Avoid Car Dealer Tricks – Part I

On my money-saving journey, I realize that a good car will save me a lot of money. The most common mistake I have seen other people around me doing was to drive an old car hoping to save as much as they can. However, the old car often poses a lot of problems that will eventually cost you a fortune. If you can, it is best to buy a new car, a pre-owned car, or a used car that is not too old. When you visit the dealer, this is another factor that you should consider. The dealer will find more than one way to trick you into spending more money. If you do not know what to do, you will definitely fall for their tricks. I am lucky enough to know someone who works in the car business. Over the years, I have learned a lot of useful tricks to counter the car dealer’s hustles.

The first thing you should always do when shopping for a car is to make up your mind. There are a lot of people who do not know anything about cars, this often results in them being exploited by the car dealers. Before you head to the car dealership, you can always do some research on your own. If you need help, you can ask your friends and family members who know about cars. Once, I helped one of my co-workers to shop for a car. She told me that she wanted an SUV with all wheel drive but had no idea which brands she should buy from or which dealers she should visit. Since I know about cars, I showed her images of SUVs ranging from five seats to seven or eight seats. Once she picked the car she wanted, I contacted different car dealers in the area to ask for quotes. Different dealers will offer different prices. All you need to do is to look for the lowest price. Avoid buying your car from the nearest dealer. Your local dealer may not be the best choice.

Once you are at the car dealer, this is where the fun begins. The first trick a car dealer may do is the infamous bait-and-switch trap. There are car dealers that are honest, but there are also car dealers that try to trick you into buying a more expensive car by saying the car you saw on the ad or on promotion has been bought by someone else. All they have at this point is a slightly more expensive car. If a car dealer does this to you, walk away. Do not say anything, just let them know how disappointed you are and walk away. I have seen this trick way too many times, and as I was about to leave the dealership, the car I saw on the ad magically appeared after the salesman “double check.” 

Another part of the bait-and-switch trap is that the car dealers show you one model on the ad but when you are there, they let you know that the price you saw was for a different model. When I bought my first car, this was what happened. I saw a sport option for the car I wanted with the price of the standard option. By using this trick, the dealer was able to get my attention so I went to visit them instead of their competitors.

Do not forget to check carefully before heading to a dealership. It is best you come with someone who knows about cars so the dealer cannot trick you easily.  

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