5 Things the Car Dealerships Won’t Tell You

5 Things the Car Dealerships Won’t Tell You
  • Opening Intro -

    In the past, many Americans purchased cars from smaller, local dealerships.

    These places were often family-owned and operated and acted as fixtures in various communities.


As the market has moved toward buying from corporate dealer chains, personal service has decreased in some areas. This means that the consumer needs to be savvy about what the big chains won’t say up front, and what to do about that. Here are five things to look out for and what you can do about them.

1. "Great" Deals Are Not Always Great

The Federal Trade Commission warns that ad prices are often deceptive. The unbelievably low price on that new car may deliberately exclude the down payment or annual percentages. Other special deals may offer prize money that doesn’t arrive or tack on hidden fees.

While they won’t tell you these things up front, dealers must include them in writing for legal purposes. As such, always go over the fine print–every word of it–before you strike a deal.

2. They Might Hold Your Car Hostage

It’s popular to bring in one of your used cars for an appraisal. That sounds like a no-risk deal for you, but actually, it isn’t that simple. It’s surprising that most people don’t know this trick because it’s very popular in the industry.

When you hand over your keys to get an appraisal, you won’t see them again until you actually ask for them. Dealers do this so that while they are making the appraisal, an associate can engage you and try to make a sale. Forewarned is forearmed; don’t go into an appraisal scenario without being ready to reject a lot of offers to buy.

3. You MUST Ask About Accidents

In the industry, a dealer will never volunteer information regarding cars that have been in accidents. If you do not ask them, they simply will not tell you. Get in the habit of asking about any accidents as a matter of routine.

We always recommend having great auto accident advocates such as Randall A. Wolff & Associates, Ltd on your side, in case the unthinkable happens.

4. Dealers See Different Credit Scores

While you may be intimately familiar with the number in your credit report, car dealers get a different one. Theirs is weighted to predict the likelihood of late auto payment fees. Positive auto history gets a higher score than negative, of course. You can read about how to fix mistakes to prevent this before car shopping.

5. Be Careful With Monthly Payments

It may seem like a no-brainer, but most people are happy to get a car deal that just happens to be what they can afford monthly. The problem is, this is always to your disadvantage in the long run, and you could pay more than the car is worth by the end. To alleviate this, figure out how many miles you will drive the car on average. The more miles you drive, the shorter loan period you should have.

There are always things to look out for when shopping in any industry, but if you keep these things in mind, you’ll be more likely to get a good deal on that new or used car.

Consumer Tips reference:

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Last update on 2020-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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