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21 Scams Used By Devious Car Dealers --  And How To Avoid Them

Used cars buying tips scams helpKB35Car salesmen have some devious tricks up their sleeve — here’s how to avoid them.

Buying a new or used car can be a harrowing process: There’s a lot of paperwork, a lot of information buyers are likely not to have, and a lot at stake.

The last thing car shoppers need is a salesperson using tricks and scams to increase their own bottom line, at the expense of the customer.

To help potential buyers avoid overpaying for a lemon, or even a new car, Gregg Fidan, the founder of RealCarTips.com and the author of “Honest Guide to Buying a Car,” has compiled the Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams, including 112 tricks unscrupulous car dealers rely on to bilk their customers.

From those 112, we’ve selected the 21 most common, costly, and devious scams, and included Fidan’s tips on how to detect and avoid them.

Shell Games

The Scam: The salesperson finds out what your hot buttons are and exploits them. If you have a trade-in, and they know you want a certain price for it, they will offer you what you want, but at the same time will raise the price of the new car.

If they know you want a certain monthly payment, they'll make sure you get that, but they will extend the loan term so you end up paying more over the long-term. There are all kinds of shell games that happen at dealerships.

What To Do: Negotiate each portion of your car purchase separately. Shop your trade-in to multiple dealers, shop for an auto loan among multiple lenders, compare new car prices with multiple dealers. Don't let them bundle everything into one big deal.

Republished with permission from The Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams

Focusing on Monthly Payments

The Scam: 'If I could get you in this car for $US350 per month, would you take the car today?' This is a common sales tactic: getting you to focus only on the monthly payment. Dealers can hide all sorts of lucrative back end products in a monthly payment and you would never know.

It's easy for a dealer to get you practically any monthly payment you want -- all they have to do is extend the car loan or low-ball you on the trade-in, or any number of other tricks. This is one of the most common and profitable sales tactics.

What To Do: Always negotiate based on the actual price of the vehicle and always separate each part of the transaction into a separate negotiation. This includes your trade-in, and any other products or services you purchase.

Republished with permission from The Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams

'Mistakes' In The Contract

The Scam: 'Mistakes' in the paperwork are very common: funny how they are always to the dealer's advantage. Errors can be on the agreed purchase price, loan terms, down payment, or really anything.

What To Do: Make sure you review all the numbers and items in the paperwork to ensure they match the numbers you agreed to.

Republished with permission from The Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams

The 4 Square Method

The Scam: The '4 Square Method' is the most common sales tactic you will find in dealerships.

It's a technique designed to confuse car buyers by mixing the price of the car, down payment, trade-in value, and monthly payment into a single transaction.

What To Do: This tactic only works on car shoppers who negotiate at a dealership. Simply use the phone/email negotiation method and handle each part of your transaction separately.

Republished with permission from The Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams

Hiding Add-Ons In The Lease Agreement

The Scam: The dealer hides useless add-ons such as pin striping or even extended warranties into the lease agreement. (Buying an extended warranty on a lease is ridiculous since the manufacturer warranty usually covers everything during the short duration of the lease).

The additional fees are hidden in the capitalised cost portion of the lease. The uninformed consumer doesn't notice the increased monthly payments.

What To Do: Be familiar with how leasing works and check the agreement carefully to make sure all the numbers check out.

Republished with permission from The Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams

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