A number of dealers suggested to undercover Daily Mail reporters they would be able to obtain credit for a new car, even in situations where the reporter would clearly struggle to make the repayments.
In one example, a reporter who claimed to be an unemployed 24 year old was told by a dealer he would ‘be fine’ applying for a new £15,375 Audi A1 in a Scottish dealership.
In a Mazda showroom, in another example, the reporter claimed to be a part time worker in his early twenties who’d spent the past year travelling. The dealer reportedly told him: “If you’re a £25-30,000 car, then they start asking about how much you earn. But when you’re looking at a £11-12,000 car it’s alright.”
Other dealers reportedly gave reporters advice on how to improve the chance of a successful credit application by leaving out information.
It is important to point out that at no point did the undercover reporter proceed with a credit check, or actually apply for finance in any example.
The Mail reported that the finance companies questioned responded by pointing out that no credit application had been made and such an application would have resulted in a decline. Vauxhall and Suzuki have both launched investigations into the matter, the paper added.
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Despite this, it is potentially worrying that dealerships are encouraging customers to apply for finance they are ill suited to and might find unaffordable.
It is also of concern that dealers seemed confident they would be able to make a successful application, suggesting such tactics had worked in the past.