10 signs you're buying from a dodgy car dealer

Added: 01 November 2018

The dodgy car dealer has become a bit of a cliché in television and film. But even though most car dealerships are more trustworthy than your screen would have you believe, there are still some that you should avoid.

Knowing what to look out for will help you know when you can trust a car salesperson - and when you should walk away. Here are the key signs that a car dealer shouldn’t be trusted.

1 - They don’t answer your questions

It’s normal to ask questions when buying a car - after all, it’s one of the biggest purchases most people make. If the car dealer makes any comments about the number of questions you ask, or doesn’t directly answer them, it might be time to walk away.

2 - They nod and fidget a lot

According to vehicle information expert HPI, a dealer’s body language could be the biggest giveaway that something isn’t right. Suspicious behaviour such as fidgeting, throat clearing and touching the face is a common sign of lying.

3 - The reviews are bad

The internet has made buying a car (and most other things) much easier than before. Make sure you check the dealership’s reviews online to avoid adding your own horror story to the list.

4 - The cars don’t look good

Ask to see at least a few of the cars in the showroom before you drive away with the one you went in for. If it doesn’t look like the dealership has made an effort to make each car looks its best, they could have cut corners with the mechanics too.

5 - They don’t let you test drive a car

Cars in a showroom should be ready to test drive or take away. If a dealer won’t let you test drive a vehicle straight away, it should ring alarm bells.

6 - They lead with “don’t worry about…”

It’s likely you’ll have at least one concern to clear up before handing over your cash. If the dealer doesn’t give a sincere and straightforward answer to your queries, they may have something to hide. Never let them tell you that you shouldn’t be worried something and ask for an explanation if you’re not satisfied with their answer.

7 -  They try too hard

A good dealership doesn’t need to talk down the competition because their service speaks for itself. If a car dealer seems to be trying hard to win your trust, it my be a sign that they don’t deserve it.

8 - They’re being pushy

A good car dealer won’t push you into making a decision before you’re ready because they’ll want you to be happy and confident in your purchase. If a dealer is pushing you to hand over the cash, you might be better spending it elsewhere.

9 - It’s too good to be true

As the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it almost definitely is. If the price of a car seems surprisingly low, there’s probably a reason why they want to get rid of it.

10 - Your instinct tells you so

If you don’t feel entirely comfortable with the person selling the car and trust what they are telling you, will you feel good about the purchase? If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, there’s no harm in walking away.

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