Choosing to buy pre owned cars over brand new models can be beneficial in a number of significant ways. As the online guide to car buying Edmunds.com suggests, used car shopping can help you find a more affordable car with better long term financing. Since it’s a used car, you’re also likely to get more affordable premiums when it comes to your auto insurance.
It should be noted that 99% of second hand car dealers want to sell you a car that will last you for as long as possible. They know that if they sell you a great vehicle at a competitive price, you’ll think of them in the future when it’s time for something new. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case across the board. Plenty of dishonest dealers out there are looking to make a quick buck by trying to rip people off when they’re used car shopping. Here are just three of the most common scams they use to try and screw over unwitting shoppers.
Three of the Most Common Scams Villainous Used Car Dealers Use
- The Ol’ Carrot at the End of a Stick
- Title Washing
- Stuffing the Contract Full of Things You Never Agreed To
As Business Insider details, one of the most prevalent scams in the world of used car shopping is the carrot at the end of a stick, otherwise known as the bait and switch. Unscrupulous dealers will have you all set to buy the car of your dreams, but at the last second, they tell you somebody came and bought the car. What do they do next? They offer you a comparable model at a much higher price. Protect yourself by having your dealer give you a copy of an inventory notice saying your vehicle is in stock and will be waiting for you when you come to purchase it.
Of all the scams on this list, title washing is doubtlessly the most widespread, as the auto trading guide Autobytel writes. A vehicle’s title will list its accident history, allowing you to spot a clunker from a mile away. The problem? There is a loophole that allows dealers to wipe that title history. By buying a car in a different state and getting a new title for the vehicle in their home state, all of that negative history goes away. Beware of cars that have recently been retitled and those that originally came from elsewhere.
For the Public Counsel, the biggest pro bono law firm in the United States, contract stuffing is one of the worst scams bad dealers use, mostly because it so often goes completely unnoticed. As the name implies, some dealers will stuff unwanted accessories and vehicle options into your contract at the last minute, boosting up the price suddenly. Because so many people fail to read their contracts carefully, the dealers who employ this tactic often getaway with it. Be smart; read your contract carefully before putting any money down.
Have you ever been scammed when used car shopping? Help protect our readers by giving us the details of the scam in the comments below. Links like this.