Considering car dealers and selecting the right fit for you and your needs is an important endeavor, as it will greatly determine your buying experience and the finance or lease terms you end up saddled with after signing your papers. Due to the need for future vehicle servicing, this is a long-term relationship for most buyers and therefore not a decision to be made lightly.
Fortunately, the Internet makes choosing your dealership a much easier proposition. Let’s look at the kind of research and considerations you can undertake to ensure that you make the best choice among available car dealers for your needs.
Determine Dealer Experience
Don’t go to just any dealership. Begin by visiting potential car dealers‘ websites and viewing how long they’ve been in business. Well-established dealers are always preferred because over time they build trust in the community and create a body of work that can be judged and reported on. A dealer that’s only been around for a couple of years is more of a question mark, and since you may wish to have your car serviced at the location you buy it at, you’ll want some assurance that the company will be there for years to come in order to support your vehicle.
Find Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Customer Satisfaction Reviews
Never hesitate to use available sources of information to glean overall opinions as to the professionalism of car dealers. The Internet makes tracking reviews and customer satisfaction indices of car providers extremely easy. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the non-profit Better Business Bureau’s record of customer complaints. The BBB keeps these complaints for up to 36 months, and these serve to shine a revealing light on any entity you may plan on doing business with. A number of other customer satisfaction indices are also available online, although a reliable starting point is always the Better Business Bureau.
Look Up Available Inventory
Examining inventory is easier than ever with the advent of the Internet. While it may still be necessary to take a trip to the location in order to view the cars in person, many car dealers now post most or all of their current inventory online for your perusal. These listings tend to include make, model, year, MSRP, standard feature listings, optional package listings, and even photographs of the specific model in question. Take the time to familiarize yourself with a dealership’s offering before taking further steps to visit or contact them. Some locations may simply not have what you need in stock, so understanding this will save you time.
Once you’ve made an inventory determination and found a location with favorable online reviews, it’s time to actually visit the dealership. Examine the facilities. Are they clean and well taken care of? What’s the service area look like? These aspects are reflections of the competency of the staff, and you only want the most capable people working on your new vehicle.
Interact With Sales Staff
The last step before moving forward with a company is to actually interact with their sales staff. Make yourself available at the location. Ask about the vehicle (s) you have your eye on. Gauge how informed sales staff are and get a feel for how they treat people. Again, many of these same staff members are people you may need to interact with in the future.