As an Oregon Consumer Lawyer I regularly sue Car Dealerships on behalf of people that get ripped off. Some Car Dealers have perfected the art of bamboozling customers in an effort to squeeze every penny out of the deal. Some dealers do such a masterful job, that most consumers feel powerless even though something “doesn’t feel right.” However, Car Buyers do have rights and can assert those rights. Here are 3 tips to help you Protect Yourself from a Car Dealer:
1) Read the Documents: It is a no brainer that you should read what you are signing. However, dealers use tactics to prevent this. Dealers are trained to keep their hands on the documents and point where to sign while engaging in conversation with you. You can protect yourself by asking the dealer to step out of the office or away from the desk and give you time to read the documents. You can also politely ask the dealer to stop talking as you are going through the documents, and remind them that you are trying to focus. There is never enough time to read all of the small print. However, before you sign the documents you should have an understanding of the major aspects of the deal.
2) Shop Based on Total Sale Price: Many people purchase cars solely based on the monthly payments. Focusing on monthly payments puts the consumer at a disadvantage because the dealer can tweak the financing and price of add-ons to keep the monthly payments roughly the same, but the actual amount financed of the vehicle is substantially higher. You can protect yourself by shopping based on the “Total Sale Price” of the vehicle. That price is located on the truth in lending act disclosures that the dealer requires you to sign.
3) Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away If Something Doesn’t Feel Right: If you think the dealer is trying to take advantage of you then walk away. Dealers use long delays to exhaust buyers so that the dealer can get them to rush through signing the paperwork. You can combat this by giving them a certain amount of time to prepare the documents or you walk. You can also walk out if you get the sense that the dealer is trying to pull a fast one or take advantage of you.
If you or someone you know has been ripped off by a car dealer please call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658. Oregon Consumer Lawyer Jeremiah Ross has represented numerous consumers who have been victims of auto fraud, unlawful car sales, and vehicle financing schemes. Please remember that rules and laws are constantly changing. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NUMEROUS OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BEING RIPPED OFF (Vehicle inspections, taking financing documents home, pre-loan approval, etc.) These are simply three basic tips. Please contact a lawyer or refer to the law rather than simply relying on this post. This post could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.