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Don’t fall victim to these sneaky car sales tactics

by | May 24, 2020 | Consumer Protection

Car salesmen can be very deceptive. They sometimes use unethical tactics to try to entice you to purchase a vehicle. They even do things to push the overall cost of the vehicle higher. They may try to accomplish this by increasing the interest rate or extending the payment period.

Many car salespersons love it when buyers walk into the showroom and have no knowledge as to how much a vehicle should cost. This is why consumers should review auto prices on websites such as and before they head out to the auto dealer’s lot.

Another common tactic that car salespersons use is to ask what’s the highest monthly payment that you can afford. They may show you the most expensive vehicle with the highest interest rate or the longest monthly payments based on how you respond to that question.

The law doesn’t require them to tell you about the lowest cost loan that you qualify for. They may even be able to lawfully tack on a couple of percentage points for themselves.

It’s not uncommon for dealers to promise to pay off your old or pre-existing loan. They do so by adding the amount on to the new loan, by offering less for the trade-in or imposing additional finance charge fees though. They do so in hopes that you’ll focus more on the monthly payment amount rather than how much you’ll end up spending on paying off the loan.

Car salespersons also often recommend that buyers lease instead of purchase their vehicles by telling them that they can get the car for half the price of a new one. Buyers who lease their cars end up making monthly payments for an extended period and own nothing in the end. The dealer often turns around and sells the vehicle as “certified pre-owned.”

Dealers often try to pressure buyers by telling them the deal is a limited time offer when it’s always available. They also advertise cars for discounted prices, only to tell customers that it’s for the demo or stripped-down version of the car once they get there.

It can be frustrating to learn that you’ve fallen victim to deceptive auto sales tactics. Companies have no right to mislead consumers. An attorney can review your Charleston case and advise you on how you may be entitled to monetary compensation under West Virginia law.

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