6. Fun With Numbers
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in buying a new vehicle, and wading through it all can become unnerving when a salesperson or finance manager is waiting impatiently for you to sign at the bottom of each page. Those with an aversion to numbers and/or lacking math skills can find themselves at a distinct disadvantage. “Mistakes” in paperwork are common, and to no one’s surprise they usually favor the dealer. The price of the car or trade-in value may not exactly be what’s been agreed upon or the interest rate quoted may be inflated. Sometimes the discrepancies can be flagrant, such as when a buyer is asked to sign a leasing agreement thinking it was actually a sales contract, or when the value of a trade-in is “inadvertently” left out. In other cases the numbers may simply be off by a few hundred dollars or a half percent. Always take the time to read all documents carefully, make sure the numbers all jibe with what’s been agreed upon and use a calculator to check the math before signing anything. And refuse to pay for spurious charges that may suddenly appear in the paperwork, like for “prep” and “advertising” that are essentially part of the dealer’s cost of doing business.