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How to avoid car dealerships taking advantage of elderly people

How to avoid car dealerships taking advantage of elderly people?

No one would deny that they do not like driving a good vehicle on the road. Car investment is considered relatively big when compared to other expenses and is crucial just like an investment for homes. However, old people are not aware of the market conditions and that is the sole reason car dealerships taking advantage of elderly.

Even in this modern era, there is a point where phone calls are less common and the culture of fake email accounts is on the rise due to which senior citizens become vulnerable to financial scams. According to the National Council on Aging, several kinds of frauds are incurred by humans in their daily lives such as – internet fraud and wrong commitments.

One major area which went unnoticed by the National Council of Aging was the automobile industry. The elderly people find themselves as the target of the car dealerships. People who are dealing in vehicles are fond of bending the truth for things that are not required.

This article will discuss the 5 scams where car dealerships were taking advantage of elderly. Moreover, we will tell you why you should purchase a car from a reliable dealer.

5 worst scams on senior citizens

There is no doubt in saying that mechanics do try to twist things and make them complicated for elderly people. The mechanics are aware that no older person would dig deep into the problem and due to this, they take advantage of them.

Well, as an elderly person you might pay for repairs which are not even required. Let’s discuss the 10 worst scams that are applied to senior citizens;

Saying ‘You might hear me wrong’

Yes, the healing power of an elderly person is less than a middle-aged adult and that is the thing that car dealerships take advantage of. The car dealers try to use memory and hearing power as an excuse against the older generation.

For example, when the elderly person reaches the table to sign the agreement, there are higher chances that the dealers would apply this technique at that specific time to edit any clause in the contract. If you incur any such problem, it is a clear indication that it is a scam and you should move away.

Oil changes before time

There is the least possibility that an elderly person would drive their vehicles while covering long routes or for long hours unless they live in some rural area or remote place. An average car owner has to change their car oil after the vehicle crosses the mark of 7000 miles. Well, that is appropriate.

However, when elderly people take their cars to the repair shops, the mechanics ask them to change the oil, so that they could make some bucks. You should pay attention or concentrate on the actual mileage in your odometer to avoid any kind of scam.

It might cost you just $20 – $50 to get it checked but the dollars might add up if the entire engine oil has to be changed.

Asking for a relative’s loan

Not everyone in the family is financially stable or well-to-do; however, they also wish to have a car of their own. In this scenario, they reach out to their elderly relatives to get some loan or sign the papers as the co-owner of the car.

Nevertheless, you should be pretty careful while signing the agreement and should read each clause to make sure that it is not used against you later on. In some cases, the elderly people become the primary owner of the car and have to pay the full amount.

Try to avoid financing such people and even if you do, make sure to read the contract with eyes wide open. 

Craigslist buyer scam

As technology is advancing with every passing day, internet scams are becoming more regular. According to the Better Business Bureau, you should be highly attentive while selling your car online and most importantly to Craigslist.

Craigslist was popular for setting up the picking process of the car immediately. However, they never give cash during the pick-up and try to scam the car owner by saying that they would transfer the funds via Paypal or any other application – which is too good to be true.

People who are known to the technology or are web-savvy might accept this offer to later find out that the payment did not happen.

You should always try to deal in cash rather than relying on such scam payment procedures.

Installation of cheap parts

According to reports, around 36 states filed a lawsuit against State Farm for this practice. It has become a norm for all the mechanics to lie and install cheap parts or components in the car. The elderly people are forced to install cheap parts in their vehicles for the sake of saving some money.

However, mechanics act cleverly and they take out the original parts from the car to sell it for higher prices. Not only is it affecting the elderly car owner financially but it becomes life-threatening on the roadway also.

Always approach a trustworthy mechanic for your safety and financial wellbeing as well.

Why should elderly people purchase cars from a reliable dealer?

For the sake of some dollars, car dealerships taking advantage of elderly has become pretty common nowadays. However, the older generation should try to act smart and always rely on car dealers who have a good reputation in the market.

Let’s discuss the reasons for it;

Flexible payment process

There are fewer chances that the car dealership would allow you to make flexible payments. However, a reputable car dealer would trust you and give you ample time to pay the entire money.

They would make an installment plan which will eventually create an easy path for you to make the payments. Isn’t it cool? This should be considered great news for people who are surviving with limited bank balances.

Buyer protection

If you are willing to purchase a used vehicle for yourself, you might be thinking about the quality of the car. Nonetheless, if you are getting from a reputable car dealership, you do not have to worry about it.


You cannot trust the car dealerships blindly while you make the purchase decision. You need to be careful while making such big investments. Let’s hope this article helps you to be aware of the scams and makes you understand why you should approach a reputable dealership.

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