Tips for Surviving the Car Dealership
Ask anyone who has bought a car at the dealership, and they probably won’t have very nice things to say. Although it may be unfair, it seems the car buying experience is almost universally hated by anyone who has gone through it. But despite its reputation, going to the dealership doesn’t have to be the worst experience of your life. With the right perspective and preparation, you can drive off the lot without tearing your hair out in frustration. Whether you’re looking to buy new or used, here are some tips on how to survive a trip to the car dealership.
Do your research
The best way to improve your car dealership experience is to be prepared — and that means doing research. These days, you can look up reviews for just about anything, including dealerships or even specific salespeople. This can help you know whom to avoid and whom to trust when deciding where to buy.
Before you go to the dealership, you also want to know what kind of car you’re looking for and how much that car typically costs. Sites like Kelley Blue Book can help you determine a fair price. If you don’t have any idea what car you want, be prepared for the salesperson to give you the hard sell on every vehicle on the lot. And if you have no idea what a good price is, there’s a chance you could get ripped off. Most dealerships have gotten away from the old predatory sales tactics. But to protect your wallet and ensure you have the best experience possible, you need to arm yourself with good information.
For help finding the car you want, consider using the Credit Union of Texas Auto Market. This easy-to-use tool lets you search for cars in the DFW area. With Auto Market, we’ve teamed up with many DFW dealerships that are committed to making your shopping experience as painless as possible.
Once you’ve narrowed down the type of vehicle you’re looking for, call ahead and see if your local dealer has it in stock before driving out there. If you show up to the dealership and they don’t have the car you want, you can bet the salesperson isn’t going to say, “Sorry,” and let you walk away. They’ll try to sell you a different model, and you could end up getting roped into a sales pitch you never wanted or needed. A quick phone call before heading out the door can save you a lot of time and stress.
Be prepared to wait
They say patience is a virtue. And if you’re buying a car, it’s a virtue you’re going to need. If you plan on going on the weekend, expect lots of other buyers as those are the busiest days for most dealers. Although dealerships typically have all of their salespeople working on the weekend, it may still be a long time before they’re able to spend some one-on-one time with you.
Even if you’re the only shopper on the lot, the process of buying a car can still take hours. The salesperson will want to show you what they have in stock, tell you about the vehicles, ask questions about your needs, and that’s all before the negotiation process. The salesperson will likely have to check with their manager about pricing, run a credit check or do any number of internal processes before finalizing a deal. So, if you think you’ll be able to buy a car as fast as you buy groceries, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Preparing yourself for a long process will help you get through the delays a little easier.