Not all car buying experiences are created equal. With the advent of the internet, anyone and their grandmother can post a couple of stylish pics online and say they are selling their lightly used 2004 Impala—they swear they only drove it once a week to the grocery store and back. While the internet is good for researching cars, when it comes to buying, you need something more trustworthy than a random website car seller. You need dealerships you can trust. If you’re trying to figure out the best place to buy a car for sale near you, read on to discover three actionable tips that will help you on your way.
What Counts Most When Buying a Car
Research is one thing, pulling the trigger and actually buying a car, whether it is new or used, is something else altogether. While the top priorities for each buyer might be different, generally speaking, there are several factors that usually make their way to the top when it comes to buying a car.
Some of your top car buying values might not be entirely within your control. Sure it would be nice if you could buy a new Ford car or truck for the price of a used one, but that just isn’t going to happen.
The availability of a particular model in your area is also something that isn’t really up to you. Of course, this shouldn’t be a problem if you live in a highly populated area, and your top choices include standard models of popular cars. But the pickier you get, the harder it might be to find just the right model and trim you are looking for.
However, beyond those factors, there are still a number of important values you can hold on to when looking for new or used Fords to buy near you. Those values are trust, customer service, and a history of success.
When making a purchase as big as a new or used car or truck, you need to feel comfortable with the people or dealership you are buying from. There is a spectrum of reliability ranging from highway crooks who are out to steal your money and sell you a lemon (think Harry Wormwood from Roald Dahl’s classic novel Matilda) to well-respected car dealerships who are anchors in their community and the very image of trust.
There are plenty of ways individuals and car dealers can inspire trust—or lose it. Of course, you could begin by simply gauging how you feel when interacting with the potential seller. Most likely, if you are buying a car online, the bulk of your interactions with the seller are going to happen online or over the phone. While that isn’t a problem during the initial stages of the car buying process, the more time you can spend face to face with the seller, the better.
That is why shopping at a Ford dealership in your area might be a better idea than browsing online sellers. For one, if there is a problem with the car you know where to go. The car dealership isn’t going anywhere, which again inspires trust. The same can’t be said for Joe Shmo online.
There are a great deal of intangible benefits that come along with buying a car from a dealership in your area, and peace of mind is only one of them. It is also more convenient. When searching for cars for sale in your town or city, choosing the seller that is located closest to you has some merit. Again, because typically, you can trust that they have had to maintain a certain measure of respectability, which translates into trust for you.
In addition to searching for car sellers in your area who have a trustworthy reputation, you should also be on the lookout for dealers who are known for their excellent customer service. It might sound like this article is on repeat, but it is worth saying again that individuals selling their used cars and trucks online aren’t going to have any measure of customer service experience to speak of.
That doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get ripped off; it only means that an individual seller has different goals than a dealership. The dealership is more likely to have been trained and understand how to serve customers in a positive way, whereas individuals are just looking to unload their old car.
But it is also certainly the case that not all car dealerships in your area are going to offer the same level of customer service. One way you can get a sneak peek into the quality of the customer service at any particular dealership is by reading reviews from other customers. A brief search online should be enough to give you a rough idea of how this dealership or that dealership does business.
An even better way to gauge whether or not the dealership you are considering is competently customer-oriented is by going in yourself. By interacting with the men and women who work at the dealership, you can get to know them, begin to develop a relationship (this will help with trust too), and see how they treat you as the customer.
A History of Success
If a dealership has combined and maintained an exemplary level of trustworthiness and excelled in customer service, it will show that by having a history of success. A car dealership that cheats its customers, lies to buyers, or refuses to offer the services they promised they would, hopefully, won’t last very long in your town or city.
On the other hand, if a dealership has endured for years or even decades in a town or city and emerged as a pillar of the community, you can bet they have built their business on trust and customer service, which will translate into a history of success. To see if this is the case with the dealership you are considering, you can again refer to customer reviews you find online.
Another way you can see if a dealership in your area has a history of success is by asking around your neighborhood or workplace to see what your friends’ and family’s interactions with the dealership have been over the years. You can also see if the dealership has won any awards or if they support any local charities. If a dealership in your area checks all those boxes on your list, and they’ve been around for a while, they might be a good place to buy a car in your area.
When looking for quality cars and trucks in your area, in addition to searching for a dealer that is trustworthy, values customer service, and has a history of success, there are a few other quick tricks to keep in mind to make your car buying experience as enjoyable as possible. The first is to be patient. If possible, give yourself time and space to research and think, shop around, and make the decision that is right for you.
You also might want to consider going to a dealer more than once and bring a friend or family member along with you. It can be helpful to process big decisions by talking about them out loud in real-time. And a friend might think to ask a question you won’t.
Buying a new car can be a great experience. If you follow these tips, you should be able to find a trustworthy, customer-oriented dealership with a history of success.