Buy One Car, Get One Free Offers [Are they Legit?]

Buy One Car Get One FreeIf you’ve seen an ad for a BOGO car deal (Buy One Get One Free), you may be wondering if it’s a scam.

Is it ever a legit deal?  Let’s take a look.

How a Buy One Get One Free Deal Works

Here’s a typical BOGO offer:

When you buy a qualifying vehicle, you get a select pre-owned vehicle at no extra cost.

The obvious explanation here is: you buy a new car and you get a second "free" used car along with it.

Without naming any names, we've recently seen this gimmick offered by Nissan and Ford dealers in Florida and a Kia dealer in Ohio.

What’s the Catch?

Here’s how dealers make this type of “too good to be true”, two-for-one deal work.  And don’t worry about them, they’re not going to lose money on the deal.

It’s all about how much they make on the primary car and how little they lose on the “free” car.

The Primary Car is usually a new, expensive vehicle with a high margin for the dealership.  And not only will the dealer require you to pay the full retail price, but they will often require you to add-on a specific options package for a couple thousand dollars more, further increasing their profit.

The “Free” car is typically a used, bare-bones beater car that was bought at auction.  And the dealer will advertise an inflated retail price that is thousands more than what they actually paid.

The bottom line is that dealers will make sure they have enough profit on the deal to cover the cost of the second car.

Typical Buy One Get One Free Restrictions

  • You can’t use any other factory incentives or dealer discounts on the primary car and must pay full price
  • You must pay for a specific trim level or upgrades to the primary car
  • You must have good credit to qualify
  • The second car has a low resale value or it’s just a short-term lease
  • The dealer may not have the advertised models in stock and are just offering a teaser to get you to the dealership

What to Consider

While you can get a discount buying two cars at once, before you fall for this gimmick consider these questions.

  • How much more do you have to pay for the first car above the typical sale price if you had negotiated?
  • What is the actual resale value of the second car?
  • Do you really want either of those specific cars?
  • Can you find a better new car deal on something you really want and still afford a second car?