Common Car Dealer Tricks & Traps

Dealers are very good at convincing you to buy. Right now. If that's OK with you... 

You think: 'new car'. Dealer thinks: 'Kerrrrr-ching!' - if you let them

You think: 'new car'. Dealer thinks: 'Kerrrrr-ching!' - if you let them

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DEALER SAYS: "This price is only good for the next 60 minutes (or whatever)."
THE TRUTH: It's not. It's good until (at least) the rest of the month. In fact, you can probably do better than that. 

DEALER SAYS: "I've got a buyer coming in this afternoon with a deposit. If you want this car, I'll really need a deposit now." 
THE TRUTH: If you believe this, there's no hope for your children. Nobody is on their way in with a deposit. That's the oldest trick in the book.


DEALER SAYS: "With an unbeatable zero per cent finance rate on the table, we're not permitted to discount the car." 
THE TRUTH: Yeah, right - that 6-10 grand you would've paid in interest? If you agree you'll just be paying it up front because there's no discount on offer.

DEALER SAYS: "This trade-in really is very good. I doubt anyone else could match it."
THE TRUTH: It probably is a pretty good trade-in. That's because he's using it as leverage so you don't go elsewhere - and he'll more than compensate himself with a paltry discount on the new car and extortionate finance - if you buy that hogwash.


DEALER SAYS: "[Car brand X] won't let us discount the car.
THE TRUTH: That would be a breach of Australian law. Prices can't be fixed under Australian law. The dealer is free to sell you the car at any price. 

DEALERS SAYS: "The fabric, rust and paint protection package is excellent. It protects your investment and will keep it looking great in years to come." 
THE TRUTH: What a load of rubbish. Cars don't need that stuff - but the dealer will enjoy the profit. This is the worst 'investment' this side of Florida swamp land, that your money could buy.


 DEALER SAYS: "The boss will kill me if he hears I've given it to you at this price."
THE TRUTH: He won't. They'll both be yuk-yuk-yukking about just how gullible you were to believe that.

 DEALER SAYS: "I'll just get the sales manager to meet you approve this deal." (The implication being: Because the low price needs his approval.)
THE TRUTH: This is an up-sell. It's two-on-one. The sales manager's job is to convince you to buy more. (For example, to approve the low price only if you go with the dealership finance, which will more than compensate them for any sale price largesse, because it's such a rip-off.)