KPA Car Dealership Trust Survey: While A Minority of Americans Experience Deceptive Selling At Dealerships, Most Still Distrust Them

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Survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of KPA comes on the heels of CARS Rule announcement from FTC

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Feb. 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — KPA, a leading provider of compliance solutions for over 15,000 U.S. automotive dealerships, today announced the results of its 2024 KPA Dealership Trust Survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

What Americans Said…

The survey reveals that about one-third of Americans have experienced things like deceptive selling, hidden fees, or dishonest salespeople. Yet over three-quarters of Americans (76%) don’t trust dealerships to be honest about pricing. Americans said the following…

1: About their experience with dealerships…

34% have felt pressured to purchase ‘add-ons.’30% agreed on the price and when they went to sign the paperwork found there were hidden fees.28% felt like the salesperson was trying to ”trick” them into a deal.29% left one dealership and went to another because they didn’t think they were being honest in their pricing.

2: About their perceptions of dealerships…

86% are concerned about hidden fees when buying/leasing a vehicle.76% don’t trust car dealerships to be honest about pricing.84% say price transparency is lacking at most car dealerships.

New Regulations Driving Change to Dealer Practices

The survey results come on the heels of the announcement of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Combating Auto Retail Scams (CARS) Rule, which would protect consumers from deceptive selling or leasing practices. Over the past year, the FTC enacted additional rules for dealerships around pricing transparency, financing, unnecessary add-ons, and keeping customer information secure. Dealerships that don’t follow these laws and regulations can face heavy fines from the FTC at over $50,000 per violation, which is roughly equal to the cost of an average car ($48,000) on the sales lot. Beyond fines, violations can also make dealers appear less trustworthy to potential customers.

What Dealerships Should Do

“Buying or leasing a vehicle is a major financial decision for many Americans,” said Chris Fanning, CEO of KPA. “KPA partners with dealerships to help them operate in compliance with current regulations while also building trust with their customers and earning their dollars.”

To work towards compliance and build trust, Fanning recommends car dealerships focus on the following four practices…

Create a dedicated compliance team: It should include key department stakeholders including marketing, sales, accounting, and finance.Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify goals and timelines for achieving compliance and track progress along the way.Review “Three Ps”: Programs, plans, and policies should be reviewed to identify gaps. Develop new ones that include CARS compliance.Conduct training and certification: Employees should be trained on CARS compliance when they are hired and throughout the year.

KPA provides the only complete compliance solution for CARS that includes automatic website scans to find and remediate violations; remote and onsite deal jacket auditing; employee CARS Rule training; CARS policies documentation; sales and marketing materials archive; and more to help them comply and avoid penalties.

Visit KPA’s FTC CARS Rules Resource Hub for more guidance on how to comply with the CARS Rule fast.

About KPA
KPA helps dealerships improve safety and stay compliant. Trusted by 15,000+ clients, including 40 of the top 50 automobile dealership groups, KPA offers a unique combination of expert Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS), HR, and Sales F&I consulting, software, and training. KPA enables dealerships to comply with state and federal regulations and proactively manage programs to reduce costs, minimize risk and increase productivity.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of KPA between January 16-18, 2024 among 2,098 adults ages 18+. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact

Media Contact
Katie O’Shea


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