Car buying scams exposed.

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge is power.

How to recognize and avoid car dealer scams.

Not all car dealerships are unethical … many dealers are honest hard-working professionals.  The problem is you never know who you’re dealing with when you walk into a dealership.  It is very expensive and almost impossible to prove you were scammed by a dealership.  The best way to avoid the situation is to know how to recognize and avoid a scam before you become a victim.

New Car Clearance Prices

Many vehicles are priced well “Below Dealer Invoice!”

Spot delivery

A practice called “spot delivery” sometimes pulls new or used car buyers back into the dealership to pay higher interest rates and bigger down payments.

Spot delivery car dealer scam

Forced extended warranty

When a dealer or finance manager tells you the warranty or other backend products are required to get the loan approved for the car.  This is false. If you don’t want the warranty, it is your right to decline it.

Forced extended auto warranty scam

Trade-in payoff

This scam can happen when a dealer conveniently forgets to pay off your trade within the time allotted with your previous lienholder.  This leaves you ultimately responsible for the remaining balance.

Dealer didn’t pay off my trade-in scam exposed

Guaranteed credit approval

There’s no such thing as guaranteed approval, but many dealerships will use this type of advertising scam to get buyers on the lot that have less than perfect credit.

Guaranteed credit approval car dealer scam

Deferred down payment

When you are purchasing a car and don’t have quite enough money for a down payment, be very cautious about the dealer’s offer of a deferred down payment.

Deferred down payment dealer scam

Excessive dealer fees

Dealers may include a variety of excessive fees such as a dealer prep fee to increase the profit margin made on the sale of a new or used car.  Learn how to recognize these fees and what to do about them.

Dealer prep car dealer scam exposed

What's Your Trade Worth?

Take the guesswork out of trading your car.

Credit doesn’t qualify

The dealer runs your credit and then tells you that you don’t qualify for the best interest rate but he can still get you decent financing.  You sign at a higher interest rate than you really qualify for.

Credit doesn’t qualify dealer scam

Straw purchase

A vehicle straw purchase is when someone who qualifies for an auto loan finances a vehicle for someone else who wouldn’t qualify.  When a dealer leads you to have someone to buy the car for you is when it becomes a scam.

Straw purchase car dealer scam

Addendum sticker

One of the deceitful tactics widely practiced by devious car dealers is a dealer add-on, which aims at maximizing their profit.  These dealer add-ons are bloated well above their actual cost.

Addendum sticker dealer scam exposed

Cosigner auto loans

When customers don’t qualify on their own for financing, dealerships often suggest that they get a friend or family member to co-sign.  The cosigner ends up being the primary buyer and it all goes downhill from there.

Cosigner auto loans dealer scam

FLEET manager

There are not many dealerships out there that actually have an in-house  FLEET department.  So what happens if you call and ask for the FLEET manager and they say, “Let me transfer you?”

FLEET manager car dealer scam explained

Trade-in Value

Most car buyers don’t think much about the true value of their trade-in. Dealer’s know they can make an easy couple hundred (or thousand) dollars by not telling you what your trade is actually worth.

Trade-in value car dealer scam exposed

Dealer added options

Most dealers will attempt to sell you useless but high priced add-ons such as fabric protection, loaner cars for life, maintenance packages, undercoating, etc.  How to recognize and avoid this very common dealer scam.

Dealer added options car buying scam

Get Pre-approved First

Safe and secure, know your interest rate before buying a car.

Purchase lease switch

When negotiating car payments and the salesperson shows you a payment plan that is much less than the last payments presented, it’s time to regroup. If a deal on a car seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Purchase – lease switch car dealer scam explained

All credit applications accepted

Very similar to the guaranteed approval scam.  This very common dealer advertising tactic is used to drive people with bad credit to the dealership so they can cherry pick the individuals that can actually finance a vehicle.

All credit applications accepted car dealer scam

Bait and switch

One of the oldest tricks in the book.  This sneaky dealer scam is commonly used in advertising and over the phone to get you to come into the dealership.  Learn how to recognize it and avoid it altogether.

Bait and switch car dealer scam exposed

0% interest available

Zero percent car financing isn’t a scam, but qualifying for it can be very difficult.  If you do qualify for 0%, you will normally only be able to finance the vehicle for a very short term.

0% interest auto loans available dealer scam explained

Key mailer

Mail flyers from car dealers that say you’ve won cash or prizes are bogus ploys to get you to come to the business.  Once in the dealership to collect your prize the salesman will do whatever it takes to get you to buy a vehicle.

Key mailer car dealer advertising scam exposed

Slasher sale

A few of the different types of dealer event sales are the Super Saturday Sale, Credit Union Sale, Push, Pull & Drag Sale, $29 Acquisition Sale, Recent Bankruptcy Sale, Give Away Sale — and the list could go on.  Here’s how they work.

Slasher sale car dealer advertising event scam

Certified pre-owned vehicle

Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle or CPO is not a sure thing.  Many times bad vehicles slip through the inspection process and become “certified” with underlying issues.

Certified pre-owned vehicle car dealer scam

Rebuilt title vehicles

It is not illegal to buy, sell, or drive a salvage title vehicle, but it is illegal to sell a salvage title vehicle if its title does not say it is a salvage title vehicle.   Learn how to recognize and avoid buying a rebuilt title vehicle.

Rebuilt title used car dealer scam explained

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