4 Scams To Avoid When Buying A Car From An Auto Dealer

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/28/2007 | Auto and Trucks
4 Auto Scams You Have Got To Avoid!

Let's face it, most people hate car dealers. As people, they may be fun at a party or be good neighbors, but many car dealers will do anything to improve the bottom line. Translation: Do whatever it takes to make the most profit possible from every sale. If their techniques are legal and ethical, there should be no problem with these tactics. It's when the auto dealer borders on taking advantage of customers or out and out cheating is where an objection should occur. Here are four auto scams that you absolutely must avoid, or risk paying way too much for your car.

Sneaky Trick 1: The Dealer Preparation Fee

Did you know that many of the Manufacturers Sticker Retail Price (MSRP) actually shows that these so called dealer preparation costs have already been covered by the manufacturer. There are dealers that charge over 600 or more to test drive the car and peel off the plastic protection on the car. A dirty little trick some dealers do is to print permanently the prep fee on the buyers order to make it look like it is mandatory. One way to combat this practice is to tell the dealer to add a credit of the same amount as the dealer preparation fee on the next line. If the dealer refuses, walk away.

Sneaky Trick 2: The Dealer Financing Scam

You absolutely must set up your own financing. Do not let the dealer do this. What some unscrupulous dealers do is allow you to finance through them. You then drive the car home. A few days later, the dealer calls and tells you that your financing has fallen through. He tells you that you must then set up a new plan and guess what? Yes, the new plan will cost you more money. If for some reason you must go through the dealer because your credit is somewhat suspect, wait until the financing is complete before you drive the car off the lot. The dealer cannot dump this scam on you if you use this tactic.

Sneaky Trick 3: The Extended Warranty Scam

There is nothing wrong with an extended warranty. Just do not allow the dealer to do it. A search on the internet will reveal plenty of offers that will be priced better that what the dealer will offer. The scam goes like this. You take a loan on a car and the dealer will tell you that you have to buy an extended warranty because the bank requires it before they will approve the loan. You need to have the dealer show you in black and white that the bank indeed does require an extended warranty. In almost every case, the dealer will find some excuse and remove this requirement.

Sneaky Trick 4: The Market Adjustment Fee

The dealer will tell you that because the car you chose is so popular, they will have to add what they call a Market Adjustment Fee, sometimes in the thousands of dollars. The fee is often placed as a special sticker of the MSRP sticker. While the car may be popular, if it is in stock, there is no reason why the dealer needs to charge you a Market Adjustment Fee. Never pay more that the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price.

Be aware of these four scams when you shop for your next car and leave the dealership with a smile on your face.