Finding a reliable and trustworthy dealer is vital when buying a car in Singapore, especially if it is your first vehicle purchase. Unfortunately, some car dealers in Singapore may use unethical tactics to pressure customers into purchasing or use bait-and-switch strategies. Informed consumers must be ready to deal with aggressive salespeople seeking profits.
But it’s not all bad news. Fortunately, there are car dealers who value their reputation and cultivate long-term relationships with customers.
So, how can you protect yourself from vehicle dealers’ deceptions? Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced car owner, this article is for you. Let’s take a closer look at the strategies used by unethical vehicle salespeople and how you can protect yourself from them.
Dealers Who Use High-Pressure Sales Tactics to Make Buyers Commit
Car dealers may resort to manipulative tactics to pressure buyers into making a purchase. While some dealers may genuinely inform you that there are other potential buyers interested in the same car, others may use this tactic to create a false sense of urgency, claiming that the car you want may only be available for a short time.
Moreover, some dealers may secretly put customers under a leasing scheme instead of Hire Purchase, which is considered unscrupulous if the customer is aware of it. However, if the customer is not aware, it can be a grey area.
To avoid falling prey to such tactics, take your time and compare prices, features, and reviews of different dealers and cars. Don't let dealers pressure you into deciding right away or make you feel like you're missing out on a unique opportunity. Do your research, gather information, and only make a decision when you're confident and comfortable.
Dealers Who Hide Extra Costs from Buyers
Some dealers may choose not to disclose all the costs associated with acquiring a car, leaving buyers like you with financial surprises or additional costs later. These can include paperwork fees, registration fees, delivery fees, or even optional extras that you did not request.
For example, some dealerships advertise cars at an attractive price, only to reveal in person that the price has skyrocketed due to dealer-added options like sunroofs or spoilers. These extras can add thousands of dollars to the car’s purchase price, catching unsuspecting buyers off guard.
Make sure you ask your dealer for a comprehensive breakdown of all costs associated with your purchase, including any fees or extras. Then, obtain a written estimate and compare it with estimates from other dealers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Dealers Who Use the Old Bait-and-Switch Tactic
The bait-and-switch scam is a classic sales technique some car dealers in Singapore use. This tactic involves advertising a car at a low price to lure in customers, only to reveal that it’s no longer available when the customer arrives at the dealership. So instead, the dealer sells the customer a more expensive car, leaving them frustrated and deceived.
To avoid falling victim to this tactic:
- Do your research before visiting a car showroom.
- Ensure the car you’re interested in is still available.
- Take note of the advertised price.
- If the dealer sells you a more expensive vehicle, be firm and insist on the original car you wanted or walk away.
Dealers Who Employ Spot Delivery Tactics to Lock in Buyers
Before finalizing financing, some dealers may allow buyers to take possession of their new car in a tactic known as “spot delivery.” While this can be a courtesy, it can also be used for yo-yo scams. These scams involve the dealer claiming that financing fell through and pressuring the buyer into accepting higher rates or larger down payments.
To avoid falling victim to these tactics, always secure financing approval before taking possession of the vehicle and carefully review all related contracts.
Dealers Who Demand Down Payments on a Lease
It is common for unscrupulous car dealers in Singapore to ask for a large down payment on a lease to cover fees and other transaction expenses. Although some dealers may urge you to do so, making a large down payment goes against one of the main benefits of leasing: low, upfront costs. Additionally, paying taxes on a large down payment all at once can be a financial burden.
Never put a down payment on a lease. Instead, if a down payment is required, ask them to roll it into monthly payments. This way, you’ll avoid a loss and pay any taxes needed over time.
Dealers Who Practice Contract Cons
Car dealership companies are known for adding clauses to contracts after the buyer has signed them or for using deceptive or ambiguous language to lure buyers into accepting undesirable terms. This practice, also known as “contract cons,” is a common tactic many unscrupulous Singapore dealers employ.
To avoid falling prey to this tactic, carefully read the fine print of any contract or agreement before signing it. Look out for any additional fees or costs that must be adequately explained.
In addition, walk away from a deal if you suspect you are being taken advantage of. It is always better to read and fully understand the contract before signing it rather than risk surprises and financial burdens later on.
Dealers Who Lack Knowledge of the Lemon Law in Singapore
It’s also crucial to work with a car dealer in Singapore that understands the Lemon Law. The law, which has been in effect since 2012, states that if a defect is discovered within six months of purchase, the dealer must repair or replace the vehicle unless the defect was caused by manufacturing.
Customers who purchase used cars can also report a faulty product within six months of delivery, and the retailer should prove that the problem did not exist at the time of delivery.
To avoid transacting with a dealer who lacks proficiency in Lemon Law, inquire and ensure that they comprehend the law and its impact on your purchase. If a dealer seems to have little knowledge of the Lemon Law, it may be a warning sign of an unscrupulous operation, and you should consider walking away.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to upgrade to a brand-new car, buy a used car, or invest in car rentals in Singapore for your travels, it’s critical to research and understand what you’re getting into. Avoiding shady car dealers in Singapore can help you avoid financial pitfalls and ensure a fair deal. Remember to take your time, ask questions, and never feel pressured into purchasing.
Car Buying/Selling Made Clear and Simple at Carz World
Do you plan on purchasing a brand-new or second-hand car? Are you seeking reputable car dealers in Singapore who will treat you fairly and provide you with a quality vehicle that fits your needs and budget?
Consult Carz World’s car dealers for the best deal and protection against shady business practices. We will ensure you have a positive car buying, selling, and renting experience with us.
Whether you need to buy your next vehicle or want premium long-term car rentals in Singapore, Carz World is the right place for your drive. Get in touch with us by calling at +65 8869 1179 for any questions regarding brand new or used cars. If you're interested in car rentals, kindly get in touch with us at +65 9178 6185. We're here to assist you every step of the way!