Buyer Beware: Misleading Car Dealer Ads

Do your assignees know how to spot a deceptive car dealer ad?

Moving to a new country is exciting, but it can also be a stressful time for your assignees as they adjust to a home, new job, new friends, and new life. As international assignees use the internet to find out what it will be like in their new country, the number one comment we receive from assignees is that they saw a particular vehicle price on the internet or on TV.

Car dealers can be very skillful and misleading when it comes to car advertising. We’ve all seen car ads on TV with a microscopic disclaimer at the bottom of the screen or have heard a radio advertisement where they speak emotionally 250 words per minute, giving the important information at the end of the ad. With the increase of online advertising, auto dealers have started to conquer the Internet vying for potential customers’ click on their links. Let’s walk through the different ways dealers use misleading and obscure car dealer ads to lure in customers.

Base price ads

One way ads get potential customers’ attention is by advertising the base price of the car  and then showing the model with all the bells and whistles. Looking at the car pictured an average consumer will definitely think that he can afford to buy it. Upon arriving at the dealership to check out a new vehicle we sometimes find that the vehicle shown in the ad is loaded with expensive options.

Too-good-to-be-true leasing offers

When you see a vehicle ad, offering just $199 payment per month, make sure you read the small print, which may say that a significant down payment is necessary to lease the vehicle. Also, these low prices are normally reserved for what the industry calls “highly qualified customers.” Factors that are taken into consideration to determine if someone is a highly qualified buyer are: credit score and down payment. Only about 28% of Americans have the credit score to rank as “highly qualified.” International assignees with no credit history are typically not eligible.

Special offer or “bait and switch” advertising

You have probably come across the phrase “only one left at this price”. It’s a widespread advertising trick, known as “bait and switch”, used by car dealers. The car advertised at the best price is “just sold” or “on a test drive”. In a word, it’s as elusive and phantom as a special offer, advertised by the car dealer. Car dealers just lure the customers into the dealership by promising to sell a vehicle at a lower cost. Once the car shopper is at the dealership, a salesperson will try to sell an “equivalent” vehicle at a higher price.

We work to educate our customers and provide the best pricing possible

Our IAS counselors help assignees understand the car buying process, as well as all terminology, and state-specific requirements. We’re here to educate your assignees to make sure they choose the best program and vehicle for them.

Each year, IAS places thousands of expats behind the wheel of their own vehicle. With over 50,000 customers and counting, IAS is the preferred global transportation provider, whether relocating to the Americas, APAC or EMEA. We know when relocating to another country an expat doesn’t always have the required local credit history or driving record to secure vehicle financing and insurance.

Our direct manufacturer partnerships and privileged expatriate pricing programs make it possible for us to provide you with leasing, financing, and all-inclusive rental solutions with no local credit history or driving record. These unique partner programs also allow us to provide lease financing repatriation protection in case an expats assignment is cut short. Local dealerships simply cannot offer these expat-specialized deals.

Contact IAS today to find out how we can help your assignees get behind the wheel of a new vehicle.

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