SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The auto finance manager's office, where most vehicle purchases are finalized at dealerships, is a treacherous place for consumers, according to

To help consumers navigate this arena, the company recently announced that it has followed up on the success of "Confessions of a Car Salesman" with "Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager." The new exposé is designed to reveal numerous auto finance strategies that can rob consumers and drive up dealership profits, company officials indicated.

"The auto finance process is extremely complicated and foreign to most consumers," said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for, and co-author of the new series.

"After negotiating a fair price with a salesperson, consumers are forced to face the auto finance manager who presents an array of confusing options and financing choices. It's no surprise consumers often make poor decisions in this environment," he added.

Packed with real life-stories and back room secrets, "Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager" reads like a novel while providing vital self-defense strategies for consumers, according to the company.

"Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager" tells consumers to:

—Get a pre-approved loan before entering a dealership or, at the minimum, know your credit score and interest rates you qualify for.

—Finance managers have access to wholesale lending rates but often present a higher interest rate to consumers in order to increase dealership profits.

—Don't buy unnecessary and overpriced add-ons and avoid falling for "menu selling."

—Finance managers may only offer consumers financing in a package with other add-ons, including extended warranties and paint protection. Consumers are often tempted to select an entire package even though they may not want or need any of the add-ons.

—Know the market value for the vehicle you are interested in purchasing.

—Consumers can protect themselves from overpaying by knowing a reasonable purchase price for the vehicle.'s True Market Value(R) is a resource for this information.

"Auto finance managers generate enormous profits for a dealership and are some of the highest paid employees," said Reed. "They profit directly from consumers' lack of knowledge."

More detailed guidelines for successful navigating the auto finance process are available in "Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager," located at