For most people, buying a new or used car is a big (and intimidating) step. Spending a lot of money on a single item always feels like a risky endeavor, even if you believe you are aware enough to avoid a poor deal.
As if purchasing a vehicle isn’t stressful enough, you also face the risk of auto dealer fraud. Unethical car dealers use many tactics to defraud those in the market for an automobile.
The 4-square method
If you see a neat document with letterhead and four tidy squares when you sit down for final negotiations, pay attention to everything the dealer says and does. The 4-square method is a technique auto dealers use to confuse unsuspecting consumers. Most customers go on to buy the car, usually at an unfair price or under bad financial terms.
Generous verbal warranties
If the auto dealer offers many price adjustments and other promises during your negotiations, make sure to get it all in writing. Verbal warranties give the illusion of good faith and honesty. However, if the dealer won’t back it up in writing, consider moving on to another dealership. Handshake deals are generally unwise when making any major purchase.
Absurdly low prices
If the dealership promises you a price point significantly lower than the market supports, caution can save the day. Dealerships offering discounts that are too good to be true usually have something to hide. It could be a hidden defect with the vehicle or if purchased online, a fraudulent auto transaction.
These are only three of the many techniques unscrupulous dealers use to come out of a car deal far better off than those they supposedly serve. If you suspect auto dealer fraud, learn more about your legal options under Connecticut law.