Many people are too busy with their lives to put in the time and energy required to purchase a car. For many, this is just another way that they can save money on living expenses. But even if you’re not looking for a new car, there are reasons why buying from an established dealership might be worth your while.

1. Reputation and car dealerships 

For as long as there have been used vehicles to sell, the phrase “used car salesperson” has been a pejorative for shady individuals. Despite the fact that it may be unjust, the job has a negative reputation. Unscrupulous automobile dealers would sell cars with hidden faults, charge exorbitant rates, or offer consumers useless add-on services without their knowledge.

Buying a vehicle is considerably simpler today than it was just a few years ago. For one thing, car purchasers are more knowledgeable, and second, many car dealers have learned that taking advantage of consumers does not aid in the creation of a long-term company.

However, there are still bad apples in the bunch, and the adage “buyer beware” is as applicable today as it has been. In my section on modern car dealer frauds, you’ll learn more about dealer tricks of the trade.

2. Customer support after the sale

If you buy a car and never return, this portion does not apply. Many car buyers, especially those buying a new vehicle, will be returning for maintenance and warranty services. To put it another way, you’re not signing up for a one-time transaction; instead, you’re forming a relationship.

We’re not recommending a long courtship, but we are making the point that this is another element to consider. If they provide any unique benefits or incentives (loaner cars), and if they’re well-known for doing a superb job, you should inquire about convenient hours.

Ask your salesperson to show you around the service department on a quick walk-through. When you need servicing, ask to see where you should park (service road) and what facilities are available while your car is in the workshop. Take notice of whether there’s a waiting area for customers and what services are offered while your automobile is being serviced.

3. Which manufacturer brands have the best reputation?

The first step is to understand how various brands stack up against one another. You can accomplish this with the J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI). This annual survey ranks well-known companies based on the performance of their dealerships. (Note that it doesn’t evaluate individual dealerships, so a strong brand may have a poor dealership near you, and vice versa.)

According to J.D. Power, which contacted around 30,000 purchasers for the poll, dealership personnel was rated highest in terms of friendliness and professionalism. They evaluate the vehicle delivery process, the ease with which the transaction was completed, the paperwork completion procedure, the overall facility, and the dealership website in this category.

Buick was selected as the top mass-market brand for 2017. Lincoln and Mercedes shared first place in the luxury class, with Infiniti and Porsche behind.

4. Evaluating a dealership’s reputation

It’s time to balance dealerships after you’ve determined which brands you like and maybe even eliminated some from your list. If you want assistance finding those close by, the manufacturer’s website can assist. Look for a “Find a dealer” tab or link on the manufacturer’s website.

The next step is to narrow down the list of dealerships. The first is to get a sense of their honesty by looking at their background and experience.

  • Customer feedback. There are a variety of sites where you may find customer feedback. dealerrater.com, Yelp, and Google are the most well-known.
  • Look for the Better Business Bureau’s website in your state. You may also look for any of your list who have a lot of consumer complaints and get an “A” grade.
  • Longevity. A shady dealership won’t last long. Once the public learns they are untrustworthy, the business folds. Conversely, if they’ve been in operation for years, it’s reasonable to assume they receive a lot of repeat business. And customers wouldn’t return to a dealership that they felt had cheated them previously.

The J.D. Power SSI, like the J.D. Power SSI, will show you how good a dealership is at managing and assisting its customers. You’ll probably strike some businesses off your list as a result of this phase of your research. After completing that, you’ll be ready to continue looking for a dealer who makes it easy to do business with them.

5. Criteria for evaluating a dealership

When looking at a dealership, there are numerous factors to consider, but for the sake of simplicity, we can group them into four categories:

  • Price – Are they willing to haggle and open to different price points? Are they a “one-price” operation?
  • Inventory – Do they have the automobile you’re looking for?
  • Perks – What other goods or services are accessible from the dealer?
  • Facility – What’s the address and phone number? What’s the payment method, starting price, and total cost of a typical oil change? Is there any hidden

a) Price

You won’t know what you’ll be paying for your next vehicle until you’re speaking with a salesperson. From using an online referral service such as Ryde Shopper, Edmunds, Motor Trend, or Cars Direct, you can get an idea of how competitive they are. You may get a better deal by shopping around and comparing the pricing on numerous vehicles. (For example, you may discover that dealerships in poorer regions offer lower prices.)

b) Inventory

Dealerships generally keep their inventory on the internet. This lets you compare vehicles across different dealerships to find out who has the most options. If you’ve already decided on a model, trim, and/or color, it also shows whether it’s available.

I strongly urge you do not to purchase a vehicle from a dealer’s website if you find the perfect one. DO NOT initiate contact with them directly through their website. You should still go through an online referral service such as Ryde Shopper first. When you do so, the dealer knows they’re not the only one you’ve contacted about pricing quotes and will be more likely to offer you a better upfront price. Suppose you’re using an online referral service. Make sure you pick all of the dealers who are available to receive the greatest bids in hand.

If you tell the dealer what car you want, they can usually get those cars. Dealerships will frequently exchange goods with one another (particularly if they’re part of a larger organization.) It may take a few days to acquire the automobile you desire, though. If you order it through a third-party vendor, you might have to wait weeks or months for delivery in the event of popular models.

c) Perks

Dealerships frequently provide “freebies” to sweeten the automobile purchase agreement. They are not, however, free, so take them into account while shopping for vehicles. The following are a handful of the most prevalent reasons:

  • Oil changes and tire rotations, for example, are “free” or “included.”
  • Carwashes are a thing. Some will wash your automobile after servicing it; others will not.
  • Dealerships sometimes offer loaner automobiles during labor. Some dealerships will let you borrow a vehicle while your automobile is in for service.

d) Facility

It’s a big topic with a lot to think about, but you might begin by looking at the location. If you’re going to be returning for servicing, pick a dealership that isn’t too far from home or work. The extra money you save on a new car by purchasing it from a dealer in another state might be offset by the time and expense of traveling to see him. (Remember that you do not have to take your automobile to the dealership that sold it.)

Other things to think about include:

  • They must also disclose the following information: opening times, whether they have an early drop-off time, and whether they are open late on one or more occasions each week.
  • There are various taxi services that operate in the city. Will they bring you home or to work? How far will they go?
  • Do they have a waiting room? If you are getting an oil change, it can be easier to wait in the waiting room than to take the shuttle home and then call for a ride back. Is the waiting room clean and comfortable? Do they have complimentary coffee or WiFi so you can work while you wait?
  • Do they seem like they’re always pushing for other services? If so, you might prefer to take your business elsewhere.

6. Choose a dealership with which you’d want to conduct business.

When purchasing a new automobile, it’s the vehicle that counts most, but you should feel comfortable with the people selling it to you. You want to make sure they aren’t taking advantage of your kindness and that if something goes wrong, they’ll be there for you.

Dealerships are usually honest these days, but it is your responsibility to check them out. You can find out what other people had bought when they bought a car. You can ask them questions about their experience with the car. It is important to be wise when you buy a car so that it will be good for you and your family.

You should know before you buy a car anywhere.

Before buying a car anywhere

“DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST!” is the most essential piece of information when it comes to saving the highest amount of money on a new or used. For further ideas on how to navigate the car buying process, check out my completely free online auto purchasing guide.

Before going to a car dealership, I always suggest utilizing an online referral service such as Ryde Shopper, Edmunds, Motor Trend, or Cars Direct. They will include any discounts or cash-back bonuses that are currently accessible in the market when you get a free price quote from them. With this information, you’ll be able to level the playing field with the dealer and quickly determine which dealers are ready to negotiate.

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