Are High Car Prices An Actual Crime? New FTC Rules

  • 3 min read

So, you’re seeing more availability in the new car market, and some vehicles at dealerships might not be marked up over the MSRP. However, while these deals appear enticing, according to Jalopnik, they might not be as good as they seem.

Scrutinizing advertised deals
Many deals advertised under MSRP might be too good to be true. Digging into the fine print reveals terms that aren’t universally applicable. For instance, a Volkswagen car price might seem reasonable, but it includes incentives like a trade-in discount and dealer-arranged financing, raising questions about the actual deal’s accessibility.

Unveiling misleading advertisements
Dealerships often showcase attractive prices to draw attention but tack on additional requirements or costs hidden in the fine print. Even if consumers spot these discrepancies later and walk away, such misleading practices are considered illegal by the FTC.

New Regulations and Their Implications
Recent laws aim to curb deceptive practices by dealerships. The Federal Trade Commission has enforced rules to prevent misrepresentations, ensure accurate pricing disclosures, and prohibit non-beneficial add-on sales to consumers.

Consumer Protection in Transactions
Buying or leasing a vehicle can be time-consuming and daunting due to the lengthy paperwork and dealership procedures. Consumers might spend hours at dealerships, even if they don’t make a purchase, facing the hassle of the process.

Cracking Down on Deceptive Tactics
The FTC’s regulations target practices that divert consumers’ attention from competitors, causing them to spend time and effort at a dealership due to misleading advertisements or misrepresented deals.

Forced Decision Making and Impact on Consumers
Misleading advertisements not only lead to potential financial harm but also force consumers to spend time visiting dealerships based on misrepresented offers, affecting their choice and decision-making process.

Clarity in Pricing and Dealings
Dealers are now mandated to disclose the genuine offering price of a vehicle in writing, preventing misrepresentations or hidden costs that may arise during the transaction process.

Empowering consumers and ensuring fair practices
Consumers now have more rights and protection against misleading deals when buying a car. By requesting documented offering prices and referencing regulations, buyers can safeguard themselves from potential dealership misrepresentation.

Dealership Accountability and Record-Keeping
Dealerships are required to maintain records of their advertisements, sales processes, and quoted prices, providing consumers with a means to hold them accountable for any discrepancies or misrepresentations.

The landscape of purchasing a new car is undergoing a shift towards transparency and fairness, with regulations in place to protect consumers from deceptive practices by dealerships. These new rules empower buyers with the right to demand clarity and accuracy in pricing, ensuring a more informed and secure car-buying experience.

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