Buying a new car can be tough. First of all, most buyers are near near being a vehicle or financial expert. Next, cars are cool, and it is way too easy for way too many of us to let our emotions drive us into making a decision that later becomes a regret. Finally, buying a car usually involves financing that includes years' worth of monthly payments.
Thankfully there are steps Buyers can take to help them safely and successfully navigate the treacherous waters of the new car lot. The first step is for consumers to educate themselves before heading for the dealerships. Forbes Magazine, a great educator of consumers, has recently released a list of the top 10 new-car buying risks to watch out for. To compile this list, Forbes harvested data and stories from the Better Business Bureau and Edmunds.com.
The top ten new-car buying dangers are:
10. Back-end add-ons such as rust proofing, fabric protection, credit life insurance and paint sealant are great ways for dealers to get more of a consumer's money.
9. The spot delivery scam is when buyers are allowed to go home with their vehicle before the sale is official, only to be later told that they have got to pay a larger down payment in order for their financing to be approved.
8. Negative equity scams are when dealers say that they will pay off a buyer's existing car loan and then fail to do so. Forbes simply says to “Never trust dealers who promise to pay off your existing car loan – no matter how much you owe on it.”
7. Finessed financing is the old bait-and-switch scam, only with financing. Dealers get hopeful buyers in the door with offers of 0% financing only to then tell the buyers that they do not qualify for the special finance offers.
6. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for contracts to contain mistakes. Even more unfortunate is the fact that some of these mistakes are not incidental. Buyers should always read and understand each and every word and charge contained within a contract.
5. Not getting the true value of a trade in is a common hazard. Buyers need to learn the real value of their current set of wheels before they discuss trading it in.
4. Getting enticed by low monthly payments is a great way to end up paying too much for a new car. It is just as important to look at overall cost of purchasing a new car as it is to looking at its monthly payment.
3. Dealers threaten that deals are only good for the day to keep consumers from shopping around and learning the true value of a vehicle. To stay out of this trap, buyers need to do their research before heading to the dealership.
2. Two or more window stickers are a sign that the dealer is looking to charge consumers for costly dealer-installed equipment and add-ons such as rust-proofing or fabric protection. As a general rule, buyers should only agree to pay what's on the main window sticker.
1. The real bait and switch has been used since man first put on plaid pants and white belts for one reason: it works. Consumers can fight back against the bait and switch by immediately leaving any dealership that will not honor its offers.