How to choose the right dealership for your next car purchase

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    Whether you are looking to upgrade your old vehicle or want to snag a second car for your growing family, buying a car is a big deal. And if you are like 84 percent of customers, according to Autotrader’s Car Buyer of the Future study, you prefer to sign on the dotted line in person. But what is supposed to be exciting and rewarding can easily become stressful and a hassle if you don’t select the right car dealership. We have got everything to help you pick the perfect place of purchase below, from whether it has an auto body shop to what the salespeople are like.

    Pay attention to the overall appearance.
    First impressions are important…and we aren’t just talking about with people. How the dealership is maintained and kept up says a lot about the level of care and service they provide. Even a used car lot can be sparkling and pristine. If there is trash laying around or shabby fixtures and disorganization everywhere, it might be a sign of how they handle business. Talk about a red flag.

    Listen to reviews.
    You can look at reviews of the auto dealer online or, for an even more reliable source, ask your friends and peers what car dealerships they recommend. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and can give you much more trusted insight than a company’s advertisement or website.

    Find out what extras the car dealership offers.
    It is important that you find a dealership that will take care of you well after the deal is closed (not just one that wants to take your money and then never hear from you again!). Many will have an auto body shop that offers service repair and oil change at a discounted rate to customers. Besides an auto body shop and physical services, ask what kinds of car loans or car leasing options are available as well. Flexible payment options are always a plus especially if you are on a budget. (In fact, 43 percent of people are financing their vehicles.)

    Compare your options.
    If you have been thinking about your new car purchase for some time, you might be tempted to just buy at the very first dealership you stop at. We do not advise that. It pays (literally!) to shop around and compare different dealerships and their prices and offerings before settling on where you will purchase your new vehicle. You never know what’s out there until you look around so be patient.

    Trust your gut.
    Above all, you have to go with what feels right. If the salespeople seem pushy and off-putting or if you just have a bad feeling about what is being sold to you, stand up for yourself and take your business elsewhere. You want genuine, sincere salespeople who care about helping you make the right purchase and who will offer you support throughout your new vehicle’s lifetime.