Things that are okay for a car dealer to do: charge a buyer seeking financing a different rate based on his or her credit history. Things that are completely not okay for a car dealer to do: charge a buyer seeking financing a different rate based on his or her race. And yet they just keep doing it anyway. [More]
Maybe they sent out the wrong mailing at the wrong time. Maybe they’re planning way ahead. Or maybe Gabriel’s local Hyundai dealership is putting whatever random crap gets people to open messages from them in the subject lines of their e-mails. In Gabriel’s case, it worked. He opened it. [More]
The new site TrueCar is a great concept: you can figure out a price for your car and trade-in online, without any of the frustrating negotiations, or even changing out of your pajamas. Reader Alex used the site to get a price for a new Jeep, and his eight hours of trouble began when he and the dealership valued his trade-in differently. [More]
When buying a new car, should you trade your old one in or see how much you can get on the open market? The conventional wisdom is that you get more money on your own, but meeting with buyers and doing paperwork is a hassle you may not want to bother with. Also consider the tax advantages in some states if you trade in at the same dealer where you buy your new car. [Consumer Reports]
Brad and his wife drove a few hours to a car dealership, planning to pay cash for a new vehicle. Well, not cash exactly: they were putting part of the balance on a credit card (for airline miles or other rewards, we’re guessing) and had a cashier’s check for the rest. The dealer agreed to this deal over e-mail and over the phone. Then, when they reached the dealership, they were handed a credit application to fill out. Wait, why did they need their credit checked when payment in full was sitting right there in their hands? [More]
Amanda’s car is pretty new: it’s a 2008 Honda Civic. She’s its first and only owner, and a trusted family member performs all maintenance on it. When the battery died recently, a mechanic changed it out for her. What was supposed to be the car’s original battery….wasn’t. It was a reconditioned battery that had clearly served her well for 4 years, but didn’t belong in a factory-fresh car. So how the heck did she end up with a used, refurbished battery instead of the shiny new one that it clearly deserved? [More]
Allen wanted to look at a new Dodge Charger. Not test-drive it. Just look at it, and maybe check out the interior or sit inside. But the dealership he visited wouldn’t let him even look at the car without taking down his name, address, driver’s license information, and phone number. Annoyed, he left the dealership and did a Google Images search or something instead. [More]
Last year, Brandon’s car was destroyed in an accident, and he went shopping for a new-to-him vehicle. He found a nice 2008 Honda Civic at a good price with a clean Carfax report. Sweet deal! Now Brandon’s in the market for a new car. At another dealership, he learned that the Civic isn’t worth as much as he had thought as a trade-in, because the vehicle had sustained severe body damage in an accident, then was rebuilt. How did they know this? The now-updated Carfax report, of course. [More]
With banks continuing to stick to high (well, higher) lending standards, and car dealers eager to move inventory, now could be the right time to buy a new car and finance it through the dealer, according to SmartMoney. Rates are as low as zero percent, and . “nothing beats 0%,” says Paul Taylor, of the National Automobile Dealers Association. [More]
Don plopped down $500 at a Hyundai dealership with the understanding that he’d get his money back if the sale fell through. He wasn’t happy with the terms of the deal, so he went with another dealership and was assured that he’d get the money back. The dealer still has the deposit and told Dan he’d like him to come in and have a sit-down about why the sale didn’t happen. Dan just wants his $500. [More]
Some car dealerships and lenders have equipped cars with devices that disable the ignition or make the horn honk nonstop when payments are late. We wrote about this last year, but didn’t realize that the interface has fantastic potential for pranks. And that’s how a laid-off car dealership employee was allegedly able to disable the ignitions of more than 100 cars purchased from the dealership. Or set off their horns in the middle of the night. [More]
Reader TheLoneGoldfish sent us this very sneaky mailing from an area Honda dealer. “Attention Toyota owners: Important Recall Information Enclosed,” the envelope declares. That important information: a letter noting that hey, this would be a really great time to trade in their Toyota for a Honda! [More]
Well, this is classy. The photo at left purports to be of a Honda dealer in Dallas taking advantage of Toyota’s own private carpocalypse. That is, the serious gas pedal issue that has led to the recall of 2.3 million vehicles and halted production and sales of Toyotas. Hondas, as we all know, are free of mechanical defects. [More]
The folks at Bankrate and Yahoo! Finance have put together a guide that translates the silly things that are often said in car commercials.
What’s a great way for a car dealer to get attention during a drought? Offer customers a free car if it rains. No, the dealership owner won’t be standing out front in a poncho, handing out keys to everyone who passes by on the appointed day. It’s cleverer than that.