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Dodgy Car Dealerships & How They’re Screwing You Over

Dodgy Car Dealerships & How They’re Screwing You Over

Let’s not beat around the bush, a certain percentage of used car salesman have one thing and one thing only on their mind – money – and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it, including completely ripping you off and sending you home with a lemon that shouldn’t have cost you more than a 3 Piece Feed.

We’re aware of the schmoozing that happens in car dealerships, but you may not be, so here are five cheap tricks that’ll probably get played on you at a car yard.

The Crappy Car Trap

One trick the dealers use to get buyers in is to single out one or two of their crappiest cars, both of the same model, and then throw some money into a big marketing campaign advertising that the cars are being sold for a few hundred dollars below cost price. People then go bananas for the ‘crazy’ price, rush to the dealership and then get ‘switch sold’ to a better, more expensive car. How do they do this? They’ll point out all the terrible features of the advertised car and steer you towards a model that’s better equipped and of course gives them enough commission to take their wife to Bali.

The Car Mirage

We’re not talking about Mitsubishi Mirages, we’re talking about great value cars you find on a website but then have ‘mysteriously’ disappeared by the time you rock up to the dealership, or have ‘mysteriously’ changed transmission over night. You have to remember that these salesman just want to lure you into their dealerships so they can sweet talk you into buying a car face-to-face. Remember to take all ‘mind-blowing’ deals you see online with a grain of salt.

Sneaky Stalling

One of the most used and abused dirty dealer tricks is to wear the customer down into a shrivelled up husk of a human and force them to hand over their credit card before they’re allowed to go home. They do this by either low balling them a great price before they leave to shop around or saying they’ll beat any other quote offered, knowing full well that they’ll come back at the end of the day. When the customer does return, they’re goddamn exhausted and just itching to buy a car, so the sleazy salesman implements a few more stalling techniques, such as misplacing keys and blocking the customer’s car, and ‘waiting for the manager’ until the customer surrenders and buys the car at a much higher price than agreed.

My Wife Drives This

Trust us, his wife doesn’t drive that. Unless he has 495 different wives a year. This classic tactic is used to put the customer’s mind at ease and make them feel confident about their purchase, because it’s obviously “so good my wife drives it”. It’s not, she probably just gets it as part of his salary package.


Most sales pros are trained to keep buyers around for at least an hour, and they’ll try to keep you at the dealership by finding common interests with you, that way the customer forms a personal connection with the salesman. They’re not doing this to be nice, they’re doing this for their trip to Bali in November, because if you start looking at someone as a friend, there’s a good chance you won’t want to let that ‘friend’ down, which means you could end up paying more than you need to for car, simply because your new mate at the dealership took your good nature for a test drive.

The good news is, not all car salespeople are in it to screw you over for a tropical holiday to Indonesia. There are a select few people who are in the automotive industry because they have a genuine passion for matching people with their dream cars and giving them the greatest deal on the market. Because buying a new car is exciting, so the process should be too.

Every car you see on our website is in our warehouse. When you come to us to purchase a car, we’ll sell you the one you actually want and that suits your lifestyle, not the one that suits our holiday budget. And if you happen to invite us in for dinner when you drop your brand new car off (free of charge) and a beautiful friendship blossoms*, then that’s just a bonus for us.

*This actually happens.


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