Where the biggest rip-offs start are as soon as you sign the dotted line. The first thing they will do is try to get you to buy extras such as window tinting, paint and fabric protection etc. They will say that they have a packaged deal which will cost some four figure amount. If you shop around later you will find that you can get exactly the same things done from specialists for half the price.
They will always try to black mail you into thinking that if you don’t get your car serviced with their service department it will void your warranty. A minor service at a dealership service department will usually cost over $300, double that of a regular mechanic. This service is basically just an oil change, and will probably be done by a first year apprentice. The service doesn’t take long but they will demand you drop your car off at 8am and can’t pick it up till 5pm.
They then try and con you into getting things you don’t need. My favourite is the injector clean, it is quite often quoted as the “french fries” of car repairs. They basically charge you $150 to put a fluid through the fuel line. You can do exactly the same thing by simply buying the injector cleaner from an auto shop and pouring into the fuel tank when you fill up. There’s one company that don’t even use their own genuine brand, they use a brand that you can buy a K-Mart for $12. The service makes the company a handsome three figure profit. They will usually try and con you into getting things done that are nowhere near yet required (new brake pads new tyres etc). They may even try and scare with words such as “unsafe, unroadworthy etc etc.
A recent experience a friend had was when her headlight wasn’t working, the globe just wouldn’t click into position. The car dealership tried to tell her that the headlights all come in one piece these days and that the entire headlight would need replacing. I then got her to take it to a local auto electrician, all it needed doing was replacing a small clip worth $5.
I believe this is where the local car industry has let itself down and has now come back to bite them.