6 Dealership Scams To Avoid

Buying your new car from a dealer can often be an overwhelming experience. This is particularly true if you’re a first time buyer. They are experienced sales-people and they know how to squeeze every bit of money out of you. Buying a car is such an emotional purchase. Often you fall in love with your dream car. This can cloud your judgement when it comes to the extra costs they start adding on at the dealership. You’re so eager to drive away you sometimes agree to everything.


This is bad practice and you need to learn where the dealer will try to trick you. The most important thing to remember is that the negotiating doesn’t end when you agree the price. You may have knocked a few hundred off the sticker price but you’re not done yet. You’ll then go back to one of the offices to do the paper-work. This means they’ll add all the extra costs on! This will occur whether you’re buying a brand new car or a used car at TC Harrison Ford, so be prepared.

Delivery Charge

This seems like a reasonable charge, so many new buyers accept it without question. However, delivery charges are already included in the sticker price you agreed. It will be listed on the invoice you already have. When you agree to delivery charges after the purchase, you are essentially paying it twice. Scan the full invoice first and ask for any duplicates to be removed.

Advertising Fee

Manufacturers charge the dealers an advertising fee to cover marketing costs. This could be for online sales or on the forecourt. This fee is then passed onto you, the buyer. Again, it’s a reasonable cost. However, you have already paid for this one too. It’s included in the sticker price. Don’t pay for it twice.

Dealer Preparation

There will be a cost for this. Just take a second to think how much that should really cost. A new car requires no more preparation than a fluid and tyre check. Does that really require a price tag of $300? Assess what’s really necessary to prepare your car and suggest a more reasonable price.

Fabric and paint protection

This is a fee that has been in place for years. The dealers look like they’re giving you an added service. They’ll promise to treat the interior fabric and the paint to ensure it lasts longer and keeps better. This is nothing more than a glorified scam. Paint and fabric nowadays come with this protection already built in. You’re paying for a wax and a clean if you succumb to this fee.

Vehicle ID etching

This is definitely a service you should get. It will etch your windows and car equipment with an ID number. If it’s stolen it can be found and attributed to you. However, the dealers will charge up to 8 times more than other garages. You can even buy a kit yourself for around $25.

Processing Fee

This one is inevitable. However, don’t believe them when they say it is ‘non-negotiable’. Nothing at a car dealership is non-negotiable. If you’ve already driven them down on sticker price, they may play hardball here. There’s always room to scrape a couple hundred dollars from this cost.

Most of all, go into the dealership armed with confidence and knowledge. Don’t let your heart make all the decisions. Squeeze every last cent off the price. Remember, everything is negotiable

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