Looking to buy a car? Four things to keep in mind

Buying a car can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, including your budget, your needs and preferences, and the inventory available at the time. And you see car ads when searching online, when watching TV, while reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. So how do you know those offers are the real deal?

Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re considering an offer in a car ad:

  1. The fine print is important. Read the entire ad. The small print shouldn’t contradict the big print.
  2. Compare offers from multiple dealers. If you don’t understand what an ad is offering, you can look for an offer from another dealer.
  3. Speak Spanish? All of the ad should be in the same language. A company should give you all the important information in the same language, so you can understand the entire offer. Be skeptical if the ad you see is in Spanish, but parts of it are in English. The FTC recently announced a case [link to press release] against a dealership that advertised attractive terms in Spanish, but had other important information in English.
  4. Asking questions is important. When you visit the dealer, you should ask many questions. If you decide to buy, be clear on the terms you’re agreeing to before signing anything.

When you see a car ad, keep a critical eye. If the ad offers, for example, low monthly payments or 0% rates, and if the fine print at the bottom of the ad contradicts the offers in large print on the same ad, the ad may not be telling the whole story.

To find the best car deal, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare offers from different dealers. Also, consider various financing sources like banks or credit unions.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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