Many of us may have trepidation visiting a car dealership at the risk of being “undersold”. For this very reason, we often enlist the help of a petrol head in the know. But, there are ways for you to spot a scam in process.
Car dealership scams are infamous, yet how do we know when something is going by the book or is too good to be true?
Take a Look At These Five Car Dealership Scams
1. Focusing On Monthly Payments
“If I could get you in this car for R900 per month, would you take the car today?”
If you have heard this line used before, it’s because it is a common tactic to get you to focus only on what you will pay per month.
The truth is, a dealer can get you any monthly payment you want. All they need to do is extend the car loan period or low-ball you with your trade-in to make up lost revenue, amongst other tricks.
Make sure you negotiate on the actual price of the vehicle and separate each part of the transaction into separate negotiations. This includes your trade-in and any other products or services you may require.
2. Little White Lies Are A Part Of The Game
These may include:
- That colour is not available
- There’s only three left in Johannesburg
- The price is only good for today
- Someone else is interested in the car, so you better decide quickly
Remember to take your time and be patient when shopping for a car. Don’t rush into anything, especially based on what a salesman tells you. At the end of the day, it is your choice.
3. The Four Square Method
This is a common sales tactic you will find in dealerships and is designed to confuse car buyers. The four square approach mixes up the price of the car, down payment, trade-in value, and monthly payment into a single transaction.
This tactic only works on car shoppers who negotiate at a dealership. Negotiating using the phone, or an email, is far more effective. This is because it allows you to negotiate each part of your transaction separately without getting distracted by the salesman.
4. Useless Add-Ons
Most dealers will sell you useless, but highly profitable, add-ons such as paint protection, fabric protection, VIN etching, undercoating, or rustproofing.
There are, however, certain add-ons you should consider, such as GAP insurance or an extended car warranty (if the warranty has expired) on a used car.
5. Switching From ‘New’ To ‘Used
A dealer may attempt to persuade you to consider a used car instead of a new car or vice versa for a better deal. This is usually as a result of an incentive the car salesman has on that particular car, that has been stagnating on the sales floor.
A bonus or incentive is usually given to salesmen on cars that don’t sell quickly. So, while you may think you are getting a better deal, it may just be for the salesman’s own benefit.
Never make a last minute decision when buying a new car. Purchasing a car requires extensive research to avoid being in the firing line of possible scams. Read up on reviews from current car owners, the wear and tear costs of the vehicle, and the pros and cons of that particular car.