UPDATE: Buying a Car and Getting Away With It

At first blush, M’s story about persistantly getting a dealership to uphold a contract that it said it “messed up” on sounded like an uplifting tale of succesful consumer perserverence. Well, it still does but an email from Justin may reveal a new wrinkle. M may have dodged what CarBuyingTips.com lists as its number #1 on its Top 10 Car Dealer Scams

2006. It’s called, “The Financing Fell Through Scam.”

    “This is the oldest trick in the scam book…You buy a new car, the “LieNance” manager says you got a low APR, hands you the keys, and you drive home… Two weeks and 500 miles later, the dealer calls you saying “Sorry, you didn’t qualify for that low interest”. This is where “subject to financing” clauses on contracts bite you in the butt. Everyone thinks that you sign papers it’s a done deal.”

While this isn’t exactly what happenned to M, it could be a variation. Perhaps the dealership financier really did make a mistake. Perhaps after seeing how dogged M was, they realized they couldn’t get away with the snookery.

Either way, CarBuyingTips.com had lots of info to arm yourself with before buying a new car. By using the web site and knowing what to do and what not to do, Justin says he got the $33k sticker price down to just a few bucks over $27k.

Previously: Buying a Car and Getting Away With It


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  1. M says:

    Hi, it’s M! Just thought I would clarify my car buying experience a bit. I believe that lemming of a financier did make an honest — if stupid — mistake. My credit score is nearly perfect, so the sham that Justin mentioned didn’t happen in my case. The old contract was declared null and void because it was done through the car maker’s financing company and — this is how they explained it to me — it would have not been honored by them, since it did not show the correct rebates and incentives for the particular model that I purchased. That’s why the dealership had to finance through another bank and buy down (eat) the rate. Here’s another lesson: buying a car through an online retailer like Cars Direct is the best way to avoid the dealership experience. You get the lowest price, do all dealing through email and only visit the dealership when you pick up your car. I have bought three cars this way and it’s definitely the easiest route. Do your research and don’t get snookered!

  2. Miguel Valdespino says:

    When I bought my car, I contacted every dealer within 50 miles. (I live in southern California, so there were a lot). I used a temporary e-mail address and did not leave a phone number. I had my financing through my credit union, so I didn’t need to give them credit information. I only dealt with people that would 1) Give me an out-the-door price 2) give me a time window that that price was valid. I ended up buying a car for $2,000 under invoice and there was no pressure. The internet sales manager told me to go direct to him and not the salesmen on the floor. There was no sales pressure, no “optional extras” like window etching or rustproofing, no hassle. I was out of there in one hour, including the test drive. This hour included a bunch of running around because the internet manager had offices at a different dealer in their sales group, so his assistant had to go about a quarter mile to pick up the car.