Dont Get Tricked by the Car Dealer

By: jusen

Amazingly, no matter what car the customer wants, it is always 'hot property', 'very sought after' and/or 'hard to find'. Moreover, it isn't a secret; we have all known it for years. Nevertheless, some of us still continue to be tricked into buying a motor vehicle we really don't want to buy, and at a higher price than we expected. So let's find out what some of the most favourite and sneaky tactics they get up to and put them in our diary so that we can refer to them when next buying a new car.
Almost every new car dealership will drop the initial price they have listed on a car for sale. However, what you must be wary of are the scams, pressure tactics, twists, and turns that motorcar salespeople have up their sleeves. It is in the showroom, when you are ready to finalise the deal, where you shall be worn down by these machinations, if you don't have your wits about you. This is when a great online site like comes in really handy. You can register, log in, search thousands of cars and refine your search by using the vehicle 'keyword search'.
Car dealers will never give you a direct or exact quote because if they do, they know you will go to another dealer and have them better the price. And to check on prices and search for motor vehicles online is a great way to save a lot of footwork. I recently found two sites, which had thousands of Australian cars for sale. At, you will find new and used cars for sale as well as dealer specials.
If you do leave the dealership and tell the dealer you will 'look around for other prices', the dealer will most likely ask you to come back once the 'best price' has been obtained. Don't be fooled by this because the dealer will then either match the price, or try to increase it slightly by taking advantage of the fact that you have had enough of shopping and are now really eager to buy the car. Smart and very familiar, this trick works very well for most dealers. It relies mainly on getting you, the customer to feel obliged to buy, because you have put the dealer to 'so much trouble'.
A smart salesperson will urge you to commit to buying the car you really want, even before you get the final price. This is irksome and exasperating for customers, but reasonable from a dealer's point of view. Now your car dealer has two choices: To give you a quote and watch you walk out the door, or entice you to negotiate. Perhaps you may be lucky when negotiating with the dealer; however, you may never know whether you have paid too much. If you feel uncomfortable about a car dealer, then go online at where you can check that this trader of motor cars in Victoria is licensed and has Licensed Motor Car Traders (LMCT) number.
Most auto classifieds online give a price, which you can work with, but a regular trick, which is frustrating and time consuming for customers is this. A dealership will identify one or two cars of a particular model. These will be the 'undesirable' cars. The problems are common and may be simple. For instance, 'the manufacture date is very old', 'the car has been in the showroom for a very long time', perhaps they are 'the least popular colour' and of course 'with no options'.
Next, the dealer will run a large advertising campaign based on these two cars, with the price ridiculously below cost. When the advertisement runs, the dealer waits for customers to flood through the doors. Of course, when they do arrive to get the best deal, they are usually told that the cars have been sold and are now waiting to be 'delivered' to the clients. Consequently, you will be invited to browse the showroom or customers are 'switched' to another car.
If you still insist on looking at the vehicle, if it is still on the floor, the salesperson just points out why this particular car is undesirable, and then persuades the customer to look at a better car, of course you will expect to pay more. To make sure you do not pay too much, log in to a site where you just register, log in, and search the thousands of vehicles available Australia wide. Not only can you search for a motor vehicle with a simple keyword search, but also when you are ready to sell a car you can use the free classifieds to do so.
The most widespread trick currently being used is to make the customer believe that the salesperson can get the lowest price for the car, so that you (the customer) will start negotiations with the dealer almost immediately. The specific methods vary, but here are some common ways of doing it:
The salesperson will tell you. 'You could probably get the car for less than $36,250...', but will avoid giving a specific price. Instead, the salesperson will say, 'When you are ready to buy, we can strike a deal, are you ready to buy now?'
The salesperson tells the customer: 'If you're going to spend more than $36,250 on the car, you should come back and see me'. When the customer returns and asks to buy the car for $36,250, the salesperson will point out that he/she never promised to sell you the car for $36,250, but is ready to give you the best price when you are ready to buy. 'Do you want me to get a good price for you? are you ready to buy now?'. We all know that buying a new or used car can be a daunting process however; at, you will find the latest car specials from reliable dealers.
Your salesperson may give the price for an older model car. Either the 'old' car is a previous model, or perhaps it has been gathering dust because no one has wanted to buy it (usually for good reason) and the dealer wants to get rid of it quickly to make room for newer models. This is likely to happen if you don't think carefully and specifically ask for the price for a current model car that is not older than 3 months. Be wise and search, where they have thousands of cars in their cars classifieds pages. By simply registering and submitting a keyword search, you will find the car you want in no time.
The other ploy is when the salesperson takes your credit card along with an insufficiently low offer to 'the boss' for approval, but then returns to say it was not accepted. This is intended to drag the customer into more negotiations. i.e. '...we only need to increase it slightly and she's yours..."
Don't get caught by being given the price for the car excluding the on-road costs. If you don't specifically ask for on-road costs to be included, the sales person will most likely give you the excluding on-road costs price. Of course, you have to be guarded because your contract may be drawn up on this proviso. Trouble is that when you are ready to sign, the 'quoted' price of the car, will then be understated by many thousands of dollars.
If you are a bit slow and think your car is worth more than it really is, you just might get a clever salesperson that will give in, and agree to an excessive price for your trade in. Now you might be pleased by this, because you may be thinking that you are 'putting one over' the dealer.

