A blue 2016 Chevy Impala is parked in front of a house.

7 Things to Look for in an Atlanta Used Car Dealer


I’m going to make a couple of assumptions here: first, that you’re shopping for a vehicle, and second, that you’ve decided you want a used car. Choosing a used model is a great way to save yourself some money, minimize how much the value of your car depreciates right away, and still have a lot of options to choose from. Picking the right Atlanta area used car dealership, however, is not always as easy as it should be – but I can help you with that.

Okay, so I’ve made a third assumption: that you’re going to buy your used car from a dealership and not a private seller getting rid of an old vehicle. If you’re still on the fence about where to buy your car from, then I would strongly suggest going with a dealership over some guy trying to ditch his old ride. A dealership will give you better options and a larger variety to choose from, plus a good dealer will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you bought a vehicle in great overall condition.

Now that that’s out of the way, how do you know where to buy your used car from in the Atlanta area? Well…

#1 – Look for a Good Website

If you’re reading this, then it’s probably because you’ve decided to start your search for a good Atlanta area used car dealership online, which is smart. With that in mind, make sure you utilize everything the internet has to offer, starting with the website of any dealer you might want to visit. Before you take time out of your life to physically go to a dealership, find their website, and give it a close look.

For one thing, the website itself should be of high quality and easy to use. Any good business these days understands the importance of a solid online presence. But, more to the point, a good website makes your life easier. It should have menus that are easy to find and navigate, useful information that lets you find what you need and contact the dealership when you want to. In other words, it should be designed for you, the potential customer, rather than anything else.

#2 – Look for a Large Inventory

While you’re checking out the website of any Atlanta area used car dealerships you find, you should give their inventory a good look. For one thing, this will let you easily determine whether they actually have a good selection of used vehicles, or if they focus primarily on new models. You can eliminate dealers that don’t work for you quite easily this way.

Perhaps more importantly, however, you can use this opportunity to see just how big their inventory is. You want to find a dealership with a lot of used vehicles for sale. When shopping used models, you can’t customize them the way you can with a new model, so a larger selection gives you more freedom for making the right choice. You should see a large inventory of used cars right there on the website, and if you can find a dealer with nation-wide contacts to expand their inventory even more, then that’s just the icing on the used cake (but don’t buy a used cake!).

#3 – Look for the Kinds of Vehicle You Want

A black 2017 Chevy Tahoe is parked in front of many glass windows.

This might seem like a bit of a “no duh!” statement, but it’s worth keeping in mind nonetheless. Even if you’re not sure exactly what vehicle would be right for you, you should take some time to figure out a general sense of what you want. Decide between a car, truck, or SUV, and consider if a full-size, midsize, or compact model would best fit into your life.

You don’t have to narrow everything down too much, but have a sense of what type of vehicle would best meet your needs. That way, when you’re looking at the inventory of an Atlanta area used car dealership; you can see if they have some options that would work well for you. This is another way to quickly eliminate dealers that don’t meet your needs and focus on those that do.

#4 – Check Out Your Financing Options

Here’s another thing to look for when going over an Atlanta area used car dealership’s website (that’s why we started with that one, a lot of other stuff all comes from there). They should have financing information clearly visible for you on their site. If not, then move on – that’s a red flag that something is wrong.

You don’t want to find only basic information; you want to see actual tools on the site that you can use to get a sense of what your financing situation might be. For example, if you have a vehicle you want to trade-in, then look for a dealer with a site that includes a trade-in calculator so you can get a sense of what your vehicle might be worth. Just remember that these tools only give you estimates and rough ideas – so don’t take the information they provide as set in stone. But use it to remove some of the anxiety from financing and have a realistic sense of what your situation will be when you go to the dealership. Onlineloancalulater.org has a great tool that will help you figure out how much you can spent on your next vehicle.

#5 – Look for a Clean, Inviting Dealership

Now that you’ve utilized everything the dealer’s website has to offer, and I’ll assume everything looks good, then it’s time to actually go and visit the Atlanta area used car dealership that seems right for you. The first thing to look for when you arrive is a dealership that is clean, well-lit, and inviting. Again, this might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget or overlook this stuff when you’re busy thinking about the car you want and are worried about financing.

Ultimately, a car dealer is just like any other business, and they should make you want to come to them and give them your patronage. A dealer that is dirty with garbage all over the place, or dark and unpleasant looking in the evening, is not a place you should give your business to. It’s not just about aesthetics – if they don’t care enough to make themselves look good when you first arrive, then how much will they care about you as their customer in the long-run? The answer is simple: they won’t.

#6 – Look for Salespeople that Treat You Right

A salesman at one of your local Atlanta used car dealerships is shown with smiling customers.

This can be a little tricky to spot, but when you keep it in mind, then it becomes a bit easier. Everyone knows about the old reputation of used car salespeople being pushy, manipulative, and dishonest. Unfortunately, that reputation was earned for a reason: it was often the case, and customers were definitely taken advantage of.

But that was then, and this is now. There are some great Atlanta area used car dealerships with salespeople that refuse to use those old tactics and instead focus on honest, friendly customer service to get the job done. The salesperson you work with should be able to answer all of your questions, provide you with truthful information, and work with you to make sure you find the vehicle that is perfect for your needs. If you ever feel like you are being pressured toward something you don’t want, then it’s time to walk away.

#7 – Look for the Total Package

This is pretty simple: look for all of the above. Don’t accept that you might only find one or two of these things. All of these are important to find in a good Atlanta area used car dealership. It’s your time and your money; as the customer, you deserve to find all of these things and more. Look at these tips from Edmunds to help you find your next car.