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5 ways to avoid common car salespeople tricks

salesman selling car

Buying a car can almost always feel like a gamble. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a great car at a good price. If not, you’ll soon be dealing with a troublesome car that breaks down constantly.

You can protect your car from expensive car repairs with a vehicle service contract (also known as an extended car warranty). But avoiding buying a lemon car is, of course, what any car buyer wants.

Car salespeople will use many tricks to get you to buy a car quickly. Here are 5 ways to allow you to take your time at the dealership and buy the right car.

Set the pace

Car salespeople have such a bad reputation that most people know it’s best to go into the dealership with a plan, but that plan can be thrown off in seconds if you don’t set the pace from the start. 

Selling cars is a skill that car salespeople practice everyday. Speed is something they use to their advantage. Their speed when talking can be so quick that you could find yourself agreeing to things without even knowing it. If you notice the speed increasing, tell the salesperson to slow down a minute.

Be sure to take a deep breath and take your time with your responses to establish your own pace.

Be prepared to go to another dealership

One of the most common ways a salesperson will pressure you into buying is by saying that there are many other buyers interested.

Two of the common phrases are:

  • There’s another buyer coming in later today.
  • We don’t expect this car to stay long.

If you get pressured using this tactic, turn the tables around. Tell the salesperson that you know of another dealership that has the same make and model. By simply expressing that you have no problem walking away, a salesperson will likely back off trying to get you to purchase at that moment.

Have you scheduled a test drive? Read our recent blog 8 questions to ask yourself when test driving a used car.

Say you’re comparing prices

When you’re sitting across from a salesperson in their office, it can often feel like you’re being interrogated. You’ll be asked many “What if” questions. The idea is to ask questions that don’t give you the opportunity to say no.

For example, “If we can get your down payment down to only $1,000, could you sign today?” 

Never say “yes” to anything. Let it be known that you’re currently shopping around with several dealers to find the best price. Say you’re looking to compare prices before you can make your purchase decision.

Focus on the total price

Before walking into the dealership you should already have an idea of how much you want to spend. Your total cost can be calculated this way:

By focusing on the total price, and the numbers in general, you’ll make it clear to the salesperson that you won’t fall for common sales buzzwords or gimmicks. 

One very famous closing tactic is the Ben Franklin Close. This is when a salesperson takes a piece of paper and draws a line down the middle. On one side he’ll write pros and  cons on the other. He’ll ask you what your reservations are and write those on the “cons” side. Then, on the “pros” side, he will write very convincing reasons to buy.

Before walking into the dealership, decide on how much you want to spend and when you see tactics like the one above, bring the focus back on your budget.

Know the extras you want (and the ones you don’t)

When you buy a car, dealers will inevitably try to sell you extras. Some may be included for free while others may significantly increase your total cost. Here are some examples of extras:

  • Rustproofing
  • Paint protection
  • Fabric protection
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • GPS
  • Extended car warranty

Some may offer great value, but in many cases, there will be huge markups that don’t really make it worth the price. Extended car warranties for used cars from dealerships, for example, are extremely overpriced when compared to third party rates. They may also come with very restrictive conditions like a long-term contract, minimal coverage for sudden car repairs and no choice over the repair shop.

Be clear about the types of extras you want. Know that you can always purchase protection elsewhere.

Get repair coverage that’s fair

Most new cars come with manufacturer’s car warranties that offer comprehensive coverage over factory defects. These warranties, however, tend to last only for the first three years or 36,000 miles. You can buy comprehensive vehicle breakdown coverage from a third party once the manufacturer’s warranty ends. Through a low-cost monthly subscription, you can save $1,000s on expensive repairs and skip the hassle negotiating repair prices at the mechanic shop. has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no-haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!