Is it legal for a used car dealership to put a sticker price on the window of a vehicle, and then sell that vehicle for more if it’s financed?

I saw a car on a used car lot and decided to buy it. The sticker price read $2499. The dealer promised to finance, and offered me $500 on my trade in. While I transferred my personal items from my trade-in vehicle to new vehicle, he wrote up paperwork. When I got ready to sign, I saw he’d put total sales price as $6190 minus $500 (trade-in) leaving $5690 to be financed. I pointed out the sticker price and he said that’s cash price only. Is this legal? He never mentioned cash price when I was test driving or anytime before signing.

Asked on March 7, 2011 under General Practice, Arkansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

One would need to ask a bit more of the facts here but my gut instinct tells me that you have been a victim of false advertising and misrepresentation and that you need to seek legal help as soon as you can about what you may want to do about this transaction. That is a huge difference in price and I think that this dealer violated many laws here and should at the very least be reported.   There is probably not a 3 days right of rescission with a used car in your state but you never know and you should look it up as well.  And work quickly here on all aspects of the solutions. Good luck.

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