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Deceptive car ads can spin your wheels

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“Only $99/Month” — If “only” were the truth. One thing’s for sure: There’s no shortage of advertising if you’re in the market for a new set of wheels.

Shopping for a new car can be fun and exciting; wading through car ads and promotions can be stressful and confusing. Some dealers advertise unusually low prices, low or no up-front payments, low- or no-interest loans, or low monthly payments. Others promise high trade-in allowances, free or low-cost options, or rebates. And if you’re looking to lease a vehicle, ads for very low — or no payment — at signing may be especially enticing.

But the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says that when it comes to car ads, beware: Not all dealers play by the rules. In fact, the agency just announced cases against 10 auto dealers from across the country. ‘Operation Steer Clear’ drives home the point that auto ads must be truthful. That is, if a dealer advertises discounts, prices, or special low payments, the ads must clearly explain the important details of the offers and how a buyer may qualify for them.

To avoid spinning your wheels when you shop for a car, check out Are Car Ads Taking You for a Ride? You’ll learn how to recognize what may be missing from an ad and the questions to ask a dealer. The answers should help you determine whether the special promotions offer genuine value — or are simply smoke and mirrors.  

Happy motoring!

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


This is very true on false advertising for purchasing cars. When arrived at dealership another scam is presented. Please call them out on these practices. All taxpayers are not stupid or ignorant. We know difference in right and wrong. Thanks for someone reporting them, because we have gotten into arguments concerning their business practices.

I consider the practice of using stock photos (of a new vehicle) to falsely represent the vehicle for sale online or print media. There should be 10 exterior and 10 interior inclusive of engine and suspension.

What about a group called crazy 88 . they told me that this amount would be accepted . after running around ,it did't. Later i was called and told if i could increase my SSDI that would work . They are the scum of society and need to be sued and put out of business. Please look into this company .

Do your home work when buying anything today.Draw a circle throw in everyone who sells the item you want and walk around it and see who is selling at a fair price.The auto market is so out of control.The worst investment you ever make is your car.The state of NY will love the sales tax and you will never get a thank you from the people that have their hand in the pot.How do I know,I have owned 50+ cars and trucks.

One should be careful when it comes to buying cars, reading car reviews, user feedbacks or comparing car prices online helps a lot in my opinion. Hope this would also help someone else.

Nice article !!

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