The most important thing to keep in mind about car dealerships is that they are competitive businesses. From dealership to dealership and salesperson to salesperson, your purchase is their gain. That said, it is common that car buyers (and leasers) get taken advantage of through well-thought-out scams. Here at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org, the experts shed some light on some of the most common scams, so you are fully aware of what might be in store when you visit a car dealership with the intention of obtaining a vehicle. Review five of the most common car dealership scams below.
Low Credit Score Scam
One of the most important things you can do before going to a car dealership is to check your credit score. There are several services available that offer free credit reports, so there is virtually nothing stopping you from checking your credit score prior. Typically, in order to lock you into a higher price on your car, a salesperson will tell you that your credit score is just slightly below where it needs to be to get the price you want. At DriversLicenseAdvisors.org, the experts suggest having your own credit report handy, so you can dispute the bad call right then and there.
Loss of Financing Scam
Sometimes, when you go to buy a car, you will sign an on-the-spot contract. A few weeks later, you may receive a phone call from the dealership telling you your loan application was not approved. Then, you will be stuck with a higher APR to secure a new loan, because you have already locked yourself into the contract, and your original deal is no longer available. It is best not to rush into signing your contract before your loan application is approved, so you can avoid a financing scam.
New Car Warranty Scams
When the time comes to sign all of your paperwork at the dealership, the DriversLicenseAdvisors.org team notes that you will likely be presented with additional warranty information that will increase your rates. These warranties are always optional. The scam here is to try to get you to sign for these added warranties, which will, in turn, increase your car payments and earn the dealership more money. Make sure to read all the fine print, and do the math when the time comes to sign your contract, so that you avoid spending hundreds of extra dollars on optional warranty fees.
Car Preparation Scams
When you are thumbing through the extensive documents of your car contract, be sure to note any charges for car preparation. This type of scam adds an unnecessary amount of money to your contract – sometimes near $500 – simply for the peeling off of the protective coating of your new car. Speak up loudly about this charge prior to signing your contract.
No-Warranty Used Car Scams
If you are planning on buying a used car, it is of utmost importance to be wary of car salespeople who do not offer any warranties for the used cars on their lots. This is a major red flag. The team at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org encourages you to only invest in used vehicles that are accompanied by warranties, so that you can be sure your investment is safe.