I just read another great article written by Tom McParland over at Jalopnik about car dealers sneaking in fees and really just flat out mis-advertising their vehicles.
This is a very familiar subject to the guys and gals down here at eimports4Less because we have clients all over the country who shop for and buy their vehicles online. We hear the stories. They find vehicles online that are advertised at pricing that’s “too good to be true” and they find out why after spending a bunch of time arm wrestling the actual prices from someone on the dealership’s staff.
In Jalopnik’s most recent article, Tom shopped for a used Genesis sedan that was being advertised by a KIA dealer in NJ. This vehicle had an advertised price of $28,400. That sounded like a good deal until the dealer added on $3,000 in prep fees, window etching, etc.
Basically these dealers want to advertise their cars for the lowest possible price so when you’re shopping online for a car you see their price and contact them. They want to prompt that contact, so they use fake pricing to lure you in. Most dealers don’t like selling cars online to long distance customers and they don’t like selling cars to cash buyers because they have to tell you the price SO YOU CAN PAY THEM! Most dealers want the customer to make a commitment and spend half a day at the dealership before they make it to the finance office and find out the real price. And worst of all, many people never even find out the real price because it’s hidden in finance documents that buyers don’t understand and then just added to a monthly payment. You end up paying thousands more for a car that you thought was the least expensive one you could find.
Tom’s Jalopnik article suggests the same thing that we do: get the pricing in writing when you’re shopping for a vehicle and always question fees that don’t make sense to you. You should only be paying for the vehicle, the registration and your state’s sales tax. Anything more than that should be questioned.