Used car dealer RAISING the price

Sounds like a decent dealer - congratulations.

My congratulations as well. And you’ve done a far better job negotiating than you think. You’ve done research, you’ve had the vehicle checked over, you’ve found an apparent discrepancy and checked it out, you’ve gotten the dealer to the price you want without undue distress. Heck, I may even ask you to buy MY next car for me!


You might consider returning to the same dealer for your next purchase if you are satisfied with this deal. If you were planning on a new car, you can sometimes find good deals on 2 year old cars. In 1966, my parents went to an Oldsmobile dealer to test drive a new Cutlass Supreme. After the test drive, the salesman asked if the would like to drive a low mileage Cadillac sedan. They protested that they could never afford a Cadillac, but the salesman suggested just driving it with no strings attached. They loved it, and he sold it to us for a few hundred less than the new Olds.

Not in this market will a good deal be found on a 2 or 3 year old used car. At that age, with the low stock of used vehicles, most places are charging more for a 1~3 year old used car than if you were buying new.

At the local GM/Toyota lot they’re advertising a used 2011 Corolla with just under 5k miles, an automatic and seems to be a no frills car for $19,200, the price of a new model on Toyota’s website is $19,360

At least this is resolved and the OP must keep in mind that in any future car deals they should NEVER, EVER, NO WAY, NO HOW mention how much they’re wanting to spend, no matter if it’s the sum total, per month, total term of the loan in years, etc.

OP, you may notice that many car ads on TV and in print always blare out 299 a month or something like with the fine print omitted. The reason for this is because in several articles I’ve read in which surveys were done of the car buying public the per month was the one that mattered most to about 80% of those potential buyers.

The dealers know this so while the potential buyer is dwelling on the monthly payment the dealer is looking at all of the other factors; the length of the loan, percentage rate, sum total, and so on.

The same goes for ads about financing buyers with bad credit. Surveys in that area showed that the majority of people who think they have bad credit are actually acceptable. The dealers know this so the “bad credit” bit is just another move to get a buyer’s feet on the lot so the sales pitch can begin.


I’m sorry that you found my advice to be dishonest.
I am glad that the OP did in fact get the car for the price they are willing to pay.

As for Honor in business deals, I’ve run across many car dealers over the years willing to separate you from as much money as they possibly can. Having the price change in this manner from one advertised to what was quoted to the OP is Dishonest, also.

Ultimately, my advice to the OP was to negotiate the best price they are willing to pay for. Using the mechanic’s opinion of the vehicle is a negotiating tool that isn’t used enough in the used car market, and I applaud the OP for being wise enough to schedule a pre-purchase inspection.

As an example of a bad dealer practice, the only Fiat Dealer in all of Colorado has a dealer sticker right next to the build sticker of the car on every single vehicle. It says Denver Market Adjustment Fee - $895. They are charging every customer nearly $900 more to purchase a car from them because they don’t have any competition yet here in Colorado.

On top of that, they also charge $400 for Dealer Prep to remove the shipping tape from the hood and roof, plus the plastic seat coverings, and give it a quick wash with a hose.

And on top of that, they charge an additional fee for anything else they can think up.
And that doesn’t include low-balling you on your trade in.

My gf and I decided to drive to Texas and buy with a better dealer that gave us the car for the price the car was worth, didn’t tack on $1300 worth of bs fees, and gave us $1k more on her trade in.

So if you think I’m dishonest, what would you think of my local Fiat dealer?

Luckily, another Fiat dealer opens up closer to our place in the next couple of months, and hopefully, we will never need to deal with this dealer ever again.


I’ve always thought the prices they charge for Dealer Prep are Donkey Poop, but they should al least check the tire pressure, the fluids, alignment and operation.

The owner of the car should be able to check oil level, tire pressure, and fluids level before leaving the dealer, but yes, the dealer should do that FOR FREE before sending an owner out the door with their new car.

I know I went over my gf’s Fiat before we left the dealer, and started out 767 mile trip back to Denver.

Oddly enough, the dealer in Texas didn’t charge a dealer prep fee.


The dealer prep fee is included in the sales price already. The Colorado dealership is double dipping, and that is shady, if not downright illegal.

Dealer Prep
The most common scam, because it’s so believable. They act like a team of NASA experts performed a 3 day 15,000 point check of your car. Dealer prep “covers their cost” of removing plastic films on the seats, vacuuming the car, and preparing it for sale, done by their lowest paid employee. But most MSRP stickers show these costs are covered by the car maker.

The factory pays the dealer for this pre-delivery service. When my Lexus SC300 arrived, it took the dealer 2 hours to peel the film, remove cardboard, install fuses, check the liquids, perform a 10 mile test drive, and hand me the keys. If a dealer charges a $500 dealer prep, you’re paying them $250 per hour! Are you boiling mad yet? Often it’s permanently printed on the buyer’s form to make you think it’s mandatory, but nearly everyone I know is able to make the dealer drop it by adding a credit to the next line. If they refuse to remove it, just walk. Tell them you want to see if the other local dealers will drop the fee.


Sorry, but even if car salespeople are dishonest in general (which is a point I am willing to concede), we don’t know if this one is. Besides, I refuse to believe two wrongs make a right.

Whenever someone gives someone else advice to lie, I cringe. It’s one thing to have a momentary lapse of integrity and lie when you are put on the spot. We’re all human. It’s something else entirely to plan ahead of time or advise someone to lie as a premeditated tactic.

Again, if I was mistaken, and you didn’t intend to advise the OP to consciously lie, I would love to retract my rebuke. However, please don’t try to justify it with the “but Bobby’s mom lets him do it!” excuse.

Bscar is correct. Dealer prep/PDI is figured into the sales price and the buyer is paying for it although I disagree that it’s a scam.

A few dealers I worked for had us mechanics PDI new cars but the vast majority do not. There’s a bit more to this than cleaning them up and whatnot. It involves checking things over mechanically and on some cars involved alignment checks and headlight adjustment checks. A long time ago we mechanics even had to install the carpet in new Hondas. They came from the factory with bare floors and the carpet rolled up in the trunk. :slight_smile:
If the dealer is not having the mechanics do the PDI then it’s likely the washroom guys are doing it (they get paid MUCH less) and a basic cleaning is about you will get with maybe (?) a tire pressure and fluid level check.

The buyer of a new car even pays for the ads on TV and (hopefully) all warranty costs incurred as advertising costs are budgeted in at so much per car and so is the cost of warranty repairs. The latter can be an iffy deal for the car maker depending on how problematic a car is. If they lose on one they hope to make up for it elsewhere and due to the way warranty is calculated a comparatively small amount can go a long way.

“Whenever someone gives someone else advice to lie, I cringe.”

But sadly, tit for tat is the most reliable way to make someone change their behavior.