When you begin your search for a new or used (a.k.a. new to you) car, you typically start off with a particular car in mind. Maybe you started your search online and think a sleek Audi A4 to whiz around town in (responsibly) would be the right fit. Perhaps you’re considering a Chevrolet Tahoe so you can lug around the kids and all of their sports gear. After that, you will probably look online at your local dealers to see if they have any of the makes and models you’re looking for available in their lot. Once the cars have been found, it's time time to visit the dealerships!
Now as any car dealership will admit, they are often told that their store is the customer’s “first stop” and that they “need to shop around.” Shopping around is a great way to get more information, but, that decision can sometimes take a lot more time and energy than you would like, sometimes succumbing to a purchase that you didn’t really want. Trust this writer when I say that I have done that before and regretted it.
But sometimes the first deal you find is the best deal. To help you identify when the first dealership may be the right one for you, here are 5 signs that the first car dealership you visit may be the best one for you.
1. They had the car you really wanted
Have you ever found yourself sacrificing car options, features, model years, and even the outright car make you sought out to find just because it was the last dealer on your list to visit? That is an event that typically occurs after “buyer’s fatigue” (of sorts) and you ultimately end up with a car you didn’t want, without the features you had hoped for, at a not so great price. This happens all too often and tends to leave customers with a feeling of “settling.” When it comes to car shopping, don’t settle. Get the car you can afford, with the options you wanted and you will be much happier with your purchase further down the road (pun intended).
2. They offer no haggle pricing
No haggle pricing takes the stress out of car shopping. By providing the customer with the dealership’s lowest prices, the pressures of haggling and the feeling of being “swindled” fly right out of the driver-side window. With no haggle pricing, you’re able to not only know what you’re going to pay before you get to the dealership (if you start the process online first) and can focus on the car itself and find what works best for you.
3. You find yourself making more sacrifices with another dealership
As mentioned in number 1, sometimes “buyer’s fatigue” results in a purchase you may later regret. Like a late night purchase on Amazon, some car buyers will settle for a car at another dealership just out of fatigue. The result, the purchase of a car that may not be the right color, that doesn’t have the right features, that’s more expensive, and may may not even be the make or model you truly wanted.
4. You liked the people you worked with at the first dealership
Customer service is key when it comes to the car buying process. Trust and action supersede biased awards and unsupported claims. So if you find a dealership with a sales staff that is the right fit for you, and you can get the car you want, you may have just found the right dealer for you. And when you find the right dealer, your car buying experience will flourish throughout the years.
5. Their service department has a good track record
Just like a supportive and helpful sales staff, your experience with the service department also plays a huge role in your overall happiness with a dealership. Even if you just walk into the service area to see how the representatives communicate with their customers, it will give you a good idea as to what your experience will be like when you bring your car in for service. For as long as you own the vehicle, you will interact more often with the service department than any other group on the staff. So, it is important to find the right team.