More Car Dealer Ads Decoded

In our last post, we had a look at some of the headlines that hit you in the face when you have a look at a car ad  and some of the fine print that usually turns up at the bottom of the page. Most of these headlines relate to car finance and the various conditions of the loan, but a few don’t.Here’s another selection, again taken more or less at random from the automotive section of an old newspaper with identifying information about makes, models and dealers removed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

  • Brand new [Make & Model] from $XXXXXX. Notice that little from.This means that the price could be more than this. In fact, it probably will be more than this if you want anything more than the basic bog-standard variant of this new car.
  • Get $XXX worth of accessories free.Sounds like an attractive deal, but the chances are that these accessories will include rather basic things like soft cloths for cleaning the windscreen, a keyring with the brand name (or the name of the dealer) and a few other little bits and pieces like coffee cups, cleaning products, mats and possibly seat covers if you’re lucky. A nice deal, but don’t let this sway you away from a lower price from another dealer  these little dinky giveaways probably aren’t worth it.
  • Now only… Like all ads of this type, there’s a chance that the full price isn’t really the full price and you’re being offered a discount just to make you think that you’re saving money.Shop around and look at what other dealers offer for similar vehicles and you’ll get an idea about whether you are actually getting a discount or not.
  • The new [make and model]  new look and new features. This means that the manufacturers have upgraded the vehicle in question. The fine print usually clarifies what the changes are. It’s up to you as to whether you like the new features or whether you want to stick with the older type that has just been superseded  which might be a good idea if you’re on a tight budget and the new features are things like bigger wheels or a different shape for the headlights. But new models usually have a few more tweaks than that!
  • This month only! or its close cousin This week only! This is a very common advertising technique, making you think that you’ll miss out on the deal of a lifetime if you don’t sign on the dotted line now. It is a gimmick, and there will be another get it now before it’s too late deal in the yard next week or next month. Never feel rushed or pressured into making a decision about a vehicle  it’s your money (OK, you’ve borrowed most of it but you will have to pay it back) and your car.
  • No deposit.This means you don’t need a deposit to get the car but you will probably be stung with higher interest charges or higher weekly/monthly repayments. Shop around for loans in this case (or get us to do it for you) to find something easier to manage unless you’re in urgent need of a set of wheels (see above).