A Sneaky Trick That Car Dealerships Pull

Bet you aren’t too surprised to hear the word “sneaky” describe a car dealership. Well, this isn’t a post about how they try to upsell you or get you to pay more than a fair amount for what a car is worth. This is about another thing that car dealerships do, that you might not even realize.

Take a careful look around at all of the cars in a parking lot sometime. Count the number of cars that have a dealer sticker or decal on the window, emblem on the bumper, or license plate frame on them. Chances are good that the number will be pretty high. Maybe even your own car has one. This is because dealers slap them on after you purchase a vehicle. Maybe you noticed it and didn’t care, or never really thought about it or maybe you didn’t even notice it at all. What car buyers don’t realize is that the car dealership really has no right to put that on the car.

Think about it. As a consumer, you are paying for the car that you ultimately drive off of the lot. It is your owned property. A dealer has no right to put something on the car without your permission, but they do it every day knowing that many car owners won’t notice, won’t care, or will be too lazy to take it off.

These dealer stickers, decals, emblems, and license plate frames are essentially free advertising for the dealer. Everywhere you drive, you are promoting their brand to any car that passes you by or is stopped behind you at a red light.

If you are going to advertise a car dealership, shouldn’t you be compensated? If a dealer was willing to lower the price tag on a vehicle in exchange for advertising, that would be one thing. But what dealers are doing is taking advantage of the unassuming customer, which isn’t really fair. In most cases they aren’t even telling the new car owner what they are doing, they simply do it and then hope for the best.

If your car is currently promoting a dealership, and you don’t want it to be, luckily these promotional items can be removed fairly easily. Warm a sticker or decal and peel it off slowly so that the adhesive doesn’t leave a mark. A license plate frame can easily be removed by taking the license plate off of the car using a screwdriver. Be careful removing an emblem and use a fishing line or floss to cut through the foam and then use an adhesive remover to soften the remaining foam before taking it off to avoid gouging the paint job.

What are your thoughts on car dealers adding promotions to a customer’s car without their approval?