Car dealers, along with lawyers and politicians, have been saddled with an unfortunate stereotype. There are many ways that you can weed out disreputable dealers before you even step onto a lot. Here are a few ways to find a reputable, honest car dealership that cares about you, the customer.
Car dealers, along with lawyers and politicians, have been saddled with an unfortunate stereotype. You know the guy. He sports polyester pants, a pencil mustache, and slicked back hair. Sadly, this enduring reputation means that car shoppers are already nervous, distrusting, and on the defensive before they even step on a car lot. There are many ways that you can weed out disreputable dealers before you even step onto a lot. Here are a few ways to find a reputable, honest car dealership that cares about you, the customer.
Good Reviews Ask around - The number one way to find a reputable car dealer is to trust word of mouth. Your friends and family have your best interests at heart and will not white-wash anything to protect the dealer. Ask them about their experiences with sales people and service after the sale. If the car they bought was everything they were promised, and if they ultimately felt like they got a good deal, chances are the dealership is trustworthy.
Good First Impression Check out their website - All websites are not created equally. You can actually tell a lot about a dealer by perusing their website if you know what to look for. First, see if their website content is well-written. If a dealer does not have enough respect for the customer to do a spell check or use punctuation, they are likely to have the same slovenly attitude toward their customers. The quality of the vehicles they are selling could be influenced by this attitude as well.
Second, look at their inventory to see if the information you want to know is readily available. Any dealer that requires you to call a salesperson to get the most basic information is probably not up to date.
Look at their lot - This is a less reliable indicator, but it’s still important. First, check if their inventory, including their used cars, is the vehicles clean and presentable. You want staff that’s busy running around being helpful, not staff that’s holed up in their offices ignoring customers. Additionally, a big, shiny lot with tons of cars and lots of flags flying does not always indicate that it’s a reputable dealer. Do not discount the smaller dealerships. Often, smaller dealers, especially family-owned dealers, are spending less time trying to look impressive and more time actually being helpful.
Star Staff Unlike with sales people - Keep a sharp eye out when speaking with the salesperson. He or she should be friendly, but not too friendly. You should get a pleasant smile, not be asked your life story. Make sure you are getting real, informed answers to all of your questions. Your salesperson should be an expert about the product they are selling. If they seem to be selling you a line rather than showing they have knowledge about the vehicle, you should look elsewhere.
Talk with other staff - Salespeople is supposed to be friendly, and they will often be so just to make the sale. Remember that it is the other staff you will have to deal with for service after the sale. Chat with the receptionist. He or she is the first person you will speak to any time you call with a question or issue. They should be accessible and helpful, not curt or dismissive. Take a stroll through the service area.
No Red Flags Look over the car - Any reputable dealer should not have a problem with you looking closely at the vehicle or taking it for a test drive. If it seems like you are putting forth too much effort in order to do either of these things, you should probably forget about that dealer. If a dealer is hesitant for you to have your own mechanic look over the car, walk away.
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