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Don’t Get Duped by the Dealer when Buying a Car

Wed, 08/17/2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Have you seen a price for a car in an advertisement, only to get to the dealer and the price is completely different? That’s illegal. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) wants to hear from consumers who have experienced misleading and deceptive sales practices when car shopping.

Special Wednesday Webinar: Consumer Forum on Car Buying

When: Wednesday: August 24, 2022 at 10:30-11:30 a.m.

What: Consumers will have an opportunity to share their car buying experiences. SCDCA will provide an overview of issues that have been reported to us and what we are hearing from consumers. Time permitting, SCDCA will provide tips for consumers as they go car shopping.

Click here to register.

You can just listen in to the webinar, but if you’d like to speak live, please fill out the registration questions so the Department can reach out to coordinate. The media is welcome to listen in. There will be a period allotted at the end for questions.

SCDCA has seen car prices jumping $10k+ more than advertised. Consumer complaints and tips are one of the top three ways SCDCA finds out if a business is violating the law. In February 2022, SCDCA sent a memo to all motor vehicle dealers in the state identifying common violations that have been found through consumer tips, investigating complaints and conducting standard compliance reviews related to motor vehicle dealers. The most common violations include:

1)    Inflating Official Fees in the Contract

2)    Extra Fees Added to the Advertised Price

3)    Using MSRP for Used Cars

Consumers can contact SCDCA directly with complaints regarding alleged misleading and deceptive practices they have experienced while car shopping. To file a complaint, visit and click FILE A COMPLAINT. To see if a business has complaints against it, consumers should take advantage of the Search Complaints tool on the Consumer Information page of SCDCA’s website.