The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers things to consider when reviewing advertisements promoting vehicle sales at great deals (www.ftc.gov, “Are Car Ads Taking You for a Ride?”).
The agency suggests consumers consider whether a sizeable payment, such as a large down payment, is required.
Determine if a discounted price applies only to particular models or is unavailable when ordering a car instead of buying one off the lot.
Do unadvertised qualifications exist to get low financing or low pricing? Is the loan re-payment time short? Does a special loan rate apply only if it is for a certain amount? Do higher amount loans require less desirable financing terms?
The FTC suggests consumers check whether a deal comes with a requirement to buy special things, such as extended warranties/service contracts or rustproofing.
Is the advertised vehicle price coming with special financing that is higher than what would have to be paid if you paid cash or supplied your own financing from a bank or credit union?
Are the advertised low monthly payments applicable for the entire term of the loan, or only for a short period? Do higher rates follow (or is a large balloon payment due at the loan’s end)?
Does zero due at lease signing still require some payment, like fees, taxes, a security deposit, or the first month’s payment?