Car dealer fraud, it’s everywhere. Now, if you have been ripped off by a car dealer, tell us your story, we investigate. We may even end up running down the scam dealer with our cameras as we did in the clip above, after we caught the used car dealer ripping off the military. The dealer we exposed was taking in used cars but not paying off the loan, but that is just one of the scams car dealers use to defraud consumers every year. Here are some of our favorite auto dealer tricks:
- Hidden fees – This scam is one most people know of but often overlook. The dealer tacks on “administrative fees” for “prepping” paint, sealant, etc. The fees are bogus – but many dealers will try to add them.
- Insurance – In this scam the dealers try to tack on insurance polices, such as gap insurance or credit insurance. Don’t fall for it. If you want insurance, shop around.
- Dealer financing – Every dealer has a pitch for zero interest to finance a car, but few people ever qualify for such a rate. It is far better to shop around for financing, not at the dealer, where dealers love to bury financing terms in the back of a contract.
- Payment schemes – Every dealer loves to tell consumers he can get the consumer in a car for a certain amount every month. Watch out. You want to know the price of the car, not how much the dealer will get from you every month. Often you get a low monthly rate, only to discover the loan is for 72 months.
- Sticker schemes – Here the dealer shows you the sticker price, but fails to tell you how much he gets back from the car company on the sale, or if there are consumer incentives offered by the factory.
- Financing call backs – Dealers love to call consumers back days after they buy a car, and tell them the financing fell through. They then lure the consumer back into the dealership and hustle the consumer into more pricey financing.
- Wrecked cars – Yes dealers love to sell “salvaged” wrecked cars and lie about it to consumers. Watch out – demand a honest car history of any car you buy used. Carfax is a good place to start. Also watch out for rental cars being sold as “only slightly used”.
So, bottom line: be careful ,and be ready to fight back if scammed. If you have been ripped off, contact us. We investigate.