How to Avoid Car Dealership Rip Offs

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Trying to avoid car dealership rip offs?

Buying a new car can sometimes cause anxiety and stress. Especially if you are afraid of being ripped off! There are lots of ways you can avoid car dealership rip offs. 

In order to help you through the buying process, we have put together some helpful tips. That way you can buy your new car with confidence! 

Hidden Fees and Charges

One of the most common ways that shady dealerships can rip off buyers is by adding hidden fees and charges. While some of us avoid small details, some people still look up online car insurance quotes without personal info to keep their information safe. If you’re someone who avoids reading fine print, then you could be in trouble. 

Hidden fees and charges could be anything in your car contract. Here are a few charges you should definitely look out for when signing your paperwork: 

  • Extended warranties you don’t want
  • Dealer “Preparation” fees
  • Document prep and filing fees
  • Advertisement fees
  • Unneeded add-ons to your car
  • VIN etching fee

Though some of these may seem necessary, most of them shouldn’t be charged or should be negotiated. Be certain to triple and double check your contract to avoid car dealership rip offs. 


Huge Pricing Mark Ups

When it comes to dealerships taking advantage, one of the biggest scams is huge car mark up prices. Most of the time the price on the car’s price tag isn’t what you end up paying. Be certain to avoid having to pay for mark ups for window tinting, key protection, extra tires, and more. 

A big part in avoiding mark up prices is to stay informed. Know the overall value of the vehicle you want, just like you know the average insurance bundle cost so you can save money that way. Then, if the price is out of hand, you know what dealerships are trying to get away with crazy mark ups.

Stay Informed

Knowing is half the battle when trying to avoid dealership rip offs. By being informed and educated on the car you want, and what should be included in the costs, then you can save a LOT of money. Even the best dealerships in your area can be guilty of marking up the price of a car. But when it comes to absurd price changes and ridiculous charges, you definitely need to be wary. 

A good way to avoid being ripped off is to know the MSRP of your desired vehicle. Not to mention all legal fees and charges that have to be included. Ignorance in any matter can lead to being taken advantage of financially. Avoid dealership rip offs by knowing more!

Take a Friend

Let’s face it, sometimes you need back up. When it comes to buying a car, having someone there with you can be a huge advantage. Whether you have a friend who knows money, or a mechanic friend who really knows cars, taking someone with you is a great way to avoid dealership rip offs. 

A friend or partner can also help you when it comes to negotiations. If you don’t know that there shouldn’t be a service fee for buying a car, but your friend does, then they can help you get that fee taken off the cost of your vehicle. 

Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to come with you to the dealership. Your friend could know more about average insurance bundle cost to save you money, or things you never thought to question about the dealership. Ultimately, they could stop you from being ripped off! 

Avoid Car Dealership Rip Offs and Save Your Money

Not all dealerships are shady. Most are simply out there to sell cars and make a few dollars. However, there are some places that have given car dealerships a bad name. Use these tips to avoid dealership rip offs, and save yourself time and money today!

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John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for and other auto blogs