dealership experience

Top 10 Tips to Have A Good Experience at a Dealership

Chris Carter

Chris Carter

This guide shares top tips and tricks for having the best possible experience at a dealership. No matter where you are in the buying journey, these tips will help you save time and money.

Car dealerships get a bad rap and rightfully so. Most are high pressure, with salespeople that make you queasy.

Here are my top 10 tips for having a good dealership experience

Have you had a good dealership experience or maybe a bad one? Please share your thoughts in the comments below so that we can all learn from each other.

1. You are in control

No matter what the salesperson says, you are the one that is buying the vehicle.  At any step in the process, you have the right to change your mind, say no, or simply walk away. Do not be afraid to respond to the dealership with the attitude you are met with. You are the one that will ultimately be paying for the vehicle – you are the boss!

2. Start the visit with a clearly defined goal

Starting out with a clearly defined goal is an important part of staying in control of the car buying process. No matter how far along in the vehicle purchase process you hope to get on a specific day, you shouldn’t go any further. If you just want to test drive a vehicle, then don’t look at numbers or do a credit app.  Beginning a car shopping trip with a specific goal will make sure that you stay in control throughout the entire process.

3. Remember, there are other vehicles

You, as a consumer today, have more information than ever at your fingertips surrounding the vehicle purchasing process. Are you questioning a specific make or model of vehicle? Feel free to drive several. You need to take the necessary time to make an informed decision when purchasing your next vehicle. Most vehicle manufacturers today make a good product. You need to find what is the best fit for you. 

4. Resist making an emotional decision

Dealers love emotions when shopping for a new vehicle and you should run from them. There is nothing more damaging to shopping for a car than letting your emotions get in the way. When emotional, you will be much more likely to rush through the vehicle purchasing process and not end up with the best vehicle and the lowest price. Take your time and make sure that you are thinking logically before selecting your next vehicle.

5. Read reviews of local dealerships

If there are multiple dealers of one specific franchise in your area, do your research before deciding which one to visit. Do not be afraid to drive to a nearby city to find a dealership if there is only one option in your area. Finding the right dealership and have good dealership experience is one of the hardest parts of the car buying process and can make or break how you feel when you finally decide which vehicle to purchase! 

6. Don’t be afraid to change sales people

Some customers and salespeople just don’t get along! If you feel uncomfortable or just don’t enjoy being around your salesperson, feel free to ask to speak with another one. Sure, it will be an awkward few minutes until the store assigns you a new person, but it beats spending several hours with someone who you do not enjoy being around. 

7. Ask for a few minutes alone with the vehicle after a test drive

Spend a few minutes alone with the car to do a complete walk-around by yourself without any distractions.  Pay special attention to the wheels, windshield, and lower painted portions to look for any damage or defects that you didn’t see before the test drive.  Stick your head inside the vehicle and look in all directions to check for damage. Having the salesperson leave you alone for a few minutes will help you take your time during this process and allow you some time to think before taking the next step.

8. Don’t be intimidated

You are the customer and “No” is a perfectly fine answer! You should never feel as though you are not in control of the situation. If so, do not be afraid to change dealerships or simply to walk away. High-pressure sales tactics have no place in the marketplace and by succumbing to then, you only further the problem

9. Ask for a hardcopy of the Carfax (for used vehicles)

The Carfax report should be supplied on all used car purchases. Don’t just review it with the salesperson! Rather, ask for a hardcopy and take it with you. Read through all of the vehicle history before purchasing a vehicle. Look for things that don’t make sense that you might want more information on, such as where the vehicle has been in its past or even accident information. 

10. Drive the vehicle overnight

Do not be afraid to drive a vehicle overnight. Be prepared for the dealership to get a fair deal of information first before allowing you to do this, but do not shy away from asking for this. This will allow you to get a better sense of what it will really be like to live with this vehicle. Does it fit in my garage? Do my kids like it? It will also give you more opportunities to examine the vehicle for any possible issues. 

Have you had a good dealership experience or maybe a bad one? Please share your thoughts in the comments below so that we can all learn from each other.

For more interesting blogs. Visit The Fire Race

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Alice Carroll

    I agree that having a good test drive is a surefire way to find the right one for me at a car dealership. I’ve had my driver’s license for almost 7 years now but I’ve never once owned a car because I only mostly used it as an official ID. Maybe it’s about time for me to have my own car in order to cut costs on commuting fares.

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