Car Buying Checklist to Avoid Car Dealer Scams

Make sure you cover all the points of this Car Buying Checklist to avoid even the simplest and most common car dealer scams. Most of them are obvious, but I have have seen many people become a victim to even these simple car dealer tricks. The more knowledge you have the better your car dealer experience.

1. Car Buying Checklist: Leave the emotion at home.

When you are shopping for your new or used car you need to remember that your car salesman is trained to play off your emotions. You should approach buying a car like a business transaction rather than a trip to the toy store. You need to be reserved and logical in the car buying and shopping process.

Contain any excitement you have until you leave the car dealer. To the car salesman the emotional car buyer is the easiest to influence. Being emotional and excited about buying a car is usually the easiest way to become a victim of a car dealer scam. Do not give up any information that is not critical to the car buying process. Don’t tell them how much you have to spend or what you can afford each month. Keep these details to yourself.

If you are shopping for a new car you can avoid much of the hassle by having local dealers compete for your business. Click Here Yahoo Autos and a new window will open to provide you with 4 competitive quotes so you can shop logically and without emotion. Logic and knowledge are key to a great deal.

2. Car Buying Checklist: Inspect the Car Thoroughly.

If you have to shop for a car at night or in lousy weather, have the car salesman bring the car inside so your can do a thorough inspection. Going over a car you are going to purchase in the dark or bad weather will cause you to miss things that you won’t find until after you bought the car. Then it’s too late, you bought it, there are no returns after a spot delivery. This one of the car dealer scams to be avoided.

3. Car Buying Checklist: Test Drive the Car.

If may sound strange, but there are people that buy cars without test driving them. Be sure you take the car you intend to buy on a thorough test drive. Even if the car is brand new you should take it for a test drive. There can be situations where a new car can have a problem that you don’t find until you take it home. It may be covered by a warranty, but who wants to have to take a brand new car back to the car dealerships for repairs. I have heard of car salesman selling a car that they knew had a problem, but they did not want to lose the sale. So they sold the car and when the car buyer called them the next day they told them to bring it in and the service department will take care of the problem under warranty.

4. Car Buying Checklist: No Deposit without Details.

When you find the car you want to buy and decide to put a deposit on the car to hold it or the car dealer is going to get you a new car from another dealer or the factory, do not put down cash or check for deposit until the exact price is determined. Be sure everything is in writing and you know the exact price that you will be paying first. Then only give a credit card as a deposit.

I have seen car dealer scams that involve changing the price or adding extras such as a prep fee or transfer fee that you did not know about. If there is a problem with that when you come back to get the car, cash is hard to get back, but you can always have your credit card company charge them back if they are not willing to issue a credit.

5. Car Buying Checklist: Trading in Your Old Car.

You can get much more for your old car if you sell it yourself, but if you don’t want to go through the hassle of selling it yourself at least do some research on the value. Spend a little time on the computer and do some research on the value of your car before you trade it in. A very common car dealer scam is to undervalue your trade in. Knowing what your used car is worth will put you in the driver’s seat when trading in your old car. (go to Edmunds to find your trade value – link opens in a new window)

6. Car Buying Checklist: Different Sales People.

In the car business when they change sales people in the middle of negotiations it means that your original sales person feels that they are not making any headway in getting you to buy. They send in a different car salesman or sales manager to take over in an effort to make you think you are talking to someone that has more power in regards to making a deal. When they change sales people on you they are trying to wear you down, stick to your guns regardless of how many sales people they send out to talk to you.

7. Car Buyer Checklist: Playing Both Sides.

It is a common practice for your car salesman to play both sides during negotiations. The salesman will act as if they are taking your side and working against the sales manager to get them to accept your offer when in fact they are just trying to gain your confidence. They are both on the same side and that side is trying to sell you a car. Let them know that you are tired of wasting your time and you are ready to leave. That will usually bring them back to the reality that you are leaving if they can’t do your deal.

These are seven of the most common mistakes that people make when buying a car. There are more car dealer scams to be aware of, but make sure that you avoid these very simple items on the car buying checklist. You can find more under the Scams Category on the right and get to know the car lingo.

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