Buying a car, whether it's pre-owned or fresh off the production line, is quite a big deal, as it requires both a financial and an emotional investment. With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide on the make and model you want to purchase. But that's only part of the problem. Finding a good dealership can be just as, if not more, challenging as selecting a vehicle. So, car buyers really have their work cut out for them.
However, we don't want to ruin the excitement of buying a car. On the contrary, we want to make things easier for you, so we'll give you a few useful tips on how to find a good local car dealership regardless of your location. These steps will help you evaluate the dealerships in your area and decide which one you should choose.
Ask for recommendations
If you already have a particular make and model in mind, the best thing to do is ask for recommendations from people who own that type of car. They can tell you where they've bought the vehicle and what kind of experience they've had with the dealership. Family members, friends and acquaintances have no other interest than helping you find the best option, so you can rely on the information they give you. However, you shouldn't base your decision on other people's opinions and experiences alone. This is just the starting point for your research, so you've got a bit more digging to do.
Next stop, the internet. Nowadays you can find out everything you want to know with a quick search on Google. For example, if you're from Kansas City and you want to purchase a Kia, you simply type Kia dealership Kansas City into Google and you'll find all the dealerships in the area. Then you can go on their websites and proceed with your investigation. You should find plenty of useful information on their site, from their experience in the field to their car range, costs, the services they provide and reviews from previous customers. Reputable dealerships will give you all the information you need to make the car-buying process as simple as possible.
Inquire about certification
It's important to choose a dealer that has all the necessary certifications and licenses to operate. That way you can rest assured you're dealing with a reliable and honest provider and you won't have to worry about unpleasant surprises during negotiations or afterwards. Information about certification should be found on their website, along with ratings from customers. Obviously, you'll want to include only dealerships with high ratings on your shortlist as this offers a guarantee you'll be treated with professionalism and you'll get quality services.
Check financing options
Buying a car doesn't come cheap and you might not have the financial resources to purchase the car of your dreams. Luckily, most local dealerships also offer financing options for clients who are on a tight budget. It's better to opt for a dealership that provides these types of services as it will save you the trouble of going to the bank for a car loan. The process will run much smoother and it will be less time-consuming, not to mention you could also get a better deal if you work out the financing through the dealership. Just ask the sales representative about their loan or leasing options and then you can decide if they suit your budget.
Look for perks
A lot of dealerships give incentives to draw in more customers and make their offers more appealing. While these perks won't make a huge difference to your budget, they can make your life on the road more comfortable, so they're something you should take into account. These perks can be anything from free maintenance services such as oil change or tire rotation to extended warranty, complimentary car washes or loaners, so you can still go out and about while your car is being serviced or repaired. These perks are usually not listed on dealership websites, so you'll have to be bold and ask for them when negotiating.
Compare your options
All these steps should help you come up with a list of the best dealerships in your area. Now that you have selected the finalists, the last step is to do an overview of your research and compare your options. When you put them side by side, it will be much easier to spot both the advantages and the disadvantages. Then you can see which of the dealerships you're considering checks most of your boxes. Now you've reached the end of your research and found the dealership you've been looking for, so get ready to start the negotiation process.