Please don't fall for the Patriot Act BS when you're paying cash. Here's the deal, it's an age-old scam that dealers use when you're paying cash because they want to pull your credit. Don't believe the assurances that they won't without your authorization because the paper you will fill out says CREDIT APPLICATION at the top. Your salesman will say over and over again that it's not really a credit pull and that you only have to fill in your name and address, you don't even sign it. As I was told by the manager at this dealership, it's just part of their policy and process.
But here's the thing, the information is already on your license which they have a copy of. So why do they need this? Yes, it's true the Patriot Act requires dealers to screen cash buyers to make sure they are not on a government terrorism watch list. But dealers don't need to run a credit report to satisfy that requirement. So why is the paper you're filling out labelled CREDIT APPLICATION?
In reality, credit checks do more than determine if you're in good credit standing. It can also help the dealer set the sales price (which is why some cars don't have price or QR code on the sticker) and determine if you get the full-court-press for add ons.
So we were one signature away from cementing the deal and the salesman pulls out the Patriot Act/Credit Application paperwork. After being there for nearly two hours, I still walked out. To me, this speaks to the integrity of the dealership. The manager also told me this is the policy and process for all the dealerships run by the parent company.
BTW my husband recently paid cash at another dealership for his vehicle and he was not asked to fill out anything even resembling a credit application! Yes, I am female and yes, I went alone. I paid cash for my current vehicle and the dealership did not ask me to fill out any suspicious paperwork. But during that process at a different dealership, I was presented with the same song-and-dance and walked away from that deal as well.
In both cases, I was willing to pay the sticker... it is just shady business. As I was driving away, a third person called me from the dealership even though I told the salesman I didn't want to speak with anyone else about this because I didn't want to listen to nonsensical rationalizations. Clearly he didn't listen.
Just one more nugget, I was told by the third person who called that the salesman and manager shouldn't have pressed the issue and the salesman was new... except at his desk he had commendations for his performance that were more than a year old... so just more proof that they will say whatever they can to get a deal done.
Stay educated and don't fall for the spiel! Sure, there are not that many cars to choose currently but that doesn't mean you should be taken advantage of.