Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Find the Best Car Dealerships

When shopping for a new vehicle, finding the right automotive retailer can make all the difference. Before you settle on a dealer, it's important to do some research to ensure that your experience will be pleasant, hassle-free, and as affordable as possible. Here are some key tactics to keep in mind as you're gathering information about car dealerships in your area.

1. If you've already decided on the type of vehicle you'd like to buy, you can usually find reputable car dealerships through the manufacturer's website. Most manufacturers will have a search function that provides you with a list of relevant businesses in your area, and they'll most likely make note of which ones offer the best service to customers. Even if there are a number of local dealers to choose from, you should be able to see which ones are considered the very best.

2. has a "Find Your Dealer" tool that allows you to find local sellers based on a unique set of criteria. If you're searching for a very specific type of vehicle-for example, a used conversion van from the nineties-you can tailor your search to only include car dealerships that have your desired vehicle in their inventory. AutoTrader's search utility also allows you to find current special offers, such as manufacturer rebates and incentives. You can also narrow your search to include only businesses that offer certain financing options.

3. Talk to friends and family to get some word-of-mouth advice. If you see an owner of the vehicle you'd like to purchase, try asking him how he liked his experience with the business. Most people would be happy to relay their opinions. Car dealerships work hard to earn their customers' trust and loyalty, so if people speak positively about their car buying experience, you know the dealer is doing something right.

4. Once you narrow down your search to a few places, find out how they're rated by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB compiles information about how companies handle customer complaints and dissatisfaction. If your top choices have clear records, they're probably safe bets.

5. Search for reviews of the businesses you've selected to get some more impressions of how they're liked by their customers. There are a number of websites devoted exclusively to dealership and automotive-related reviews, and you can also find a wealth of information on Google Reviews and Yelp. aggregates customer reviews and then rates automotive retailers based on their new vehicle sales, used vehicle sales, and service centers.

6. Contact the businesses that seem the most reliable, efficient, and successful with their customers. You can initiate the deal process by asking for a quote, and then gauge how you like the service. If it takes one dealer 24 hours to get back to you about a simple question, you may want to look elsewhere. If you find that the salespeople at one business show eagerness and responsiveness in assisting you, they might be your best bet.

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