Buying a car can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of the car buying process. Car dealerships are notorious for ripping off customers, and it’s important to be aware of the different methods they use so you can protect yourself.
Over the past 3 years, car dealerships used COVID-19 & supply chain problems to raise prices, overcharge and basically take advantage of their customers.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common ways car dealerships rip off customers. We’ll also provide tips on how to avoid getting taken advantage of.
1. Hiding fees
One of the most common ways car dealerships rip off customers is by hiding fees. These fees can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and they’re often not disclosed until after you’ve signed the paperwork.
Some of the most common hidden fees include:
- Dealership preparation fees
- Document fees
- DMV fees
- Tire protection plans
- Extended warranties
It’s important to ask about all of the fees associated with a car purchase before you sign anything. If a dealership refuses to disclose the fees, walk away.
2. Overcharging for add-ons
Another common way car dealerships rip off customers is by overcharging for add-ons. These add-ons can include things like:
- Paint protection
- Fabric protection
- Rust proofing
- Sunroof tinting
The prices for these add-ons are often inflated, and they’re not always necessary. It’s important to ask about the cost of add-ons before you agree to purchase them.
3. Low-balling trade-ins
When you trade in your car, the dealership will give you a trade-in value. This value is typically lower than the actual value of your car. The dealership then uses this difference to make a profit on the sale of your new car.
To avoid getting low-balled on your trade-in, get an independent appraisal of your car before you go to the dealership. This will give you a better idea of what your car is actually worth.
4. Pushing high-interest loans
Car dealerships often push high-interest loans on customers. These loans can have a significant impact on your monthly payments, and they can make it harder to pay off your car loan.
If you’re offered a high-interest loan, ask the dealership to see if they can offer you a lower interest rate.
Never finance your car or truck purchase through the dealership. Buyer beware!
Always try to get a pre-approved loan from a bank or credit union before you go to the dealership. This will give you a better bargaining chip.
5. Pressure tactics
Car dealerships often use pressure tactics to get customers to buy a car. These tactics can include things like:
- Telling you that the car you want is in high demand and won’t last long
- Saying that you’re getting a great deal
- Telling you that you need to make a decision right away
It’s important to resist these pressure tactics. Don’t feel pressured to buy a car if you’re not ready. Take your time and do your research so you can make an informed decision.
By being aware of the different ways car dealerships rip off customers, you can protect yourself and make sure you get the best possible deal on your next car purchase.
Here are some additional tips for avoiding getting ripped off by a car dealership:
- Do your research. Before you even set foot in a dealership, do some research on the car you want. This will help you know what a fair price is.
- Get pre-approved for a loan. This will give you a better bargaining chip when you’re negotiating with the dealership.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. If you’re not happy with the deal, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other dealerships out there.
By following these tips, you can protect yourself from getting ripped off by a car dealership.