Can a Car Dealer Increase or Lie About the Advertised Price ?

car dealer raised the price 300x191 - Can a Car Dealer Increase or Lie About the Advertised Price ?No, car dealerships in Maryland cannot lie or increase the price of a car once they advertise it to the public, and the customer comes in to buy it at the advertised price.  This is a common scam, sometimes called bait-and-switch, but it is simply another type of false advertising.  If this happens to you, make sure to make a copy of the advertisement, or take a screen shot of the advertised price.  That is the evidence that will help you bring a strong legal claim.

The attorneys at Whitney, LLP successfully represent car buyers who are lied to by dishonest car dealers about the price of a car.  Our lawyers provide Legal Consultations, and represent our clients in auto fraud cases with no out-of-pocket expenses or fees to the customer.

Examples of settlements we have recovered for victims of auto dealer fraud can be reviewed here.

If you are scammed by a car dealership, Call Whitney, LLP at 410 583 8000, or use our online Quick Contact form. Whitney, LLP fights back for customers against dishonest car dealerships.

Why do Car Dealers Raise Online Advertised Prices?

Car dealers raise prices on both new and used car to make more profit. Sometimes, they look at the customer and decide to see how much they can get away with.  Many times single women are targeted due to the stereotype of being an easy target.  Other times, the dealership has a scheme in place that is designed to get customers in the door by misrepresenting and advertising a low price, but then increasing it once they get a customer in the store.  After several hours of haggling, many customers are worn down and will agree to pay the increased price.

Car dealers often overcharge buyers not only on the price, but also on state fees, freight costs, taxes, GAP insurance, and after-market products including warranties and wheel and tire protection plans.

Even if a customer signs a contract for the increased price, there are laws in place that protect the customers, and the customers can recover the extra money they paid.

To recover the money that the dealership charged you for, you will likely need a lawyer who is experienced at suing car dealerships and getting back the money that car dealers overcharge. Whitney, LLP can help get your money back.

credit acceptance increased car price 300x225 - Can a Car Dealer Increase or Lie About the Advertised Price ?

Financing with Credit Acceptance Increasing Car’s Price

Why does financing a car with Credit Acceptance often increase the price of a car? The answer is that Credit Acceptance, or CAC, charges dealers a large fee to get a car financed through them.  Dealers often increase the price of the car to offset the increased fee they pay to Credit Acceptance. Although increasing the advertised price is illegal to do in Maryland, car dealerships do it all the time.  “We can’t eat that cost” and “we have to charge you the bank fee” are excuses that foolish dealers often tell their customers.  The dealers do not realize that they are admitting to an illegal price increase, and that they have now broken Maryland law.

Passing on bank fees and finance charges to a car buyer is illegal in Maryland. Car contracts in Maryland are required to specifically describe all costs and fees charged to the customer.  Even when a dealer illegally overcharges a customer by increasing the price by passing on a finance charge, state law requires that charge to be disclosed. If it is not disclosed, the customer has legal rights, and can seek to get that amount of money back.

If you have gone to a dealership and were told that the price of the car you wanted went up because of bank fees from Credit Acceptance, Whitney, LLP’s auto fraud lawyers can help. We are familiar with car dealerships charging an increase price and asking for more money when financing a customer through Credit Acceptance.

Car Dealer Lied About Price and Overcharged Me

Car buyers in Maryland, especially those with low credit scores, are often the victims of illegal price increases.  Just because your credit score is low does not mean that a car dealership can lie about an online price, not honor that price, and then increase the advertised price on you have looked at the car and want to buy it.

In fact, buyers with low credit scores often have very good legal claims against car dealerships because they are more likely to have been defrauded due to the dealership’s aggressive practices with these customers.

Car dealers are not allowed to charge customers more money for safety inspections, which is a common lie told by dealers to unsuspecting customers.

If a Car Dealer Lied to You, Call Whitney, LLP’s Auto Fraud Lawyers

Whitney, LLP represents victims of car fraud, including overcharging on the price, lying about the price of a car, false advertising, forgery, credit application fraud, hidden damage, and many other schemes. We have successfully represented many car buyers in claims against Maryland car dealerships.

We always offer Legal Consultations. Call us at 410 583 8000, or use our online Quick Contact form. We can help.


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An attorney-client relationship is created only once a representation agreement is signed. Prior results are not a guarantee of future results, and all cases are different. This website does not provide legal advice.


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