Many people prefer to buy their used cars from a dealership. That’s because they have a wide selection of vehicles for sale. They offer a plethora of services like financing, warranties and servicing. Also, dealers are responsible for ensuring the cars they sell are roadworthy and as described.
Consumers can also trade in their existing cars for ones offered for sale by the dealership. Those are the sorts of benefits you can’t enjoy when buying from a private seller. If you are planning on buying a used car soon, how can you select one that’s “good”?
Today’s handy guide will show you how to choose the best used car dealer in your area.
Get feedback from other customers
Word of mouth is a powerful thing. It’s one of the most reliable ways of finding out whether a business is any good or not. Assuming you have a shortlist of local dealers, your first step should be to gain some feedback from their customers.
There are many ways that you can do this. First of all, you could speak to your friends and family! Some of them are bound to have bought cars from at least one of the used car dealers in your area.
They can tell you what their service was like. Because you know these people, they aren’t likely to give you a false account of their experiences with the dealers.
Another option is to read some online reviews from past customers. Bear in mind that you should not let online reviews dictate whether a dealer is good or bad. That’s because the sad truth is a lot of reviews are fake. They get done so by disgruntled customers, competitors or just Internet “trolls.”
If you’re a member of a car forum, you can always ask on there for people’s thoughts and experiences of your local dealers. You are less likely to get false reviews on a forum, especially from established members.
How long have the car dealers been in business?
When you set up a business, you aren’t likely to gain any “clout” within your industry unless you have been around for a while. When a new car dealership pops up, you should be cautious of them. Especially if they are a non-franchised dealership.
Car dealerships come and go all the time. But it’s the ones that have been around for a few years that you should consider visiting. You might be wondering why this is important to you, the consumer?
The simple fact is you need to buy from a dealership that will be there to support you in the future. Most dealers offer repairs and other useful products and services. If you’ve had a good experience with a dealer like A1 Carriages, you will most likely go back there again in the future.
In the business world, first impressions count. If you give your customers a bad impression, they are likely to take their custom elsewhere. As a customer, you expect a particular level of service from the dealers you visit.
The last thing you want to do is spend money with a dealer that is patronising or pressurises you into buying a car you don’t want. Before you go out anywhere, it’s worth doing a “drive-by” on Google Maps to see what the dealerships look like from the outside.
If they look rough and run down, it will be best to avoid them. What you are looking for is a professional dealership. One that takes pride in their work and the cars they sell.
When you buy a used car from a dealer, receiving good customer service is a must. As mentioned earlier, you are seldom going to spend money with a rude or patronising dealership. The good news is that most car dealerships are friendly and welcoming. The bad news is there are still a few rotten apples in the bunch!
If you visit a dealership for the first time, you should trust your gut instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, there is a high probability that you are right! I know that we are all human, and we sometimes have bad days.
But when you work in a customer facing environment, customer service is key to a successful result for all concerned. A bad experience will taint your opinion of the dealership and is likely to make you go elsewhere for your automotive needs.
Don’t be afraid to visit more than one car dealer
Some people just buy from the first dealership they visit. That’s fine if you are after a particular car that they are selling. But if you haven’t found “the one” yet, don’t be afraid to shop around!
Car dealers are not naive. They know customers will often visit many dealerships before deciding on what to buy. If you know the make and model of car you want, it can help you to check out several used examples for sale.
That way, you can learn of any faults that might crop up with the model you want. It’s a useful thing to do if you have never owned that particular model before. Another benefit is that you can determine which dealership has the best deal on offer.
For example, the second dealer you visit might sell a newer model at a cheaper price than the first one you saw. Be sure to make a mental note of the details, or even a note on your smartphone when visiting dealerships. You will then know which car is the right one for you.
Use your smartphone to help you
These days most people own smartphones that let them download apps and surf the Web. As you go from dealer to dealer, apps like eBay Motors and Auto Trader can help you find out more about the cars for sale in your local area.
You can also use apps to do background checks on the cars you want. All without setting foot near a computer of any kind!