How to Buy a Car in Atlanta
Buying a car in Atlanta is relatively straightforward, but the Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs recommends exercising caution in your negotiations, especially with dealers. In 2019, the agency reported that it had received complaints about nine dealerships in Georgia failing to pay off the customer’s trade-in after a sale.
The people were duped out of thousands of dollars when they traded in cars they still owed money on. The dealers promised to pay off the loans, but never did, leaving the customer with two loans–one for the car they purchased and for the trade-in that was never paid off.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that some of the scams took place in or around Atlanta.
3 Steps to Buy a Car in Atlanta
1. Apply for a loan from your bank or credit union in Atlanta before you begin shopping for a car.
This allows you to determine how much you can spend for a car. It also protects you from overpriced financing offered by dealers.
The Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs reports that some dealerships encourage middle- and low-income buyers with questionable credit to take possession of the car “on the spot” while the credit details are worked out over the next day or two.
Then, after the customer has become emotionally attached to the car the dealership reveals details of financing with an exorbitant interest rate.
2. Sell your car on your own in Atlanta rather than trade it in, if applicable.
Selling the car yourself will allow you to avoid trade-in scams at dealerships. Advertise your car on free online classified sites in Atlanta and on social networking sites attracting people from Atlanta.
3. Get all the terms in writing, but be sure you really want the car before signing papers.
The Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs reports there are few remedies for car buyer’s remorse in Atlanta and the rest of the state. The agency reports that in essence, the car is yours once you sign the contract, even if you have never test-driven it or taken the keys.