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How to buy a car and not fall for the tricks of scammers

In the corona crisis, who had long dreamed of their own cars reacted differently. Some postponed the planned purchase of a car, deciding to wait for the market to recover.

Others rushed to dealerships, rightly believing that in our country, in any crisis, prices for everything only increase. At the desire of the world to have time to buy a car at “pre-crisis” prices, they decided to earn large car dealers, and small car dealerships, and, of course, scammers. Life analyzed the basic tricks of both frankly bred and respectable sellers.

Gray dealers: lure and cheat

Our market for new cars lives in two dimensions: one part is represented by official dealerships – they are controlled by representations of foreign car manufacturers, and the second part is dealers “gray”. These are car dealerships that look like serious organizations, but with their own “features.”

As a rule, the “gray auto business” is structured as follows: a certain legal entity registered in the province receives dealership for some little-known (most often Chinese) brand. If official dealers of well-known brands require a repair base and certified masters, a large showroom, a warehouse of branded spare parts, a site for receiving cars, etc., all of which are considerable costs, then sellers of an unknown brand do not have such requirements.

Manufacturers of unknown brands are only interested in the fact that someone began to order their products.

And now the “gray” dealer, having a certain license-cover, opens a site in a large city, where he begins to advertise sales of not those cars for which he has a license, but, on the contrary, devices of the most popular brands in the low price segment. The goal is to lure customers for further processing.

Therefore, often in advertisements of “gray” dealers prices are even lower than recommended by the representative office of an official manufacturer. It is clear that no one is going to sell you a car at this price; the task of the “gray” seller is to lure the client and spin it up for making advance payment.

The physical absence of a car at the site of such a dealer is always explained in the same way: it is a car for a stock, and therefore it is brought specifically for the client. Make an agreement, pay – and then everything will be.

Therefore, advice: before contacting any car dealer, be sure to go to the manufacturer’s website of the brand that you liked. All official car dealers are listed there, along with recommended selling prices for each country.

Official tricks

Of course, official dealers will not do something on the verge of fraud, but they have their own “marketing moves.”

“Officials” can also advertise “cheap” cars, but they do not underestimate the prices recommended by the manufacturer or his representative office in the country. They indicate by telephone or on the website that there is a car for sale at the lowest price (and most likely it really is), while, like the “grays,” the main task is to lure you into the salon, and then the cunning sellers begin you, along with the machine, put in rugs, a spare wheel and, of course, an alarm.

When you make an application, you are confidently informed that when you install any additional equipment, such as an alarm system, outside a certified center, you will lose the manufacturer’s warranty, so it’s better not to risk it, but to order all the additional stages from the dealer.

This is actually a trick

According to part 2, paragraph 2 of Art. 16 of Law No. 2300-1 “On the Protection of Consumer Rights”, it is forbidden to impose the purchase of additional equipment upon purchase. Therefore, the fact that the alarm was not installed by an authorized dealer cannot be the basis for the termination of the manufacturer’s warranty.

It should be understood that the main income of official dealers is not the sale of a bare car in the minimum configuration, but just the sale of all kinds of additional equipment and maintenance. Hence the persistent offer of “special stages”, paid “extension of the guarantee” and “recommendation” of more frequent maintenance than that provided by the manufacturer.

Therefore, if the dealer declares that if you install the equipment “on the side” or do not pass the maintenance that is not indicated in the service book, you will lose the manufacturer’s warranty, ask the dealer center for an official (in writing, signed and stamped) list of cases when Warranty is suspended. When asked why, just say so directly that you want to send this document to the manufacturer and get confirmation. In most cases, the dealer immediately abandons its requirements.

And yet: among the “officials” it is worth distinguishing between independent dealers and those that are sellers of only one manufacturer.

The former do not have their own warehouses, which can be filled with ordered machines, and they work strictly on an advance payment: they ordered it – they brought it to you. The second situation is different: they initially have an obligation to manufacturers to sell a certain number of cars and therefore import cars both on order and without order. By the way, part of the imported cars is sold in small wholesale to gray dealers, hence they have real cars.

What is influenced by whether the official dealer is “independent” or “seller of a specific manufacturer”? For the price. A dealer from the manufacturer can make a price discount if for him specifically this machine is illiquid. Here you need to understand that such a discount can only be for one, maximum two cars.

Traps with used cars

For all car dealerships, the commission or redemption of used cars is a very lucrative business. But if for large dealerships the sale of second-hand is an “option”, then some smaller sellers initially get a simple dealer of little-known brands, without even planning to deal with these brands, or even new cars, their goal is to open an official car dealership to sell it contains used cars.

For such sellers, the scheme for receiving money from a client is slightly different from those schemes that are used when trading new cars. In most cases, when selling a used car, the money is borrowed from the client in parts.

To begin with, such a car dealer gives unrealistic advertisements, for example, “sale with discounts up to half a million rubles” or “liquidation of a warehouse, urgent sale of cars of 2018–2019 production” are announced. People who want to save can’t get past such ads.

When you call the car dealership, everything is supposedly confirmed: there are such cars, however, they have low mileage and there are two of them left, so you need to run with the money right now. The showroom will show both the selected car and the documents for it. The question is that no one is going to sell it to you at the stated price.

The scheme is as follows: first of all, the client is provided with a contract in small print several times, in which something new is calculated each time. When the client gets tired of checking all the editions of this agreement and signs it, it turns out that under this agreement a deposit of 50-100 thousand rubles will be taken from him (not an advance, but a deposit, since by law it is actually a non-refundable amount), or the client agrees to pay what or services that were not previously agreed upon (for example, pre-sale preparation), and these services will amount to plus% of the price stated in the contract, or VAT is not included in the price of the car.

This is a kind of dealer insurance for the time spent if the client suspects something is wrong and tries to break. And then the main, real divorce begins. On the appointed date of the transaction, it suddenly turns out that someone has already bought the selected car “urgently and without a discount”, or they will inform you that there was an error in the documents for the car and now they will have to be corrected, or in the end they will say that the car was defective and it cannot be operated without repair.

Of course, the dealer will immediately find you the same car, but, alas, it is no longer a stock one, without a discount, for its real cost, or even more. The difference is offered to you either pay in cash or quickly reissue a loan for a large amount in a “friendly” bank.

If such a development of the client’s events does not suit him, they will immediately be offered options specially prepared for such cases: for example, the car is a bit cheaper, but with high mileage, of a different brand, of an earlier year of manufacture, etc.

The result of this transaction – the car will be bought much more expensive than its real value.

Therefore, advice: if the car was not handed over to you at the agreed price on the day of the transaction, immediately call the police and do not leave the salon until the outfit arrives.

While you wait – write a claim in free form in two copies. In it indicate when the car was paid and what the deadline for transferring the goods to your hands is indicated, refer to Art. 23.1 of the Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights”.

In the end, put your signature and date, get a mark from the dealer to accept your application. After that, go with the arrived outfit to the police department, where you write another statement asking you to check the fraud committed against you.

Often, these steps are enough for the dealership to take action either to issue your car or to return the amount you paid. If you don’t give the paid car, you will have to apply for judicial protection.

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