If you ask family and friends, odds are more than one of them will have a story about a bad experience at a used car dealership. In media, used car dealers are known for being the shadiest, scummiest people who live to make a quick buck at the protagonist’s expense.
But is that actually what used car dealerships are like? How do you know you can trust them and is there a good reason to choose a dealership over other buying methods?
What Makes Used Car Dealerships Trustworthy?
Like any company, used car dealerships depend on their positive reputation and your repeat business. This means they will try their best to be trustworthy and give you an experience that makes you want to return or recommend their company to others.
Unfortunately, some would sooner take your money through any means than earn an honest living. The key to navigating the trustworthiness of used car dealerships starts with doing your homework – you must find out what you can about a dealership before you step foot on the lot. Otherwise, you could be wasting your time.
Just like there are things you should look for in a car to ensure your safety before you buy it, you need to know what to look for in a car dealership to find out if it’s trustworthy.
Signs of a Bad Used Car Dealership
Here are some of the serious signs of mistreatment by a used car dealership:
- Bad Ratings – Check Google, Yelp, or car-buying-specific websites for reviews about used car dealerships. Odds are the ones with the worst reviews have them for a reason, so you should steer clear.
- Amount and Quality of Inventory – if your options are limited or the dealership can’t produce a car as advertised, they may be trying to bait and switch you.
- Rushing – if a car salesman can’t or won’t answer your questions, tries to say you have to make your purchase right this minute, or rushes your decision-making, you know it’s time to leave.
- External Warranties, Financing, and Inspections – it’s one thing if a dealership has internal sources for these that they offer. It’s another issue if they refuse to let you get financing or a vehicle inspection from someone outside the dealership.
Signs of a Good Used Car Dealership
Here are some of the things that stand out about a stellar used car dealership:
- Transparency – if a dealership offers you a vehicle history, answers your questions, and even volunteers information, it proves they have nothing to hide and are willing to work with you.
- Good Reputation – consistently good reviews show that a used car dealership has done well long-term and makes them a more reliable choice for you.
- Lack of Pressure – a good used car dealership knows you’re making a hard decision that takes time. While they may follow up with you, they won’t push you to make a decision quickly.
Now that you know how to determine if you can trust a used car dealership, it’s time to go out and find the best used car for you!
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