Car Buying Alert: Dealers Are At It Again

What You Need to Look For This Car Buying Season

The warm weather is upon us and many of us will be hopping in on the car buying action this year. The dealerships have anticipated our readiness to buy and are at their old tricks, but old tricks are taking on a new face. Why? Because car buyers have gotten savvy to the common car buying tricks. Here are some new ones to look for.

Environmental Fees

The latest car dealership fee that has been invented by sneaky car dealers is the “environmental fee.” While some states have mandated that the dealership must pay this fee, greedy car dealers are trying to pass that fee on to their consumers. The buyer is NOT obligated to pay this fee… and should tell the dealership that they won’t.

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

A common car buying con dealers are using nowadays is a mandatory arbitration cause in your sales contract. You’re ready to sign the paperwork and the dealer suddenly insists you sign a “dispute resolution” or “mediation” agreement. What does it mean?

If you sign this, you’re basically signing away your right to sue the dealership. You’re saying that instead of taking the dealer to court, you’ll handle the disagreement through arbitration. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but the agreement often stipulates that you have to pay the fee for arbitration while the dealership gets to pick the arbitrator.

You Don’t Qualify

You time your car buying so you can take advantage of the 0-percent interest deal, but when you get there you’re told you don’t qualify for the special interest rate because your credit isn’t good enough. How do you beat them at this game?

Before you go into the dealership, get pre-approved for a car loan through your credit union. Also run your credit online and get your FICO score (it costs more, but it’s worth it). Then, when the dealer says your credit isn’t good enough, you’ll have proof in your hands that they’re lying.

Remember Who’s in Charge

Car buying is kind of like handling undisciplined animals. Remember who’s in charge and know when to put your foot down. Also know when to walk away. It will make your car buying experience less stressful and more productive.