Pushy Salespeople: The salesperson should be there to serve your needs – not the other way around. If the dealer is pressuring you to purchase a certain car or isn’t interested in learning what your needs are, then that should be a red flag. A good car buying experience shouldn’t involve pressure. You should feel that the salesperson is listening to you and understands how best to serve you and your specific needs.


Price haggling: Haggling over price is stressful and exhausting. Good car dealers who care about making the car buying process easy for their customers provide clear, upfront pricing. If the salesperson can’t give you a clear, upfront price for the car, be very careful.


Giving unclear or indirect answers to your questions: The dealer should be as transparent with you as possible. If you ask them a simple question like “how long have you had this car on the lot”, you should be receiving a straight answer. Car dealers have a bad reputation because it’s assumed that they are always trying to hide something from the customer. It’s extremely important to have your questions answered so that you’re not left wondering what information is being withheld by the dealer. While it’s not realistic for a salesperson to know everything, they should always try to find answers to your questions or help point you in the right direction to find answers yourself.


Hidden fees: Hidden fees allow dealers to advertise their cars for less and lure you into the door. Make sure you get the total price up front. Almost all dealers charge a documentation fee as well as tax, tag, and title fees if they are registering the car for you. Documentation fees can be as high as $895. There’s nothing worse than getting all the way to the end of the process and finding out you owe one thousand or more dollars on top of the purchasing price.


Won’t let you take it to a mechanic: This should be a giant red flag for any used car shopper. Minor issues are common in any used car. It’s important to have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle before purchasing it. They can spot potential problems such as belts, hoses, leaks, tire wear, and structural components.