Disclaimer:The sole purpose of this article is to help Karrenn's community navigate today's advertisements in the light of the Consumer Protection Law.
It’s no secret; we are easily seduced when looking for a new car. Dealers do their best to make us feel their offer is the only one that is worthy of our love and money. You know the feeling. You’re in the market for a new car. You’ve looked all over the place...That’s when you see THE AD: the car is in your price range, with all the right curves in all the right places. It’s love at first sight! But when you go to have a closer look, it feels like waking up next to someone totally different than the person you met last night.
And this is why we are here; to help you avoid the disappointment ahead of time, and provide you with the necessary to be very knowledgeable about the car you're interested in. So here is everything to keep in mind when you spot the car of your dreams on a screen or on a billboard...
Prices Excluding VAT & Registration
Oh! What a catch, right? Until you step inside the dealerships and discover you have to add VAT and registration fees. Before getting too excited, we suggest adding 20% to the advertised price to get a better approximation of what the car is really going to cost you. Take the below as an example:
Advertised Price = $16,900
Ad Price * 1.2 = $20,280 (VAT is 10% of the advertised price, and registration is somewhere around that number as well)
Approximate Price (incl. VAT + Reg) = $20,280
It's worth noting that the Lebanese Consumer Protection Law states that any advertisement should include the price and all taxes included, as well as any delivery charges or hidden costs.
Or you could just visit our Car Ads and avoid all this confusion! Try out this trick we showed you on a few cars and see for yourself!
Wait a second; this is not the car I saw on the billboard!
Let’s be clear, what’s on that billboard is the full options model; in some cases, that model is not even imported to Lebanon. What you will get on the other hand, is the car model with the tiniest set of options. The price advertised is mostly, if not always, that of the lowest model alongside the image of the full options model.
Fortunately, whenever a new offer or ad comes out, Karrenn validates it and tells you what the price advertised will buy you, and what the car illustrated you see will cost you, amongst other things! If you've recently seen an ad and want to know whether it's worth your attention or not, again, look it up in ourCar Adssection.
Payment Offers: And how did you say I was paying for this?
This type of ads is not very common. But be careful when car ads highlight a monthly payment that’s just too good to be true. Because, like a mirage in the desert, it’s just an illusion! These appealing prices usually leave out a lot of additional hidden costs, such as a big down-payments, large payments at the end of each year (called balloon payments), and to top it all off, the ad might not even include the car’s full cost.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the interest rates featured on the billboards do not include the loan fees or insurance. Be sure to ask about the real interest rate or APR, which varies greatly. When of these ads come out, we'll be on the look-out, and provide you with any missing information.
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2017 or 2018? But that’s not the new model!
Beware of ads that don’t mention the model year. Ads sometimes target older models, but like a good facelift, try to pass as the younger version. This technique is usually used for stock liquidation. Keep an eye out, and always ask for the car's model year, especially when a special offer is involved.
Is the car advertised even available?
Unfortunately, sometimes it goes as far as advertising a model that does not exist. It might have happened with some of you at some point. You see a car that you know for an extremely low price. And when you call, it turns out that the model for that low price is either a manual or "out-of-stock" less than 24 hours after the ad popped up. You are then recommended that same car but with the higher variant that will cost you more.
And what kind of warranties do you have to offer?
Always make sure to ask about what the insurance covers. A bumper-to-bumper insurance means that everything is covered, including electricity, engine and transmission.
Now that you have read this article, you are better equipped than ever to face all those car ads that aim to seduce you. Can you think of any more tricks you've avoided or got hooked with? Tell us your stories in the comments!