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The Lack of Trust Between Car Buyers and Dealers

» Posted December 12, 2016Resources | Share This Post

Shopping for a car is not a fun endeavor. One big reason why so many people dislike buying a car is that consumers just do not trust the dealers who are selling them the vehicles.  Car dealers have a very bad reputation, which is often deserved because there are many unscrupulous dealers who are just in business for the money and to scam customers.

While not every dealer is dishonest, the fact is that car buyers can be really hurt if they buy a bad car, whether the vehicle is new or used.  A car is a huge investment and most people cannot afford to just cut their losses if their vehicle turns out to be a dud.

While the California car lemon law can protect some consumers, dealing with a bad car can be a major hassle and often results in financial damage.  It is just too bad that so many dealers fail to act fairly when selling customers on such a large purchase.  This has cost them in the trust department, as recent surveys show.

Why Most Car Buyers Don't Trust Dealers

Because of the behavior of so many unscrupulous car dealers, study after study shows consumers do not have trust in people within this profession. Just this past October, The Car Connection reported on yet more research showcasing the negative opinion the public has towards car dealers.

The research was conducted via an online poll on Twitter, providing the opportunity for people to answer honestly. The question posed was whether or not the survey respondents trusted a car dealer to be honest with them. There were four possible answers: yes; no, because car dealers only want money; maybe but the car buyer should set his own price; and avoid all car dealerships.

The vast majority expressed distrust for dealers. Only 13 percent said they thought car dealers were fair. A total of 44 percent of survey respondents said they didn't find dealers to be fair because dealers only cared about getting ahold of cash.  Another 13 percent said car dealers might be fair but they set their own price for how much to pay.

Finally, 11 percent said to always avoid car dealerships. Of course, this is not always feasible or even a recipe for success. You have to buy a car somewhere and the current model means purchasing either from dealers or private sellers. Buying from a private seller certainly does not guarantee you'll be entering into a transaction with a trustworthy person.

When adding up all the responses of people who are skeptical as to the fairness of car dealers, respondents overwhelmingly had misgivings about dealer motives. A total of 87 percent had reservations about dealer fairness. Obviously, car dealers need to do better if they want people to trust their profession and actually enjoy buying cars.

Consumers also need to do their due diligence during the car buying process and must understand their rights under the laws that can provide them with some protection. There is a reason so many dealers have bad reputations, so the only thing you can do is protect yourself by being a careful and informed consumer.


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