No so, generally the sales person will look up on the computer or in the Car Dealers Price Guide to find out the going price for your trade in and will start from there. In addition, believe me; you will pay for it in the end. How you ask? Well when the dealer charges TOO much for your new car. You can check on the internet for a price as well, so go to, so you are armed with the real price, when you go to trade your motor vehicle.
From time to time, a ruthless sales person will have a go at this. He/she will contact you before your new car is delivered. When the niceties are over you will be told that there is an issue with the trade in. You will be asked to bring the car into the workshop for further inspection. When your vehicle has been in the garage, for 60 minutes, (having nothing done to it), the salesperson will tell you that the mechanic claims to have found it is really only worth $500 less than what they have offered for it. Watch for this old ruse, because if you fall for it, the sales person gets another $500 in his pocket. To make sure this does not happen to you go to and check out the great car deals in their Car classifieds. You will find thousands of cars to choose from and be equipped with all the information you need when you arrive to look at the car you want to buy.
Now if you don't want to be pursued by a dealer just don't give a phone number. Say 'it's a silent number', '...don't have a mobile', 'can't leave a work number', or at the test drive 'accidentally' give the wrong phone number. If you don't, dealers will sometimes pursue a potential customer until they wear them down to buy.
Even after continual phoning, and when you end up buying from a different dealer, the sales person (who has missed out on the deal) will then give you the bad news. When you tell them you bought elsewhere (at a very good price of $34,550) they will say, 'Oh no, you shouldn't have paid any more than $32,000 for it!' This is designed to make you feel as bad as the salesperson, who lost out too. It also highlights just how spiteful some people can be.
No matter when, where or which dealership you may stroll into, there is always a reason to feel 'lucky', according to the keen sales person. Early in the month, they might say they missed their target last month and are desperate to make it up. During the middle of the month, 'the boss has told me to push out more cars or I'll never reach my target this month either'. The most common, is probably the most used because most people fall for it. This is the end of the month trick.
The time of month may matter to some dealers sometimes, though; it never matters to a car broker. Beware of this because you may end up paying more than you expected. Go online to and find out the information you need before rushing headlong into the 'big end of financial year deal'. This trick deserves serious consideration. It is the most elaborate trick of this type. Manufacturers know that companies often buy around this time of year for accounting purposes. They therefore rarely offer any factory discounts, and they sometimes increase their retail prices to take advantage.
To find a great deal on a car why not log on to It's Australia's largest free classifieds site. You will find auto classifieds, motorcycle classifieds, and Australian cars for sale all over the country.
You might think that the car dealer trusts you implicitly with the new car and by letting you take the car home overnight or to work for a day, the sales person is trying to get you to 'fall in love with the car'. Not very underhanded, perhaps, but considering the dealer will initiate this in some cases by asking for a trade-in assessment, you need to recognise that it's definitely a trick. A trade in assessment should take no more than about 10 minutes. A half hour at most.
A dealer may tell you they have reached the 'limit' as to what he can do with the price, but he can give you a 'special deal' on cheap finance. He will tell you 'the normal rate is a%' and then say, '...but you can have it for b%' (slightly less). Unless you are aware of current interest rates, you can easily pay too high a rate. Therefore, if you go online and check any of the large finance companies like or banks they will be able to give you all the information, before you are conned by a crafty salesperson. Then compare with the dealers price and your bank. You will find a good rate of interest if you do some initial research.
A small increase in the repayments quotes will equal a large increase in the total amount you will pay for your new car. Dealers use this to great advantage in order to divert focus from the total price paid. The only way to find your new car is online, in the comfort of your own home. Classified ads are the best way to research, and at, you will find all the information you need to buy your new car. There are articles and car reviews and thousands of car ads to search through situated Australia-wide.
If you are not vigilant, your dealer may offer you less than market value for your trade in. The idea here is to conceal the profit from the customer by lowering the allowance for the trade in. If it succeeds, and it usually does, the dealer can offer you an unrealistically low price for the new car.
An extremely common trick is 'limited time'. If the dealer does give a price, (a most unusual and dicey thing for the dealer to do) he will try to make you believe that it is only valid right now, while you are standing in the showroom. This is an obvious ploy to force you to make up your mind on the spot. The amazing thing about this con is the number of people that fall for it. What you need to think about when buying a new or used car is that going online to find the make, model and all the information about the vehicle first is the smart way to buy a car. If you go online to you can check out what is for sale and also do some research on the particular vehicle you want to buy.
There are various methods of stalling a client. You may ask why? The purpose of the stalling trick is to exhaust you. While you are sitting in the office with the 'free cup of coffee in a styrene mug' trying to decide whether or not the salesperson has offered you a good deal, it reduces the time available for to you to shop around for a better price. Remember these salespeople don't have anything else to do but convince you to buy this car here and now. Moreover, they know exactly how to do this with the help of the other salespeople and mechanics.
