended the duration of the auto loan up to 72 months or . Avoid this by focusing on the value of the car , rather than the monthly installment. Never answer the question “How much can you pay monthly?” Stick to saying, “I can afford to pay an amount of X dollars for the vehicle.” Also, ensure that the price you negotiate is in full prior to the trade-in or applied. 4. The sticker trick The vehicle price displayed on the window is is known in the industry as the suggested retail value, or MSRP. However, that’s not what’s most important. You need to know the price of the invoice — the amount the dealer paid for it. Starting with the invoice is much more straightforward than trying to subtract from the MSRP. What to stay clear of: what vehicles are being sold for after considering any consumer and dealer incentives. Some hot cars go at the sticker price or more. The prices will fall when demand decreases. 5. The holdback scam Manufacturers frequently provide cash-based incentives which are sometimes referred to as holdbacks — to dealers to motivate them to sell slower-selling models. This typically isn’t mentioned in advertising. Tips to avoid it Find holdbacks or other factory-to-dealer incentive options for the vehicle you’re looking at. While it’s not certain you’ll see the seller apply one of these incentives to the car you like but it’s a good idea to ask. 6. Spot delivery financing A few sellers have claimed to call customers days or even weeks after having have signed a purchase agreement, to inform them that financing did not go through. It’s a scam. Spot delivery, sometimes referred to as spot financing, is designed to get you to sign an loan contract at a higher rate of interest. The dealer can know whether you are eligible for financing in a matter of minutes. The purpose of the subsequent phone call is to persuade you to accept a loan with higher interest rates since, as per their claims they have just discovered that you weren’t eligible for the quoted lower rate. What to do: Never leave the showroom without signing agreements that outline every detail and with every blank left in. Confirm that you have been granted the financing the dealer provides. If that’s the case you are approved, they cannot withdraw the financing. 7. The insurance scam Some dealers may try hard to convince you to purchase an insurance policy while purchasing your car. One type, , is a way to cover the difference between the amount the car is worth and amount you still owe on it. It’s usually just an extra cost, but if are interested, gap insurance is generally cheaper when purchased from your regular . Another option, credit life insurance, will cover the remaining balance of your loan in the event of your death before you’ve had the chance to pay it back. If these policies interest you it is important to understand what you are purchasing and that you are able to choose to decline the policy and look for better prices. The markup on these policies when you purchase them from a dealership can be enormous partly because the insurance companies who sell the policies to dealers offer huge discounts that range from cash to luxury trips — to push the policies. Avoid this: Don’t automatically agree to the insurance policy that is offered. Certain insurance companies include the benefits of gap insurance as part of their comprehensive insurance coverage for cars Therefore, you should first check it out. As for Credit life insurance, it’s more than likely want to steer clear of it. Most of the time, it won’t make sense for you. 8. The rate razzle-dazzle It certainly sounds tempting — to finance a brand new automobile. However, this option might not be the best one to save money. In the beginning, many finance incentives are offered for shorter terms, and you must have a great credit score. And with short-term loans that are 24 – or 36-month loans, payments on even the cheapest car can be sky high. In addition, you may be better off finding your own financing and then taking the dealer rebate in the event that one is offered. Let’s say you’re interested in a $20,000 car and will receive $4,000 as a trade-in. You have the option of choosing 0 percent financing or financing at 3.49 percent with an additional $2,000 in rebate. The duration that you can avail of this loan runs for 36 months. Over the course of the loan, you’ll come out ahead by more than $1,200 when you use the rebate as well as 3.49 percent financing. 3.49 percentage financing. How to avoid Calculate the exact amount over the course for the loan to determine what is the best deal for you. 9. The rollover scam It could be tempting to swap for a higher-priced car after you’ve paid off the vehicle you’re driving. One method that some buyers make this happen is by rolling over the remaining payments on their current car into an entirely new car loan or lease. This is a risky move. It could result in you owing more for the second vehicle than what it’s worth. In the language of the automobile world there’s a ” ” on the vehicle. If the car is damaged in an accident or if you decide down the road to trade it in, you will end up writing out a large check to pay the remaining sum of your loan. What to do: You don’t want to transfer an old car loan into a brand new one. Instead, try to get the best price as a trade-in or through private sales. And if you can’t keep it, then stick to it. Unless you desperately need a new vehicle then there’s no need to purchase a car prior to having completed the payment on your previous car. 10. The long term trick It is not illegal or even deceptive concerning dealers who offer loan times that extend for up to seven or six years. After all, many cars are more durable than they did in the past and this means your monthly payment is lower. Still, it’s not ideal. It’s likely that you will be owing more to your vehicle than it’s worth since your vehicle is depreciating faster than you’re paying it off. How to avoid the problem: If you’re considering a long loan period, you probably need to reduce your borrowing limit to the cheapest vehicle that’s more for your budget. 11. The balloon trick is also used by some dealers will encourage buyers to buy a car with extremely low monthly payments now but with a much larger balloon payment at the time of the loan period. In a few cases, this can be a valid way to finance an automobile. For example, you might have just graduated and can reasonably assume that your earnings will grow when the balloon payment is due. However, for the majority of people the balloon payment simply involves rolling over the amount into a new loan. How to avoid: Be wary of these offers and know that your financial situation may alter by the time the balloon payment due, and you might be unable to make it. 12. Bait and switch Bait and switch occurs when you’re in the market for a specific car, but the dealer manages to put you at the wheel of a different one. Dealers can use deceitful strategies to lure you onto the lot only to inform that the car you’re looking for isn’t in stock and then attempt to get you to purchase something else, typically at a greater cost. What to do: Stick to what you want. If you did your and are aware of what you are searching for, then you don’t need to doubt yourself. Wait it out or try another dealer that does have the vehicle you’re looking for. 13. Contract cons Look out for clauses tucked into the small print that you may overlook. These could take the form of modifications to the loan duration, additions to the loan which you didn’t agree to, or other terms that could result in significant costs. A legit lender won’t try to dupe you with this kind of thing However, it’s important to be cautious. If you find any discrepancies, point them out. If the dealer refuses to correct the issue take it off the table. How to avoid: Read carefully through the contract. Ask about all charges and ensure the terms are clear to both you and the dealer. Be sure to keep a copy of the contract in case something arises later on. The bottom line isn’t supposed to be an experience where you are tricked, and you leave feeling as if you paid too much for your car. Knowledge is power, so be aware of these dealer tricks to make sure you’re not fooled. Learn more
This article is written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase a car. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances by providing concise, well-researched and well-documented details that cut complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.
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