May 23, 2024

What To Look For In A Dealership When Searching For A New Car

One of the main things to remember when shopping for a used car is that the place you buy your car from is just as much of a selection process as the actual car you decide you want. In an ideal world, you would be able to decide on what car you want and go to any local dealership and pick it up, easy peasy. In actuality, that isn’t what the car shopping experience looks like for most people.

You need to find a used car dealership that works for you on all fronts: selection, price, and service. Here’s a guide on things to examine when you’re searching for that perfect place to buy your new car:

1. Inventory

For some people, the lack of inventory of a certain dealership may not deter them from purchasing there because they can still find what they need. Some people that take the used car route still have certain specifications they care about. Want that specific cornflower shade of blue? Have to have a sunroof? You need to make sure to find a used car dealership with a large and diverse inventory so your new car is everything you’re looking for.

2. Website

While thinking about the website when choosing a dealership may seem counterproductive, it can actually prove to be really important. Why wouldn’t you want to work with a dealership that allows you access to information about their entire inventory from wherever you are? This indicates that a dealership is transparent with their inventory and they also like working with informed customers. Additionally, used car dealerships with good websites generally offer other features on their website, like important information, ways to contact them, and even opportunities to schedule service when you need it.

Another online feature to look for from dealers is online financing information. Some dealerships will post their terms online and even allow you to apply online.

3. Special Offers

If you’re looking to purchase a used car, you’re clearly into saving money. On top of the savings you’ll get from buying used, some dealerships offer specials and programs that help you save even more money or receive different incentives. Some examples to look for include:

  • Holiday Specials
  • Extended Warranties
  • Free Inspections
  • Maintenance Programs

4. Service Center

If you’re reading this, you probably have a go-to mechanic or service center that you take your vehicles for maintenance and repairs. While that’s always smart, you want to also select a dealership that has a service center on-site. This gives you a place to take your vehicle that will know it better than anyone else. Additionally, you can usually rest easier knowing that dealerships with service centers probably inspected your vehicle thoroughly before you ever even test drove it. Another feature you may get with a service center is the opportunity to have complimentary services or inspections on your vehicle after purchase. Deals like that aren’t available at car lots without service centers.

5. Customer Service

When it’s time to go to the dealership for a test drive or to make your purchase, you want to be welcomed and invited in. While appearance isn’t everything, it sure does feel better when the place is clean and well put together, the vehicles are on display nicely, and the employees are helpful and kind. They should seem like they want you there. If the people working seem disgruntled or disinterested, it could be a sign of bigger issues and is definitely a reason to shop elsewhere. You should be drawn to the used car dealership you buy your car from.

Using this guide and keeping in mind to look for the place that seems to put your needs first will lead you to the best place for you. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a place that you can build a long-term relationship with across multiple vehicles and years. A dealership that treats you like they want that over a quick sale is the type of dealership you want to buy from. You’ll feel it in every step of the buying process: from your first conversation to the first time you bring it back for an oil change and beyond.

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