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Car Dealer Scams

Aug 17, 2007
If you are looking to buy a car then you might think the safest place to buy from is a car dealer, since they should be the most knowledgeable and trustworthy people to buy a car from. However this is not always the case, some car dealers are out to make a fast buck and so will try anything.

Many people know what car sales men are like, and so hate the experience of buying a new car. Of course not all car dealers are the same, it is just unfortunate that there is no easy way to differentiate them.

Sometimes when you buy a car the dealer will charge you for the advertising fees twice, because they have already been added to the invoice the dealer received. To beat this one ask about advertising fees demand to see a copy of the invoice if you are not completely satisfied. They will usually also add a bogus processing fee of from $100 to more than $500 (the processing fee is pure profit for the car dealer that he does not have to pay any commission on to salespeople).

Cars are like any other consumer product, the more desirable it is the more somebody is willing to pay for it. Some dealers add on additional fees on top of the prices of the cars if they are very popular, this is not completely unfair as it should help to even the demand and supply functions out. However you should never pay over the MSRP of the car or even close to the MSRP, if the car is more highly demanded then the maximum you should pay is the MSRP (or better yet wait a few months until its popularity wains and buy it at invoice).

Some dealers quote a certain figure in an add for a certain car, but when it comes down to it the actual price is much higher than this (you may not be able to get one with no options, etc..). Make sure that you continually ask the dealer exactly what you are paying for and the exact price so that they realise that you are not going to take any messing.

When trading in your car there are also cons to be aware of, some dealers will quote figures when you are outside, but by the time you get inside these figures have vastly shrunk - or better yet, they will switch you to negotiating payments where you have no idea how much total you will end up paying and they will break it down as its only $25 a day, etc.... (Lets see, $25 a day is $750 a month and that is $9000 a year and $45,000 over a typical 5 year car loan - it adds up very fast and that may not include interest and compounding of principle! Lets say you only over pay by $5 a day - that doesn't sound too bad and the dealer seems like a really nice guy, right? $5 a day is $150 a month, is $1800 a year, is $9000 over 5 years too much you paid! Think about it).
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