5 Ways to Avoid Car Dealership Fraud

There are numerous tips to keep in mind before buying a car. You should compare auto insurance rates before you make a purchase because different vehicles can come with varying premiums. However, if you plan on purchasing a car from a smaller dealership, you should be aware of common forms of dealership fraud that can take place. You never know when a dealer will implement a scam, so you need to know how to get out of these sticky situations.


  1. Hold Onto Your Keys

Some dealerships will say you can trade in your car to put toward the overall cost of a new car. While a great deal, you should know never to hand over your keys. There have been instances where a prospective buyer gave an employee the keys while a salesman shows off a bunch of cars well outside the buyer’s price range. The buyer asks to leave, but the salesman ignores the request. Do not be afraid to demand your keys back if you ever feel uncomfortable with the cars you are shown.


  1. Get Everything in Writing

Before buying a used car, it is a good idea to conduct a pre-purchase inspection. These inspections usually cost between $100 and $200, but it is worth it to see if you will need to put any more money toward the vehicle. Some dealerships will take your money for the inspection but end up selling it out from under you. That is why you want to make sure there is language in the contract saying the car belongs to you contingent on passing the inspection.


  1. Look Out for “Cash Only” Dealerships

Another surefire sign you will contend with car dealership fraud is if the place only takes cash. Even if you have cash available, you may need to finance part of the purchase. While certain places may be legitimate dealerships, there are bound to be other locations in your area. Shop around for a car until you find a place that allows you to pay in a manner you are comfortable with.


  1. Check the VIN

The vehicle identification number is found on numerous places on a vehicle. You should check each location to ensure it is the same in each spot. If it is different, then that is a surefire sign the vehicle is made out of stolen parts. You can also ask someone at the local police station to confirm no car with the VIN you report has been stolen recently.


  1. Walk Away

A shady dealership will not benefit if you refuse to make a purchase. If something about the purchasing process does not sit right with you, then do not be afraid to walk away. It is important to remember you hold the power. Threatening to walk can make a dealer willing to negotiate on price or make essential repairs, but it is also good if you simply want to leave a negative scenario.


Dealership fraud runs rampant, but after you deal with it, you do not have to worry about where to find reasonable car insurance quotes. Contact BOLT Insurance at 1-800-216-4171 to find rates that work for you.