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Hard to say in this case. Every dealer has their own way of doing business. I don't think this dealer is trying to pull a fast one by using this as their policy, but I could be wrong. Maybe they have been burned a few times by people not paying on credit cards or personal checks and this offers them guaranteed lack of trouble. Maybe there is more to the story too though.

Staggie is also right in most part, but your money is never the dealers' money until you have completed a purchase and taken delivery of your vehicle. Even if you gave them a bank check and it was cashed, you could get the money back if you hadn't yet taken delivery. All states also differ on the laws here, so I am speaking from my knowledge of Texas law too. The dealer could certainly "hold your feet to the fire" a lot more with a bank check than a personal check though.
 
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