AG Warns of Car Sales Tricks

The attorney general’s office advises consumers looking to purchase a vehicle to be aware of some new circumstances that go well beyond normal sticker shock.

  • A yo-yo scam occurs when a consumer is led to believe that the financing is final when in fact the dealer has not actually finalized it. When the financing falls through, the dealer pulls the consumer back and presents a new deal to allow them to keep their car – one with a higher interest rate or larger down payment.
  • There are three typical new car fees: the vehicle registration fee, the sales tax, and the documentation fee. Some dealers write additional fees into the contract and give them official-sounding names, like “PDI” or “dealer prep.”
  • Common in 2022 is a “market adjustment fee.” Dealerships charge this fee when they consider the type of vehicle to be in short supply, so the dealership raises the price to make more profit. A market adjustment fee can be $1,000 to $5,000 or more.