Some common stalling tricks are: They might misplace the keys to the trade in or perhaps another client's car has blocked yours ('you'll have to wait for the return of the client'). Perhaps they will take excessive time to assess the trade-in. There is always a valuer on site at a dealership, and a valuation takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Don't put up with silly scams like this. is a site that will assist you in finding the motor car you want. This is a fascinating site, because they have interesting articles, car reviews and even a forum where you can join in to talk about cars with likeminded people.
Now let us look at a classic trick designed to make the customer think the car is really exceptional. I am sure you have heard this. 'My wife/husband drives one'. Yes, the car salesperson has bought the same model for his own spouse. If it happens that he or she really does drive this particular model, then it is most probably because the salesperson gets it as part of his/her salary package because they work for the car dealership.
A good sales person will search hard to find common interests with the customer so he or she can 'make friends'. The purpose of this is to make you identify with the sales person. This, in turn, should make you feel sympathetic to the salesperson and leads to the customer feeling bad if he/she lets down the dealer by not buying from them. What you have to remember is that you may never set eyes on this person again. All you are doing is buying a car. Just as you, buy a pair of shoes. You don't need a 'new' friend.
Offering 'extras' such as carpet mats, window tinting, car seat covers and other items serves two purposes: It draws a line that makes the customer believe that the dollar amount is not further negotiable. If, for example, the bottom line on the car is $32,000, the dealer may stop at $36,000 and start adding 'extras'. The extras may only add up to $500 by the time the dealer has managed to convince you that negotiations are finished. It slows down negotiations, and diverts focus from the dollar amount. Go online to and search through their online listings. Find the price of car you want without the hassles.
Caution. If you have been referred by a friend, and you tell the sales person the 'good news', this instantly means that the customer is more likely to trust the sales person. Trust is money. The more trust given, the more the customer will pay for the car. Keep the information to yourself, or you will end up being scammed. is a site that will assist you in finding the motor car you want. I am fascinated by this site because they have interesting articles, car reviews and even a forum where you can join in to talk about cars with likeminded people.
You have probably heard the expression, 'the Woody', akas Wood Duck; you may have even used it. Don't become one. This is a person who walks in to the showroom, puts total trust in the sales person, and sincerely believes the sales person is actually helping to get the best deal for them. It is a salespersons' dream because he or she knows the full retail price will be paid.
We have all heard it at some time or another when we have been searching for a new car, 'Subject to loan approval'. Many car loans will have this phrase in it, and believe me; some dealerships will try to exploit you out of more money by using this phrase as the reason why. This fraud is usually pulled on consumers that may have bad credit, so if your credit rating is good, you shouldn't have to worry about being taken advantage of by the dealership.
The bad news is that for those people who are taken advantage of, it usually means upwards of $1,000 more in finance fees and an additional $50 a month added to your car payment. To avoid this scam, finance your new or used car through your own bank or credit union.
The most abused fraud is the 'credit rating' scam. The car dealership tells you that your credit score is lower than what it actually is. This is in order to charge you a higher finance rate on your car loan. It is pure greed and the best way to deal with this is to bring a copy of your credit rating from with you when you go looking to buy a new car. That way there is no confusion about your credit rating. Unfortunately, no one is protected from this scam, because the dealership doesn't care if you have good or bad credit when they try to con you.
Another favourite trick is the forced 'warranty' scam where the auto dealership will insist that in order to qualify for the car loan you will need to purchase a two or three year warranty. Don't fall for this; you do not need the warranty. While you are tearing your hair out looking for your dream car I suggest that you register with and browse through the thousands of ads they have online in their free car classifieds. You will find private listings, dealers' listings and used their keyword or quick search to find exactly what you are looking for.
Can you remember that extra $fee that seems to appear on your contract to compensate the dealer for basically doing nothing? It is a good swindle that I am sure you have seen or heard of often. It's called the 'dealer prep' scam. Yes, it is the extra $500 or more that is added to the contract when the car arrives in the dealership ready to be driven off the car lot to, or by a prospective buyer.
Try to avoid paying this unreasonable fee if you can. Try to find out whether the car dealership you are buying from has this fee. If they do, tell them you will not be buying the car if you are forced to pay it. If they will not knock off the fee off then find a dealer that will strike this ridiculous charge off the contract. While I write these articles, I am always searching the web to find the best sites to visit to do extra research. I found and found it interesting to browse. is a great site to search because of the news, reviews, thousands of new and used car listings, the ease by which you can browse the site and free registration.
The dealer 'mark-up' fee is another phoney fee that is made up just to pad the car dealership's profit margin. Once again, the dealer charges this unnecessary fee for no reason other than greed. On your new motor vehicle, this fee can be seen on the sticker marked on the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). These are just a few of the many scams and tricks that surface from time to time particularly when you are trying to buy a new car.
We know that these practices go on, just as we also know that there are many trustworthy car dealerships. What you must be aware of is that you must find the right dealer who can and will sell you a car, without trying to rip you off in the process. A good and trustworthy dealership can make the compensation they deserve for their efforts. All you have to do is find that dealership. When you do write in, we would all like to know.

Auto Finance

» More on Auto Finance

Share this article :
Click to see more related articles