Car Hop - help please

Car Hop - Repo my car for no reason

Buying a new car should be an exciting adventure – and it usually is for a while. Then, sadly, some car companies start to really show their true colors and those colors aren’t pretty at all.

The Scams of Car Lots

When it comes to selling cars, there are good lots and bad lots. It’s hard to tell the difference, of course, but even the best car sellers out there are likely to push the envelope from time to time on ethical behavior – they are in business to make money, after all.

You walk onto the lot. You know you’re looking for a particular style of car and you know just how much you’re able to spend. If it was a grocery store, you’d pick up the item you need, pay for it and walk out. But a car lot has plenty of places to skim just a bit more money off you.

You start by trying to get a price on a car. The salesman hems and haws before ever offering you a price. In some cases he might even check your credit before quoting you a price – that way he knows just how much you can bear with your current credit score.

Once you have a price, the negotiations begin. You try and get a lower price and the salesman might be agreeable. Feeling flushed with victory, you step into the office to arrange the financing for the car.

Now things get crazy.

When Good Loans Go Bad

Typically you’d expect to get a loan at a competitive interest rate, arrange a small down payment and walk out the door again with the keys to your new car. But before that can happen, the finance guy has to check your credit again and then try to convince you that you need a much higher interest rate than you expected.

This is the only rate you’ll be approved for, he explains. Then he tells you that the bank will only approve your loan if you arrange an extended warranty as well. The loan you arranged has gone up substantially now – all you have to do is sign on the dotted line.

Many people, baffled by the complicated finance terms and dance go ahead and sign. They have their car after all, but they fail to realize that there are hidden clauses down in the paperwork.

You might find that out the hard way should you fall behind on a payment. Let’s say you go out of town. You get paid while you’re away, but you have to wait to get back in the country before you can make the payment. You arrive home late one evening and the very next morning, the tow truck arrives to repossess your vehicle.

It turns out the bank with the faulty financing doesn’t care if you go out of town. They want money immediately. Two weeks is simply too late – even with a late fee included in the payment.

Of course you can avoid all of this by simply allowing the bank to take the payment from your account. But somehow this turns into a major hassle as well. Rather than debiting your account at a particular time and for a particular amount, the bank seems to take random amounts at will – often without notice, sending your account negative more than once.

You can call the bank about the faulty payments if you want, but most likely you’ll simply get the run around. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get told off by a rude customer service representative.

With so many car lots out there, it definitely makes sense to do some research first. And most of all, always be ready to walk away from a deal if it seems to be going bad. It’s far better to get out sooner than have repossession on your credit report later.