Car Buying Scams & Tips To Avoid Them

I was going to write a simple little piece about one particular car buying scam, but my research brought me to this awesome resource:  Now, be prepared, there are a lot of advertisements sneaking around in this website, but that doesn’t make the information it presents any less useful.

The first page I found was Top 10 Car Dealer Scams.  The very first one on the list was the scam I was researching, where you are called back days or weeks after purchasing your car and told that you didn’t qualify for the loan that you thought you had gotten.  This actually happened to my mother and it was a huge hassle to make things somewhere near right.  However, the page is also full of all sorts of other tricky scams that can happen at car dealerships.

The website also has a ton great suggestions for the best ways to buy a new car, including financing and price negotiation.  There are actually seven whole “chapters” on each part of the car buying process.  The chapters include:

  • the auto loan,
  • how to buy a car online,
  • dos and don’ts at the car dealership,
  • determine the dealer’s cost, make your buyer’s offer,
  • negotiating tips, dealer scams,
  • close the deal, avoid needless dealer extras, and
  • final tips, and how to read misleading ads

I think I’ve done OK in the car buying department, but there is still a lot of information that I wished I had known the four times I’ve bought new cars.  It is overwhelming!

Again, please be sure to avoid any sales pitches in at this website, and you’ll find lots of useful help.

Happy shopping!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Tom Thurber

    WaP.T. Barnum said “There is a sucker born every minute.” 150 years later Guardian Warranty and Simmons-Rockwell are proving him right.
    I bought a used car from Simmons-Rockwell and they sold me a Guardian Warranty deal for $1699.
    My air conditioning quit working and they said Sorry, AC metal tubing is not covered. My $1699 didn’t do me any good. Apparently which parts are covered is a crap shoot. I never did get a contract, but I assume GWC got their share of my $1699.
    Simmons-Rockwell also sold me “electronic corrosion protection” for $799 and there is a small box with red lights in the engine compartment that does the trick. I later found out this is pure snake oil and completely worthless. A friend who owns a body shop said to leave the red lights connected to remind me how dumb I am and they might increase my gas mileage by 25 per cent. Again no contract.
    These so-called “protection agreements” are easy sucker money for GWC and S-R. And they are playing you for a fool.
    Stay away from Guardian Warranty Corporation of Avoca-Wilkes-Barre, PA and Simmons-Rockwell of Big Flats, New York.
    Stay away from these guys.
    For more insight into the warranty scam racket, GOOGLE “US Fidelis”.
    Yours truly, Tom Thurber Gillett, Pennsylvaniarranty Ripoff