Too many Hard Inquiries

Too many Hard Inquiries
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#1

Got a loan for a used car September 2018. In the process of finding financing, I was hit with 7 inquiries. All of these were done on the same day by the same dealer. My credit score dropped about 3 points. I read that multiple inquiries for mortgages and auto loans are seen as 1 inquiry if done within a 30 day period. I recently did a pre-approval for a personal loan and was declined for too many inquiries. My scores are TU 674, Ex 667, Exp 655. I have no late payments or derogatories and a utilization of 22%. Including the 7 inquiries for the car, I have a total of 9 showing. Anyone who could offer clarification would be greatly appreciated.