5 things you need to know about car dealerships

Whether you’re an experienced car buyer or someone heading to the forecourt for the first time, here are five things you need to know about car dealerships

Written by Verity Hogan
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No matter how many cars you’ve bought before, dealerships can still be intimidating. You could face an overwhelming amount of choice, a range of different prices, and need to complete a variety of checks before making the decision to buy. But don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are five things you need to know about visiting a car dealership.

Be friendly

Most car dealers aren’t trying to catch you out! When you step onto the forecourt, the dealership team is on hand to help. No-one knows their stock better than them and, with experience of dealing with hundreds of different customers, they can give invaluable advice on the car that’s right for you. Heading into a dealership with an attitude could not only harm your chances of getting a good deal but might also mean you miss out on the expertise that dealers can offer.

Be upfront and honest about what you want

As well as being friendly, the more upfront and honest you can be about the vehicle you’re looking for, the more likely you’ll find something that’s right for you. There’s no point falling in love with a car that would blow your budget or something that doesn’t have all the space you need for the kids, your shopping, and your suitcases! It’s worth taking time before visiting a dealership to decide exactly what you need; what’s a non-negotiable and what would be a nice to have. You could even research online to get an idea of the make and model that might suit you best.

Be flexible with your part-exchange

If you already own a car and hope to use it in part-exchange as a deposit, you’ll likely already have an ideal figure in mind. Not only are you financially invested in your existing car, but you probably also have an emotional attachment to it too. It’s best not to get too fixated on a set price for your part-exchange though, especially if it means you end up walking away from a vehicle that would otherwise be perfect for you. Be flexible if you can, and you never know, with used cars in demand, you might even be offered more than you expect!

Have a clear budget in mind

Deciding on your wish list is only half the battle, you need to figure out your budget too. Getting your car finance sorted first can help you head into a dealership and choose a car with confidence. You won’t need to worry about having an awkward wait to find out if you’re approved or having your heart set on a car that’s out of reach. When you apply with CarFinance 247, you’ll get a decision in minutes and be paired with a dedicated account manager to guide you through the process. They can even help you find a car and negotiate with the dealer on your behalf.    

Make the most of your test drive

If you’re visiting a dealership, make the most of your test drive. This is your best opportunity to find out how the car drives and identify any small niggles that could turn into bigger issues in the future. There’s only so much that looking over the paintwork and upholstery can tell you (although that’s still important). When you’re in the car, make sure you drive at different speeds, listen out for any unusual noises, and get familiar with the clutch and gears. Test the electrics too: turn on the radio, check the interior light, and give the wipers a whirl, even if it’s a dry day.

Verity Hogan

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