Beware Of Fake "Deals" On New Vehicles This President's Day


Before you sign the dotted line, do some basic math.

According to Cars Direct, there are some so-called “deals” on new vehicles to avoid this President’s Day because, well, they’re not real. At the very least they are misleading. A few of the examples Cars Direct found, which are currently being advertised in Los Angeles, make it sound like you’re getting a great price on the vehicle in question, but a closer look at the numbers paints a different picture. First example is a $199, 36-month lease with $1,499 due at signing on a new Ford Fiesta SE. Sounds pretty darn good, right? Well, no.

In reality, the cost is more like $241. That’s just $1 a month less than an also new Focus SEL, which is listed at $189/month for the same time period with $1,899 due at signing. Total cost per month: $242. For only another $4/month over the Fiesta’s price, you can get behind the wheel of a new Fusion SE with the Tech Package. Now, the Fiesta in question has an MSRP of $17,160 while the Fusion’s is $24,670. For just $4 more per month for the same time period, you’re getting a car that’s $7,510 more expensive. Next up is the new Nissan Rogue, now being promoted at $3,030 off MSRP. Thing is, that offer is only good for the Midnight Edition Package, which already has $780 worth of built-in discounts.

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Another kicker: Nissan will give you a $500 bonus, assuming your eligible, but only through its in-house financing arm. Unfortunately, in doing so requires buyers to take out a loan at non-promotional rates. If you don’t take that loan, you’ll only be eligible for $1,750 off MSRP, a 42 percent difference from the advertised savings. Lastly, there’s the 2018 Ram 1500. Because the completely redesigned 1500 will hit dealerships late next summer, Ram is anxious to clear out existing trucks, hence Truck Month. It’s advertising up to $11,856 in “total value,” but what does this term mean? Answer: that nearly $12k applies only for ’18 Big Horn trucks with the Crew Cab configuration only.

The truck has an MSRP of over $41,000. Based on Car Direct’s analysis, this particular trim/body style is only eligible for $5,750 in savings with an extra $1,500 in bonuses if you finance through Chrysler Capital. As for the remaining $6,106? Well, here’s the really shady bit. The ad’s fine print states that it came from a survey of nationwide prices based on the average dealer discount. In other words, you’ll have to hope your local Ram dealer will offer you that amount, but there’s no guarantee. Happy shopping.