Discrimination in Car Sales: Here Are Tools to Help Buyers
Buying a car in the current auto market remains more difficult and expensive than it was pre-pandemic. Although some aspects of the industry are beginning to recover, sky-high car prices and soaring interest rates persist.
Within this still turbulent market, buying a car can be even more challenging for minority consumers due to discriminatory practices that have plagued the car industry historically and continue to affect buyers.
For example, the 2021 Racial Discrimination in the Auto Loan Market report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) showed that Black and Latino consumers are more likely to be charged higher interest rates and have lower loan approval rates even when they have similar or better credit than their white counterparts. And similar forms of discrimination can occur during other parts of the car-buying process.
Buying, paying for and owning a car is riddled with structural racism, says Erin E. Witte, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America. There has been research about almost every aspect of auto ownership showing that it is more expensive for consumers of color.