If you’ve decided to buy a vehicle from one of the car dealerships near you, it’s best to do some thorough research before even setting foot on the lot.

This could save you a lot of time, money and hassle. Being prepared by knowing the inventory, which questions to ask and what to look out for, puts you in the drivers seat and you’ll be better positioned to negotiate a good deal. Some dealerships are more reputable than others so make sure to follow some of these research tips so you can be sure that buying used from a dealership is a positive experience.

Ask a friend

Start with asking around about people’s experiences with dealerships. Has anyone you know purchased a vehicle from one the area car dealerships recently? If so, which one was it and would they recommend it? Getting this first hand knowledge from someone you know and trust is priceless. Talk to your friends, coworkers and family and ask in online community websites, etc.

What questions should you ask?

It’s important to ask the right questions when looking for a friend’s recommendation. Here are some pointers: What was the car buying experience like? Were they satisfied or dissatisfied with the service? Was the salesperson pushy or helpful? Did they offer a free vehicle history reports on all their used cars? Did the dealership offer good financing options? Did the car come with a solid warranty? Was there a money back guarantee or was it strictly an as-is purchase?

When multiple people you know start praising the same place, you know you’re on to a winner and you should head over there right away. If the response is negative, well at least you know where not to go.

Check online reviews

You can go to dealer review sites to check out customer reviews of various dealerships in your vicinity. These are an extremely valuable resource. The most common sources are DealerRater, Yelp and Google. As well as checking the rating for each dealership, take the time to read customer reviews both good and bad, to see what past buyers are saying.

Don’t be put off if you spot a few negative reviews as every business gets them. Instead find out what the customers were unhappy with, as the same issue may not be a big deal for you. If there are hundreds of positive reviews then that particular dealership is obviously worth a visit.

Feedback on salespeople

If there are multiple posts with positive feedback about the same salesperson make a note of their name and be sure to ask for them when you visit the dealership.

You can also check out and see if there’s any feedback and customer reviews on the car dealership’s own website.

Crowd Source It

Use your favorite social media platform to ask for recommendations & reviews about car dealerships in your area from family, friends, and folks in your own community. Crowd sourcing is a fantastic way to gather lots of opinions & thoughts about which one of the local car dealerships may be the best fit for you and your vehicle needs.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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