How to Choose a Good Used Car Dealership

Posted Friday, Feb 02, 2024

Shopping at a used car dealership often requires buyers to take a leap of faith - after all, you don’t know what the pre-owned car has been through with its previous owner.

Your best bet is to buy from a reputable used car dealership. The good news is that most used car dealerships have too much on the line - including their reputation - to shortchange you. Even then, it pays to do your homework and learn all there is to know about the used car dealership before spending your hard-earned money.

So what’s the best way to tell if you’ve come across a reputable one? We’ve rounded up five signs that you've found a good used car dealership.


Top 5 Things to Look for in a Used Car Dealership

1.  They’re Always Happy to Answer Your Question

Most used car dealerships have a monthly quota to meet, and their main priority is to make as many sales as possible. Some used car dealerships may use underhanded techniques, including deception, to secure a sale.

Likely, you’re not aware of the right terminology to discuss the used car, and you may not even know where to start asking questions. However, you don’t want a salesperson who makes decisions for you without any explanation or consultation. They may be an expert on all things automotive, but you’re the expert on your personal preferences and the problems you want to solve.

To ensure that you are getting the right car, the salesperson must listen to what you have to say and learn what you want from a used car.

Once the salesperson has access to all your info, they can share their recommendations and list of used cars that are a good fit for you. As they gather information about your preference, they go the extra mile by listening to you and answering all your questions. Speaking of which, every question is useful, even if it doesn't appear to be at first.

A salesperson that pays attention to your needs demonstrates that they value time, money, and needs. Ultimately, it is necessary for salespersons to keep the line of communication open so that you can feel comfortable enough to find a used car that aligns with your goals.

2.  No Pressure

Patience is a virtue.

This couldn’t be more true than in the used car dealership industry. In a line of work where salespeople are selling sales quotas, it can be refreshing to encounter staff that cares more about their customers instead of pushing for a sale.

A good dealership won't try to pressure you into buying something you’re not sure of. They should be comfortable enough to give you a few days to sleep on the decision. If the used car dealership is pushing you to make a same-day purchase, then it may be wise to find a used car elsewhere.

3.  Their Contact Information is Prominently Displayed on Their Website

Although the internet makes it easy to find a reliable used car dealership, there is one downside. Just about anyone with basic IT skills can create a website and make ludicrous claims without baking them. This is why it is useful to examine a used car dealership’s web presence before calling them or dropping by.

Businesses that go through the pain of developing a well-designed website often care about their customers' experiences and prioritize making their lives easier. A website that doesn't look professional is usually indicative of a red flag.

Make sure that the used car dealership’s website prominently displays contact information. Searching for the company’s phone number should not be a hurdle, especially when you are expected to spend a huge sum of money on a used car. Contacting a used car dealership and setting up an appointment should be one of the easiest steps of the process.

With just a few clicks on the landing page of the website, you should be able to get a hold of the sales representatives. If not, this could be a sign that the rest of your experience with the used car dealerships may not be as seamless as you want it to be.

This also gives you the peace of mind that if there is an issue with the used car, you can always reach out to the used car dealership to rectify any issues.

4.  They Have Positive Reviews

Checking online reviews makes it easy and convenient to find out if a business is reliable, and used car dealerships are no exception. A good way to spot a reliable used car dealership is to see what its clients are saying about their services.

You can also contact previous clients and ask them about their experiences. When other people are satisfied with the used car dealership and have great things to say, you can be confident that you'll feel the same way after the purchase.

A well-established used car dealership should have positive reviews across various platforms, including (but not limited to) Google Reviews, Trust Pilot, and Yelp, among others. The business should also have testimonials on its website, providing you with a clear understanding of the quality of cars they sell and the overall customer experience.

5.  They Can Finance Your Car

While a used car is cheaper than a brand-new car, they often require financing. You will have to figure out how to pay for the car. Not all motorists can pay for a car in full - even if it’s a used car. This is why it makes sense to turn to financing.

With financing, you can get an auto loan, and your approved amount serves as your ‘budget’ for the car. Once you get approved for an auto loan, you can buy the used car without having to exhaust your savings.

It is worth noting that different lenders offer different rates. In any case, make sure that you can afford your monthly payments before you sign on the dotted line.

Ready to buy a used car dealership near you? Visit our friendly team of experts at Alvarez Auto Sales, where your experience takes priority. Click here to set up an appointment.