Buying a Car or Truck

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You should familiarize yourself with some popular dealership tactics that are used to increase dealer profits at your expense:


A common tactic dealer salespeople use is to to rush you into making a purchase. "This deal is only good today!" If you allow yourself to fall victim to this approach you will very likely regret doing so. The most popular sales approach at any dealership involves selling you a car or truck today. Dealer sales staff attempt to inject a false sense of urgency into your decision stream.

There is unquestionably no valid reason why you cannot and should not go home and think about any sales offer from a dealer. If the offer seems reasonable the following day, you can always go back and purchase the vehicle. Also, you may wish to compare their offer with those from other dealers and accept the one that is best for you.


Many times the dealer will attempt to "load the deal" at the last moment with additional items and accessories such as window tint packages, wheel upgrades, paint protection, floor mats, etc. Most of these items do not have listed pricing and the dealer salesperson will often inflate the costs to an amount they believe they can convince you to accept.


Toyota does not offer any extended warranty plans for their vehicle. If you are convinced by a dealer to purchase an extended warranty, it is from a third-party vendor, and is almost universally accepted as a total waste of money. In fact, you would be better served by taking the $1,400 or so that the extended warranty costs and throwing it out of your window one dollar at a time as you drive around. Extended warranties offer dealers another way to profit from each sale while they seldom benefit the buyer in any way. We have many complaints regarding unhappy customers who purchased extended warranties from Toyota dealers.


Credit Life Insurance will pay the balance of your car loan if you die. If you have no family then there is no reason to have this coverage. If you have a family you may already have coverage in the form of life insurance provides compensation for such circumstances. If you do not currently have a life insurance policy you would likely be better served by acquiring a policy from a reputable insurance agent as opposed to buying credit life coverage from a car dealer.


Some cities and states allow for additional, regulated fees to be collected to cover the cost of different paperwork tasks connected to purchasing a vehicle. If you live in one of these areas beware of dealers who inflate or add extra 'document fees' to the purchase price of the vehicle you want to buy. If you do not live in an area where such fees are regulated by law, you certainly should not pay more for 'doc fees' than you would pay in an area that is regulated. Some dealers will attempt to charge more than $800 for a process that only costs $20. You should demand that these fees, if incurred, be clearly explained in writing and do not hesitate to leave the dealership to compare these costs to other dealers.


Some dealers will offer to sell you a vehicle at "invoice". Unless you happen to be an automobile invoice expert then they can show you anything and call it an invoice.

This is a popular dealer approach to skeptical buyers. If you remain an "invoice buyer" try to ensure that you see an accurate invoice, and not one from another, similar vehicle. Take care to see that you are not given an 'invoice' that was printed just for you which has no basis in fact. Deal with the knowledge that a 'real' vehicle invoice does not correctly reflect the actual dealership cost of the car you want to buy.


It cannot be said enough that you should arrange your own financing before shopping for a new car or truck. Allowing the dealer to arrange your financing is the best way to pay more than you should. They only want to arrange your financing because it provides them with additional profit.
Dealerships manipulate the numbers when you allow them to arrange your vehicle financing. You must always thoroughly review all of the numbers and terms before signing ANY finance agreement. You should pay special attention to the total loan amount, the term of the loan, the interest rate and any other factors stated within the sales and or financing contract. Do not allow the dealer to convince you that they can (or will) fix any discrepancy at a later date.

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