What you see many not be what you get when it comes to cars.
Some car owners are trying to make it look as if they are driving high-performance, luxury versions of the cars they really own.
They might, for instance, take a Chrysler 300 that has a V6 and put a Hemi badge on it to make it look like it's got the more expensive and more powerful V8 engine," said Jamie Kitman of Automobile Magazine.
Kitman said the practice of badging is popular. She said emblems could be purchased online and some dealerships even sell the stickers.
"The benefit is telegraphing other people very quickly that you have more wealth than you really have, perhaps, and that you have more prestige," said Kitman.
Some Mercedes-Benz owners are putting AMG badges on their cars to make it look like they bought the more expensive, fine-tuned version, according to experts. The AMG version is worth $20,000 to $30,000 more.
It gives the person the opportunity to change their image, to create a different feeling about what they own and what they drive," said Mercedes-Benz dealer Garth Blumenthal.
Robyn Eckard with Kelley Blue Book said the stickers are deceiving.
If you're a consumer going out and buying a used vehicle and you're looking for, perhaps, a tuned vehicle like these with the bigger engines, you certainly want to be aware of what you're buying," said Eckard. "The vehicle identification number tells you exactly what that car is and what options it has on it.
Rob Pontello has spent thousands of dollars customizing his BMW and puts on a new badge only to match his upgrades. However, he said he knows a lot of people who slap stickers on their cars just for show.
It's a materialistic kind of thing. But really, when you're trying to customize your car, it's not so much materialistic; you're really trying to get something unique," said Pontello.
Many true car lovers could spot a phony care a mile away.
According to experts, the badges can be purchased rather easily from about $4 to $60.
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