Car Rebate Scams and How to Avoid Them
These are usually "loyalty" discounts given to current owners of the same brand, or they can be military/college grad discounts, or even conquest cash - given to those who currently own a competing brand.
There are some rebates that are offered for a limited time in small geographical areas, often times near a car show.
It's odd that manufacturers offer these types of incentives without promoting them, and as a result, consumers and even some dealers don't realize all the rebates that are available.
Some manufacturers are better than others in providing dealers with accurate incentives information. Ford, in particular, has a really good system that informs all dealers on a timely basis.
It's not uncommon for some people to qualify for 3 or more rebates on one vehicle - the problem is knowing which ones you qualify for in the first place.
Some dealers take advantage of this lack of information, and will attempt to keep some of these rebates for themselves. It's easy for them to get away with it because manufacturers don't audit every single sale.
Sometimes dealers will honestly fail to recognize you qualify for a special rebate, which is not that uncommon.
What you need to do to prevent being ripped off is to review the manufacturer's web site and find out which incentives you qualify for. But that's not all, because even the manufacturer's site will sometimes have missing information.
A better way is to ask several local dealers which incentives you qualify for. You should get the same answers from each dealer, but you may find that one dealer has more accurate info than the rest and will alert you to one you may have missed.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid