When you’re buying a new car, one of the last things you want to face is tricks from your car dealer. Experienced car salesmen know what to say and what to ask so you’ll buy a car at the price they want. However, don’t let this scare you away from purchasing a new car. Make sure you are prepared and read our guide of gimmicks to avoid at the car dealership.

Pushing you to buy right now

When you’re at the car lot, your dealer will most likely push you to buy the car right now. They’ll tell you that the car is the last one on the lot, that the price will go up tomorrow, or someone else is interested.  No matter what they tell you, take time to think over your decision and don’t let them rush you into a purchase until you are ready.

Low-balling your trade in

One strategy many salesmen do is offer a very low price for your trade-in. First time car shoppers often accept the low offer because they don’t know what their car is worth or don’t how to negotiate. When buyers do negotiate, they might be happy when the offer raises even a little bit, but still end up leaving with less than the car was worth.

Avoid this by shopping your trade-in around to multiple dealers so you can get a feel for what your car is worth and what other dealers would offer for it.

Offering a different price online

Some dealers will promote one price online or over the phone, but once you get into the dealership, the offer completely changes. Often, the price that is promoted online is the price that is only offered to the shopper with the best credit.

Dealers use this as a strategy to get you into the dealership where they hope they’ll be able to convince you to buy. If this happens to you, stand firm on your budget and don’t let them sway you into paying more just because you are in the dealership.

Putting your purchase into a single transaction

While buying a car might seem like one purchase, it’s actually three different transactions that should be treated individually. Buying your new car, trading in your old one, and securing your financing should all be negotiated separately.  

By negotiating everything at once it’s easy for dealers to mislead you and make a larger profit. While they might give you the price you want for your new car, they’ll also low-ball your trade-in.  Avoid this by separating each transaction and shopping them at different locations.

Selling you a monthly payment

One rule of car shopping is to always focus on negotiating the purchase price first. Once you agree on a vehicle price that you are comfortable with, then move on to discussing the monthly payments.

If the dealer knows the monthly price you are willing to pay before you settle on the total price, they’ll offer you the monthly payment you want, but extend your loan term. You might walk away from the dealership feeling like you got what you wanted, but you’ll end up paying more in interest over time.  

Sneaking in additional fees or upgrades

Once you finally agree on a price, make sure to read through the agreement carefully. Car salesmen are known for sneaking in additional fees, and making mistakes that end up costing you. Dealers also may add in the cost of extra upgrades that you didn’t want.  Make sure you read your final agreement over carefully and ask upfront about what the fees and upgrades are.

You can avoid these car car dealership tricks and stay on track at the dealership by shopping for your auto financing beforehand. From now until November 30th, CTFCU is offering auto loan rates as low as 2.5%. Contact us or visit our auto loan promotion page to learn more about our auto loans before you go to the dealership.