Monday, January 29, 2018

Earl’s Top Ten Suggestions How NOT to Get Ripped Off by A Car Dealer


1. There are only two reason you should physically visit a car dealership during the car buying process…to test drive and take delivery of the vehicle you’ve selected. When you visit a car dealership to get pricing and information, you lose control. The car sales people and managers are very good at what they are trained and paid to do…sell you a car TODAY at the HIGHEST PRICE.

2. The best online tools to ensure you get a low, transparent, honest price are www.CostcoAuto.com and www.TrueCar.com. Both online buying services require their certified dealers to offer you a low out-the-door price plus government fees only. Their dealers are not permitted to add dealer installed accessories and “dealer fees” to the quoted price.

3. Always use Consumer Reports, www.ConsumerReports.org, to select the best make and model. Consumer Reports extensively tests all new and used cars for safety, reliability, maintenance and repair costs, cost of insurance, customer complaints, fuel economy, and resale value. They list the best and worst new and used cars.

4. Never finance your car with the dealer without first checking and comparing the rate and terms with your bank or credit union.

5. Finalize your purchase toward the end of the month. Yes, car dealers almost always cut their prices toward the end of the month. The last day of the calendar month is a great time to get an even lower price than you were offered earlier. But, be sure you’ve spent ample time selecting the right car at the lowest price available before the end of the month.

6. Never buy a used car without a CarFax or AutoCheck report, checking the VIN for recalls on www.SaferCar.gov, and having the car thoroughly checked by an independent mechanic.
7. When you make the decision to buy a car, devote at least a week or two to the process. A car is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make. Don’t let your excitement and emotion force you into rushing such an important financial commitment.

8. Always take an extensive test drive in the actual vehicle you’ve decided to purchase. Driving around the block isn’t adequate. No two cars are the same, even two of the same year, make and model. Drive the car under the same conditions that you drive your car daily, over the same roads and highways.

9. Ignore all car dealer and car manufacturer advertising. Car dealers and manufacturers advertise prices to “get you in the door”. These prices are usually understated with fine print conditions that raise the price by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

10. Car dealers make more money after they sell you the car in the “business” or “Finance and Insurance (F&I) office than they did when they sold you the car. My fourth suggestion is to never finance with the dealer unless you check and compare with your bank or credit union. But, even if you don’t finance with the dealer, you will still find yourself in the “F&I” office ostensibly to “sign all of the paperwork”. This isn’t just to “sign the papers”, it’s to sell you extra products and services you probably do not need. Some examples are extended warranties or service contracts, prepaid maintenance, GAP insurance, road hazard insurance, etc. Sometimes these extras are included in your finance contract without your knowledge. Be sure that you buy no extras that you’re unaware of or don’t completely understand and need.

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