How to Choose the Right Car Dealership

A total of 16.5 million cars and light trucks were sold in the United States in 2014, according to official industry data. While private party sales account for a portion of that pie, most transactions were completed at car dealerships. Because these businesses offer different prices, inventories, and deals, it is important to shop around a bit before you drop on by. With that in mind, here are a few things you should consider when searching for a car dealership.


Because it is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, you must be able to trust your auto dealer. But as you are undoubtedly aware, salesmen don’t have the best reputation for honest and ethical behavior. In fact, they consistently top the list of the least trustworthy professionals in Gallup polls. How do you find an honest dealer? Look online!

Buying a vehicle is a complicated, time-consuming process you won’t soon forget. As a result, most people who complete the transaction have something to say about it. No matter if it was a pleasant or unbearable experience, most of these stories make their way online. As a potential buyer, take the time to read these tales on independent review sites. If the vast majority of buyers had nothing but good things to say about a particular car dealership, you may have found your match.


With razor thin margins and a product that is extremely sensitive to economic conditions, the average car dealership has a short shelf life. That fact should be important to you as a buyer because you don’t want to find out that the seller has closed up shop when you need assistance six months from now. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend selecting a dealer that has several years, even decades in the industry.


Whether they sell new or pre-owned vehicles, a dealership should take great pride in its showroom and facilities-both of which should be neat and orderly. If they are not, odds are their inventory was also neglected, which is particularly troubling at a used car lot. Although it is often possible to find pictures of most dealerships on their websites, we suggest stopping by in-person to see how the facility is maintained on a daily basis.

Customer Service

Because most dealers train their salesmen, you can get a good idea of how they do business with a brief and painless conversation. Is the employee really listening? Does he or she care about what you want? Are they already trying to sell you something even though you told them you were just browsing? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself when talking with a salesman. At the end of the day, you want a dealer who will pay attention to your wants and needs and make the buying process easier. So if you feel uncomfortable at anytime, it is best to simply thank the employee for his or her time and walk away.

We can’t promise you the perfect car buying experience, but if you follow our advice, you should be able to find a good car dealership that will make the process a whole lot easier.