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Car Dealership Scams

Car Dealership Scams
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Cars are expensive and so when buying one most people are understandably keen to get the best deal available. However, sometimes what seems like a good buy can turn out to be a costly mistake. Here are some scams to be aware of when you’re looking to purchase a new car.

Yo-yoing

Also known as a spot delivery scam, yo-yoing is a growing problem to look out for when buying from a dealer. This scam happens when you take out finance through the dealer and drive the car home the same day. At some point, usually around two weeks later, the buyer gets a phone call to say the finance has fallen through and they need to take the car back.

When you arrive back at the dealership, you’ll be encouraged to keep the car either by putting down more money or agreeing to a higher interest rate. As most people will by then have decided they are happy with their new car or that they don’t want the hassle of finding another car and filling out the paperwork again, they’ll agree to the new finance package, which is higher than they one they’d originally signed.

Avoiding the yo-yoing scam

As dealerships use their own financing packages to facilitate this scam, the most effective way to avoid it is to use alternative financing. Shop around for a great deal on a loan and use that to purchase the car. If you do use dealership finance then make sure you read the small print. Keep an eye out for phrases such as “subject to financing” and make sure the APR and guaranteed price are shown clearly on the paperwork.

Clocking

Clocking is one of the oldest car selling scams in the book. It involves tampering with the car to lower the mileage shown and make it look like the car has been driven less than it actually has. Removing even 1,000 miles from the clock can add hundreds of pounds to the value of a car. Modern digital odometers were intended to put a stop to the practice but unscrupulous dealers have caught up with technology and so clocking is still a big problem.

Avoiding the clocking scam

As cars that have been well maintained can appear newer and less used than they actually are, it can be tricky to spot if a car’s mileage has been clocked. Ask to see old MOT certificates and the car’s service history, which should give an accurate account of how many miles the car has been driven. You can also pay to have a history check done on a car you’re interested in buying. These cost around £20 but are worth the expense if they save you more in the long run.

Dealers posing as private sellers

Car Dealership ScamsThere are laws that both dealers and private sellers must adhere to. However, car dealers do have to provide a warranty and are legally obliged to tell you about any faults with the car. For this reason some dealers will pose as private sellers to wriggle out of these commitments.

Avoiding dealers posing as private sellers

If you’re buying a car through a private seller then you should arrange to meet to view the car at that person’s home address. If they refuse and ask to meet somewhere neutral then that may be a sign that they’re not being entirely honest. Alarm bells should also start ringing if you say you’re calling about the car for sale and person asks which one. Most private sellers will only have one vehicle for sale.

As with anything else in life, when buying a new car as yourself whether or not the deal seems too good to be true. If it does then there’s a good chance that someone is trying to scam you.

 

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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