You have the right to have the dealer disclose to you in writing, ALL of the finance terms of your purchase BEFORE you agree to buy a car – and then you are able to walk out with the written disclosure and compare financing rates. Then you may return to purchase the car.
The Truth in Lending Act
15 USC §1601
(a) Informed use of credit The Congress finds that economic stabilization would be enhanced and the competition among the various financial institutions and other firms engaged in the extension of consumer credit would be strengthened by the informed use of credit. The informed use of credit results from an awareness of the cost thereof by consumers. It is the purpose of this subchapter to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him….
I am posting this because this issue has come up several times in the last week.
The scam works like this: You go into a dealership and pick out a car you are interested in. The salesperson soon realizes you do not know the car is an advertised special. So, as soon as she realizes it, she goes onto the computer and changes the price to match she is quoting you.
The law states you are entitled to the sales price even if you are unaware of the advertised price. To protect yourself, ask the dealer if the car is being advertised and at what price. Then Google® the VIN and check for yourself and/or go to the dealer’s website and look up the car.
Also, a good place to check is Craigslist® as Craigslist® ads seem to disappear almost immediately.
Remember- the dealer cannot charge you more than the advertised price because she says “You do not qualify” because of your credit. They do this to add bank fees, etc.