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Never Give Cash Deposit Before Buying a Car

One of the most common complaints I hear are from car buyers who are having trouble getting their deposit back from the dealership.

Some dealers will ask for a deposit as "good faith" to show that you're serious about purchasing the car. This is before you even negotiate the price of the vehicle!

It's ridiculous to provide a deposit, and you should NEVER do so unless the dealer is ordering you a car they don't have in stock.

Otherwise, the only reason a dealer will want a deposit is so they can prevent you from leaving the dealership or buying a car from a competing dealer.

It's usually the sleazy dealers that will try to get a deposit from you, and these types of dealers are trained to wear you down until you agree to buy a car.

There is no law that says you need to provide a deposit, even AFTER you negotiate the price of the car. As I pointed out earlier, the only time a deposit request is legitimate is when the dealer orders a car from the factory, or does a dealer trade with a competing dealer to get you a car they don't have in stock.

They will usually ask for a deposit of $500. Make sure you agree to the price in writing and that it's refundable in case you change your mind or the vehicle is not what you expected.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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