The 5 Most Common Car Dealer Tricks To Be Wary Of

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The 5 Most Common Car Dealer Tricks To Be Wary Of

We can all picture the stereotypical, ‘bad guy’ car dealer. He’s either a charismatic, seemingly friendly, smiling-but-barely-concealing-his-fangs type operator – or he’s blunt and nasty, like Danny Devito as Matilda’s dad in the movie Matilda. So, when it comes to the nasty tricks of these nasty characters, what are we supposed to look out for? Thankfully, you probably won’t have to worry about the car dealer rewinding the odometer like Matilda’s dad did; that kind of stuff is highly illegal and could just about get a whole dealership shut down.

In reality, the common tricks of car dealers are a lot more sneaky, a lot more subtle. Here are the five most common car dealer tricks to be wary of, brought to you by the good guys at

1. Being your friend

Sometimes, they’re being just polite, and other times, they’re trying to gain your trust so that they can influence you to spend more – either on the car itself or with extras after the purchase. A common trick of car dealers is to offer you more coffee, get to know you better and generally keep you in the car yard for no less than an hour, so that you’ve established some sort of personal connection with them. This is aimed to make you feel guilty if you take your business elsewhere. Avoid this by looking out for yourself, and recognising this trick from the start.

2. Phantom cars

Now you see it, now you don’t. Phantom cars are something we can thank the internet for. Let’s say you’re looking for a specific make and model, in automatic transmission. You find one listed on the net, head to the dealership to check it out and, turns out, it’s actually a manual. Now, this could be an honest mistake, but it’s likely just a trick to get you into the dealership, earn your trust and sell you face-to-face.

3. High balling

When trading in your car, the dealer might offer you a suspiciously high price for your car, making you feel like you’ve got a great deal. In actual fact, we can guarantee you they’re bumping up the price of the car you’re trading it for.

4. Puppy dogging

“Why don’t you take her home for the night?” – a classic dealer line that’s designed to make you fall in love with the car. This not only gives you a great feeling about the car, but makes the dealer seem like a nice, trustworthy person too.

5. Stalling

This one happens less often these days but it’s still one to watch out for. Stalling is done in the form of misplacing the customer’s keys, ‘accidentally’ blocking their car or taking a long time to assess your vehicle for a trade-in. The idea is to keep you in the dealership as long as possible.

The list of dealer tricks is endless – but luckily, there’s someone to help you avoid them. are Australia’s best team of car brokers, steering you away from the nasty dealers and putting you in touch with the good ones. Many of the brokers at were car dealers themselves once upon a time, and can recognise all the tricks in the book. Get in touch with the experts at to get the best deal on your car upgrade.