How Do You Know You’re in Good Hands?
Right now is the perfect time to buy a new car or a new-to-you pre-owned vehicle. Why? The new model year is about to come out, prices are already low, and because it’s nearing the end of the year, car dealership salespeople are looking to hit their quota and take home a hefty paycheck in time for the holidays.
Almost every major city has that one road – you definitely know it. It’s lined with car dealerships on both sides, for miles at a time, overwhelming car buyers with choices and confusing them about who they should trust when it’s time to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something they’ll keep for at least five years, if not more.
Here’s how you can tell which car dealerships are trustworthy, and which ones you should run away from.
Their customers rave about them.
Before visiting a car dealership, check out the online reviews their past customers have left. Are they good ones? Or do they leave you questioning what your experience might be like if you go to that particular used car dealership?
You should also ask your friends and family for their dealership recommendations. You probably already trust these folks to tell you the truth, and you’re probably familiar with their vehicles and whether they like driving them.
In general, if a car dealership has mostly positive reviews and feedback from customers, it’s worth checking out their inventory.
Their prices are fair.
Kelley Blue Book online makes it easy to determine whether a vehicle you’re looking at on the dealership website is priced fairly and correctly. Simply input the information the dealership provided about the car: year, make, model, features, miles on the odometer, and zip code where the car is located. The website will then tell you the price range you could expect to see for the car you’re considering.
Is the vehicle you like priced over that? Or is it priced way, way under? Both could be red flags. But now that you know how much the car is actually worth at retail price, you can potentially haggle with the salesperson to get a deal you deserve.
They have a wide selection of vehicles.
If the car dealership you’re visiting looks like they don’t have much to choose from, it may not be worth your time to stop by, particularly if you aren’t impressed with any of the vehicles they have listed on their website.
A car dealership with lots of inventory means you can handpick your next new ride and are more likely to find a vehicle with all the features you want – and maybe even in your favorite color.
You feel welcome inside.
When you walk into the dealership for the first time, whether you have an appointment or not, you should be graciously welcomed right away and helped as soon as a salesperson becomes available. Your salesperson should get to know you.
If you feel like more of a means to an end, or you don’t get the customer service you were expecting, don’t feel like you have to make a purchase at this dealership. You can shop around for another one that will make you feel important and help you get into a new car.
They can prove their cars are quality.
Especially if you’re buying a used car, it’s scary knowing that you may potentially drive off in what amounts to a lemon. Every used car dealer should provide, at minimum, the following for every used car on their lot:
● A history report of the vehicle, usually from Carfax● Proof of a thorough inspection before the car was ever offered for sale● An included warranty, at least 30 days
If your salesperson can’t tell you anything about the car you’re looking at, there’s no need to proceed with the sale.
They sell the car brand you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a specific vehicle from an automaker, it can be helpful to shop at a dealership that specializes in that brand. For example, you’d head to a Ford dealer in Kansas City if you lived in Missouri and were looking to purchase a Ford Explorer SUV.
You wouldn’t go to a general car lot in hopes of seeing a massive selection of this exact make and model, and you might not get the best deal if you purchase a used Ford at, say, a Dodge dealership.
Go shopping today!
Do you feel more prepared to find a quality car dealership and get a good deal? We hope so! Use your newfound knowledge to head out on a car-shopping adventure and leave with the vehicle of your dreams.