When it comes down to it, buying a new car is a lot of work. First, you need to decide what you need in a car. Then you can start some research and pick a few types of vehicles; only then can you narrow it down further and head to a dealership. If you’ve narrowed it down to the manufacturer you like best, then you can pick who you will visit. This is where it gets a little harder because, on the surface, all dealerships seem the same. However, if you dig in a little further, you’ll find not all dealers are the same. But not to worry, there are ways to narrow down which dealer is right for you. In this case, we’ll be discussing Chevy dealers, but the same rules will apply to picking the right dealership regardless of the manufacturer.
Start With Location
The first thing you should do is find out where your local Chevy dealers are and how far you’ll have to travel. If you don’t already have a vehicle (maybe one you are looking to trade-in), distance may be a major factor in your final decision. You can search online for addresses and even get directions easily. While you can go just about anywhere in the country to buy a vehicle, you probably don’t need to go very far to find a reputable Chevy dealer.
See What People Are Saying
If you are searching for a dealership online, then you have a vast library of digital information at your fingertips. Of course, the dealership should have an easy-to-navigate website that contains contact information, hours of operations, services, and inventory. They may even have testimonials on there as well. However, we recommend looking outside of the dealer’s website for reviews.
Customers typically only leave reviews when one of two things happen. They are either overly satisfied with their experience or they hated every second of it. Dealerships will not put bad reviews on their websites, so it is up to you to do your homework. This will not only help you decide which Chevy dealer to go with, but it will also give you a more realistic idea of what to expect when you go to purchase your new vehicle.
There are several ways to search for online reviews outside the dealer’s website. Google Reviews, Yelp, and even the Better Business Bureau will give some great insights into how the dealership does business. When it comes to bad reviews, take them with a grain of salt since all businesses will have a bad review; sometimes, it’s impossible to make a customer happy no matter what you do. But they might not all be positive either; any business (and person) can make mistakes. It’s more important to see that they are learning from a poor review rather than further reinforcing or repeating them. That said, if a particular dealer has a lot of negative reviews that far outweigh the good ones, then you may want to cut your losses and avoid that specific dealer altogether.
When it comes to positive reviews, there are a few key points to look for when you’re reading them. The one to three-word reviews like “Great!” or “Love my car!” are not very helpful in choosing a dealership. We recommend that you take the time to read the longer reviews. Look for points on customer service, amenities, parking, and cleanliness. This can help you narrow down your choices significantly. And like we said earlier, check to see if the dealership is learning from their mistakes if there were a few bad reviews.
Know the Dealer’s History
If a Chevy dealer has been around for a long time, then the chances are high that they do good business. Bad dealerships tend to close their doors after a short time due to unhappy customers since word travels quickly. Take a look at the “About Us” section on the official dealership website. There you will find out how long the doors have been open, what kind of awards the dealership has won, and even what the company’s core values are. You can learn a lot about a Chevy dealer by simply reading up on the company’s history.
Check the Inventory
While every day dealership’s inventory is subject to change daily, you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect to find on your local Chevy dealer’s lot by looking at the online inventory. If you already know which vehicle you want, you can use filters in the “Search” section to find the available matching models. You can see which vehicles they have the most of, what colors and trims are most commonly available, and even what the typical prices are like. If you see a vehicle that you love, get in touch with the dealer to make sure they still have it in stock.
Ask About Perks
Sometimes, Chevy dealers will offer special perks when you purchase a new vehicle. One perk that we love to see is a complimentary car while your vehicle is being serviced. This is quite handy for folks who lead busy lifestyles. If you take your vehicle to be serviced, you may not want to wait at the dealership. With a free loaner car available, you can go about your day as usual and pick up your vehicle later.
Another perk we like to see is complimentary car washes and state inspections. There may be a limit to how long these perks are available after your purchase, but these are very nice touches. Imagine getting a free car wash for six months or a lifetime of free state inspections! This could save you so much money in the long run.
Check Out the Specials
Chevy dealers usually keep their websites up to date with current deals and specials. These can be financing deals or seasonal specials, but they will not last forever. While we do recommend looking for the best deal out there, it’s also important that you are able to determine when a deal is too good to be true. Don’t be fooled by flashy commercials and fishy-smelling discounts. The last thing you want is to get your hopes up only to be hit with hidden fees once you start signing the paperwork.
See for Yourself
If you still haven’t decided which dealership you want to give your business to, you can always go in-person to see for yourself. They could be a great dealership online, but not in person. However, your own eyes will not deceive you. Head over to your local Chevy dealers to see which facility makes you the most comfortable. Is the building well kept? Are the bathrooms clean? Is there a comfortable waiting area with a TV or two? All of these things are important to note when deciding which Chevy dealer will get your business.
Talk to a Sales Associate
If you are visiting the dealership, now is your chance to gauge customer service. Speak to one of the company’s sales associates to get a better idea of how they treat their customers. You might be surprised at just how many representatives are kind, friendly, and knowledgeable about the inventory. If the employee starts to become aggressive or pushy, you will know that that dealership is not the one for you.
Consider a Lasting Relationship
Keep in mind that you aren’t just looking for a new vehicle. You are looking for a Chevy dealer that you can do business with later on down the road. We recommend finding one that you can see yourself in a long-lasting relationship with. Brand loyalty is very real, and some dealers may even have additional perks for long-standing customers.
Whether you are searching for a commuter car, a heavy-duty truck, an SUV, or even a starter vehicle for your teen driver, you can find it at your local Chevy dealer. Most also have on-site service facilities to take care of all of your vehicle needs. Get in touch with your local dealership to learn more about special deals and perks today!