Now that summer is coming to a close and last year’s models have begun shuffling off of dealer lots, a lot of folks are entering the car market hoping to score a deal. While the internet has made car buying easier, there are still some dealers that will say whatever they can to make a sale.
According to a recent article in Forbes, consumer advocate Christopher Elliott highlights some of the situations where the salesperson or finance manager may be lying in order to close a sale or get you approved for financing. Some of these actions are even illegal and could cause the dealership to be investigated.
The next time you are car shopping watch out for these common lies:
The dealer tells you that you have to buy GAP or a Vehicle Service Contract or any other product to get financing. You don’t – those products are always optional.
The dealer tells you that you have to use its financing. Again, not true.
The dealer tells you “it doesn’t matter” what you put down for your income when you apply for a loan. It does matter.
Often, dealers will push add-ons, warranties and service plans to make more profit. Keep your guard up for these hard sells.
Sometimes they are worth it but often times you won’t get a return on the extra money you spend. If you think one of these products might fit your needs, be sure to read the fine print and the details to see what is covered and what is not.
As for the financing aspect, sometimes a certain price will be contingent upon using the manufacturer or dealer financing. If you choose to pay cash or use an outside lender, you may have to forgo a rebate or an additional discount.
You should always run the math on various financing or rebate scenarios to see which one is more advantageous. For example, it’s often better to give up a small rebate to get the low APR special.
When it comes to credit applications, folks that have a low score and/or an income that would cause a bank to reject your application, that is probably a sign that you are buying a car that is too expensive for your budget.
Some less-scrupulous dealers will tell people to fudge their income for the sake of getting a loan approved. That is falsifying documents and it is illegal. Remember, the dealer doesn’t care if you can afford your car, they just want to make a sale.
Elliot says that if you encounter these tactics you should take your business elsewhere, and I agree. A dealer that operates this way doesn’t deserve your business. There will always be another deal at a more legitimate store.