Review These Traits Before You Go Car Shopping

When it comes to car shopping, you’re either really excited or dreading it. There’s never an in-between

Buying a new vehicle is exciting because you get to sit behind the wheel of a great new car, loaded with top features, from one of the many Ford dealerships in Oklahoma. But it’s also stressful because you’re spending a lot of money and taking a risk at buying something you don’t love.

People who shop for used vehicles experience both of these extremes, too. And it makes sense; no one wants to shop at a dealership where they fear they may be taken advantage of by a high-pressure salesperson.

Here’s how you can tell you’re at a reputable car dealership – and when to know it’s time to walk away.

Start By Asking Friends and Family for Recommendations

Most people have purchased a vehicle at least once in their lives, so your family, friends, and coworkers can tell you about their experience at the dealership they went to.

Ask people you can trust to share whether they had a good experience, whether they’d shop there again, and whether they feel they got a good deal.

Read Online Reviews from a Variety of Sources

Google, Facebook, and other online platforms host car dealership reviews. Read as many as you can to determine which dealership you should visit.

As you read, watch for strange similarities or unusual inconsistencies in the reviews. This could indicate a lack of authenticity. You’ll want to shop only at dealerships with honest reviews and positive customer experiences.

Only Shop at Dealerships That Offer Free Vehicle History Reports

When shopping for used cars, you should always ask to see the vehicle history report. Don’t just take the salesperson’s word for it.

Vehicle history reports can tell you how many owners a vehicle has had, whether it’s been in a collision, or if it’s been in the shop for major repairs.

Authentic vehicle history reports list the vehicle’s VIN, the unique identification number assigned to it. You can verify the VIN by looking at it on the car (usually just below the windshield on the driver’s side or on a sticker inside the driver’s door) and double-checking it online.

A reputable dealership will gladly offer to show you a copy of it; if you’re visiting a dealership where they don’t have them available, it’s time to leave.

Make Sure Vehicle Prices Are Fair

If you already know the make and model of the vehicles you’re considering, then you can compare prices at the dealerships you plan to visit against a valuation on a website like Kelley  Blue Book. Any dealership you shop at should not list their vehicles well over KBB pricing.

However, keep in mind that if you aren’t comparing the exact same vehicle year, make, model, and features, KBB will display a price that won’t be accurate. Make sure everything on the vehicle you’re considering is the same as everything in the valuation. For example, a Ford F-150 XLT without an appearance or luxury package will cost less than one with these upgrades.

If vehicle prices seem too high, it’s a sign you should consider shopping elsewhere.

When the Salesperson Is Too Pushy

A salesperson at a car dealership generally gets paid a base salary with the opportunity to earn a commission for each sale they make. This practice can make some less-skilled salespeople come across as pushy because they’re motivated to earn a bigger paycheck. If a salesperson ever makes you feel pressured to buy, it’s OK to walk away and go shop elsewhere

A more modern pay practice at car dealerships is to pay everyone a flat, fair salary and avoid the commission model altogether. This transfers their desire to sell you the most expensive car on the lot to the mindset that they should help you drive away in an affordable vehicle you love. This transitions their role from salesperson to someone who provides you with clear information about a vehicle so you can make an informed decision on your own.

What Happens When You Find a Reputable Dealership?

A reputable dealership will ensure you’re comfortable from the moment you walk into the door, until you step outside to climb into the driver’s seat of your new ride.

Full-service dealerships will even help you secure financing from local banks and credit unions, let you choose from a catalog of vehicle upgrades of OEM and aftermarket parts (like remote starts, tonneau covers, and other accessories you may want), and offer you an extended warranty to cover repairs beyond the scope of the original warranty.

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