How to Sniff Out a Sleazy Used Car Dealership

greensboro used car dealersThanks to movies like Matilda and shows like Carfellas, most of us think we know what a sleazy used car dealership looks and feels like. Nevertheless, today’s used car “sleaze” is a little more subtle than Hollywood may lead you to believe. Eager to conceal their sordid sales tactics, some used car dealers will simply be stealthy (while still stopping at nothing to get an unwanted car off their lot). Eager to sniff out the “sleaze”? Be on the lookout for these signs you’re about to be swindled by a used car dealership:

They shorten the length of your test drive.

A speedy test drive is a surefire sign your dealer is hiding something. It’s always best practice for a prospective buyer to take a car out on a lengthy test drive first. This allows the buyer to see how a car handles different terrains and varying speeds. If a used car dealer is attempting to deprive you of this ideal opportunity to explore how a car handles on the road, there’s most likely a reason why. Namely, something he doesn’t want you to discover (at least until the car is officially off his lot).

They pressure you to buy sooner rather than later.

If a car salesman ever approaches you immediately upon entering his lot with something like, “What can we do to get you in one of our cars today?” BOLT. Yes, seriously. A used car dealer should give you plenty of time to walk around the lot by yourself (without the pressure of someone trying to sell you something). In fact, a good salesman will simply introduce himself and make it known he’s there to answer any questions you might have. If you feel pushed by a used car salesperson, we recommend you “push away” from that dealership.

They undervalue your trade-in.

Many people expect to get more money for their trade-in than it’s actually worth to a dealer. While you should keep in mind that a dealership has to invest more money in your car before it’s ready for resale, don’t let a used car dealership trick you into accepting any less than it’s actual trade-in value. Check sites like Kelley Blue Book or for a realistic estimate of what to expect in exchange for your current vehicle.

They pull a bait-and-switch.

Most people’s experiences at car dealerships don’t go exactly as planned. While it’s normal for prospective car buyers to get side-tracked, even wooed, by a great deal that’s different from what they originally arrived looking for, make sure it’s you and not the dealer doing the “wooing.” If you came in to look at a 2007 Honda Civic that was listed at a great price online, don’t let the dealer convince you that you really need a newer (and more expensive) car than that. Ask how long this “great deal” has been on their lot and you may discover it’s worth less than you might expect.

Separating the “sleaze” from the superior used car dealerships is easy when you’re searching for these four simple signs. At Monarch Auto Sales in Greensboro, N.C., we are confident in the quality of our cars and the customer care our staff provides. If you’re searching for a used car dealership that stands apart from the crowd, call today to speak to a member of our friendly sales staff (336-856-9707); visit us online to check out our online inventory; or stop by our dealership to meet with us in person.

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