Taking the stress out of car buying - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Taking the stress out of car buying

Buying a car can be stressful for anyone, but some industry experts have offered tips to help you through the experience. (Source: WOIO) Buying a car can be stressful for anyone, but some industry experts have offered tips to help you through the experience. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) - I don't know if this was your experience, but the first time I bought a car, I nearly had a nervous breakdown. Between all the options, and especially the financing, my head was spinning -- and I educate myself on this stuff for a living. It's stressful, no matter what price you're paying, and you always think, "Could I have gotten a better deal?" Here are some industry experts to help you save some money.

Overwhelmed and scared -- that's the way Vicki Marshal describes her last car buying experience.

"I didn't know what was going on," she said.

According to Marshal, a salesman drove her from one lot to another lot in a different city and left her there.

"I said, 'Don't leave me here, because I'm not going to get a car.' I sat outside on the porch of the dealership in tears, thinking how did this happen?Why did this happen?" she said.

We're not naming the dealership because Marshal just wants to use her situation to warn others.

Her case may seem extreme, but industry experts say they aren't surprised. In fact, they share some tricks of the trade, so that you're prepared the next time you buy a vehicle.

#1 - You may not need a bunch of extras. Add-ons, like fabric protection, mean more money out of your pocket.

#2 - Have your mechanic check the vehicle before you buy. If the salesperson says no, that's a red flag. There's something wrong.

#3 - Don't be afraid to walk away from a high-pressure salesman.

"If this deal is the best today only, not good tomorrow, I'd say, 'Thank you very much' and I wouldn't take it," said Randy Jones, of the Automobile Dealers Association.

#4 - According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should be on the lookout for deceptive advertising.

"They'll tell you the rate you are going to get is really great. But if you read the fine print, you'll see it's just for a very short amount of time," explained Cindy Liebes, of the FTC.

#5 - Have you ever left your car at a dealership and took a new car for the weekend, while the salesman works out the paperwork? The FTC says this could be yo-yo financing.

"The dealer calls back and says, 'So sorry. I can't get you what we talked about.' Often times, their own car may be gone. The dealership may have sold it."

#6 - Get it in writing. Salespeople can promise you anything, just make sure it's in your contract before you sign it.

Marshal ended up complaining to management and she says they apologized. She then bought a car from another business. 

The FTC hopes more customers will do the same.

Find more tips on car buying here.

Read more about red flags that suggest you should walk out of a dealership.

Where you can complain if you run into problems.
 
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