Consumers who buy cars are making a substantial investment. Vehicles cost thousands of dollars, and you don't want to waste your money on a bad car. Like when making any investment, it is important to do some research up front to make sure that the choices you make are informed ones. You should research things like how the lemon law protects you and how to find the right dealer to complete your car purchase.
How to Select the Right Car Dealer
One of the most important choices that must be made during the car buying process is determining where to purchase the vehicle. According to a recent New York Daily News article, there were 17,838 car dealerships in the United States as of 2014. Not all dealerships are created equal and some are considerably worse than others.
For example, while 57 percent of car shoppers responding to a Consumer Reports survey indicated they were “very satisfied” with their experience at the car dealership, New York Daily News indicates many other car buyers were less happy. In fact, 31 percent reported they were only “somewhat satisfied” with their experience at the dealer, while 10 percent said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their experience.
To increase the odds of you ending up with a dealer that you like when shopping for a car, you should:
- Do your research. You can read brand reviews online for different dealers in your area. Pay attention to the comments on things like service, price and vehicle availability, as these are the three factors that have the biggest impact on how people feel about their experience with a car dealer. You can find reviews from the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power and other sites dedicated to rating car dealers.
- Consider how long the dealer has been in business. You generally want to make sure you find a car dealer that has been around for a long time. Longevity of the dealership could be an indicator of how well the dealership is run. You'll also want to make sure the dealer is going to be around in the future if you need help, so a history in the business is a good sign, as it is a predictor that the dealer will continue to remain operational.
- Compare the dealer's prices and inventory. You can look online to see how many cars they have available and how their prices compare.
- Consider the consumer perks: Some dealers offer perks like free car washes, free or discounted oil changes for a set period of time, as well as loaner vehicles and pickup and drop-off service if you have car problems.
Even when you make smart choices, you could still face problems. Being aware of the lemon law is important to ensure that you are able to pursue appropriate legal remedies if you buy a defective vehicle. A San Diego attorney can provide you with assistance in understanding your rights and legal options.