CAR PURCHASE SCAMS
Shopping for a car can be exciting. But wading through ads and promotions from car dealers, and deciding how to pay, can be stressful. If you are planning to purchase a new set of wheels, take your time. Carefully read the documents, especially the credit or lease contract. A key to any satisfactory purchase is an understanding of all the sneaky fine print in any documents.
Most auto dealers are honest, but not all dealers play by the rules. Remember the Basic rule:
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE FINE PRINT
AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.
If you decide to finance the car, you will likely obtain a loan from a bank, credit union, or finance company, or include dealership financing. Either way, the financing application requires an accurate and honest listing of your monthly payments and the amount of your down payment.
Before signing, carefully review your final financing application and sales contract. Make sure they show your down payment, monthly payments and other relevant information.
Before you sign any document, be sure you agree with all the terms, including the price and the financing. If there is something you do not understand you can ask a trusted friend to review it with you before you sign.
Things to watch for:
- Deceptive advertising to lure people into the dealers' door
- Failure to disclose required financing terms
- Inflation of a consumer's income and down payment information in an effort to close the deal for a customer who in fact would not financially be able to make all payments. The upshot could lead to repossession of the automobile
- Salesman requiring the customer to sign a purchase contract before all terms are entered
- Salesman rushing the customer to promptly sign, falsely alleging there in a time limit in which to sign.