Useful Car Tips

6 Tricks Car Dealerships Play

August 30, 2018
Rolling off the lot in a new ride is a great experience. But, getting the keys—and a reasonable deal—can be painful. The thing is … Many car dealers play games that can leave you stuck with high payments or a less than satisfactory ride. Every little bit countsand car salesmen are often willing to go the extra mile to get that every bit of profit from you. So, how do you avoid these tricks? It’s simple: be prepared. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tricks car dealers like to play.

Undervaluing Your Trade-In

Most buyers have an older car they’d like to trade in for a newer one,and with good reason. Trading in a vehicle has a lot of advantages, like:
  • Not dealing with the hassle of selling it on your own
  • Sales tax savings on a new car (in some states)
  • Getting into a new car quicker
Unfortunately, dealers are just as aware of these benefits as you are, and they’re prepared to use them as a bargaining chip to give you less for your trade. How can you avoid this trick? Know the value of your trade before going to a dealer. Use a tool like Kelly Blue Book and take a printed copy of the value along for proof.

Adding Unnecessary Fees to the Sales Price

Some car dealers are notorious for adding extra “dealer’s fees” to the final sales price. Throwing in things like freight charges, unnecessary dealer installed options, or processing fees to inflate the price—sometimes adding hundreds of dollars to a price you already agreed to. Before you sign, know what fees the dealer typically charges and why. You can almost always negotiate your way out of these extra charges.

Giving You a Higher Interest Rate Than You Qualify For

If you’re financing through a dealer, beware. If you’re not careful a dealer may push you into a deal with a higher interest rate than you qualify for. Dealers must disclose your credit rating if they run it, but they’re not required to disclose all your loan options. Dealers are on the lookout for the best financing deal for them, not you. Avoid this trick by getting pre-approved for financing before going shopping and knowing what you're credit score is.

Push an Extended Warranty into the Deal

You just agreed on a price. Your old car is cleaned out. All you need to do is sign. But, when you walk back into the finance office, you see they’ve added an extended warranty to the deal. Warranties are a real money-maker for car dealers. A warranty may make sense in some situations, but often they don’t. You may end up buying a warranty from the dealer while your car is still under a Manufacturer warranty. Before you sign, be sure you’re comfortable with what you’re paying for.

Never Mentioning the Price—Just Payments

If a car dealer is hesitant to mention the priceand just wants to talk aboutpayments, run. When a dealer keeps the price from you—focusing only on the monthly payments, it’s a lot easier for them to leave you with a higher rate and bloated sales price. To get the best deal, keep the conversation centered on price, not payments. Check tools like True Car and local car prices for a good idea of what the price should be for the car you want.

Telling You the Deal Is Only Available Right Now

This is a common Trick to try and keep you from shopping around. When a customer leaves, dealers know they’re not likely to come back. So, they want to get you into a car as quick as they can. If you’re feeling pressured, take a deep breath. If you leave and look somewhere else, or just need to think, chances are pretty good that the same deal will be waiting when you get back.
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