In 2015 U.S auto sales reached an all time high 17.39 million units sold, representing a 5% increase from 2014. With an increase in sales, comes an increase in fraud and deceptive tactics. The consumer dealing with a car salesman might be lured into believing anything the salesman says. It is important to be cautious when purchasing a car, since this is a major purchase. You want to review every term on the contract because often a salesman will promise something during negotiation yet omit it in the contract, such as a free warranty, that actually costs $299. In the fast pace information world we live in, it is important to slow down for a moment, and pay attention to the details of the transaction. Below are a few types of predatory practices which are often used by car dealerships.
Car Dealership employees will often resort to forging a consumer’s signature on a sales or warranty contract. This is completely illegal. If you or anyone you know has had this happen to them you should contact the dealership and request the documents from the dealership that sold you the car, and also the financing company if it was not in house.
Another tactic used is the bait and switch. In this instance a dealership will advertise certain vehicles for a price. When a consumer will go in, trying to purchase the car for the advertised price, the dealer will inform that all of these cars have already been sold. Then they will offer you the same car for a higher price, saying it’s a different model.
As a consumer you should always test drive any car you intend to buy. It is important to make sure this is a thorough process, making sure all of the buttons work and features perform as they should. Every time that I buy a vehicle I take it to my family mechanic and have him inspect to make sure there are no hidden defects. You want make sure you aren’t buying a lemon, or a car which has been previously wrecked.
The things in this article are just a few of many deceptive practices which car dealerships use in order to close sales. There are many different variations of the schemes and practices. Being an informed consumer will make you ready to recognize their tactics and avoid the pitfalls. If you have any questions regarding the laws, please consult a licensed attorney in your state.