How many car dealerships should I visit - Great Advice for Rookie Car Buyers


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How many car dealerships should I visit when searching for a car?

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We know you're interested in getting a car. There are so many new car dealerships, used car lots and scores of locally-run and operated used car dealerships hoping that you'd procure your next car from them, it's hard to know which ones to choose, or even if you've exhausted your search.
If it all seems overwhelming, you may have wondered how many car dealerships that you've visited is enough.

First, you should limit your search right out the gate to reputable car dealerships. No matter the size of the dealership - from car lots with their own service department to that small car lot on the corner of Elm and Main - always deal with reputable car dealers.

How do you know if they're reputable? Research them online first, and read specific reviews about them. Don't overlook the Better Business Bureau as well. Visit the BBBs website to make sure that the car dealerships on your radar are known for their sound business practices and haven't been racking up those negative complaints.

Now that you've narrowed your search down to only reputable car dealerships, decide what your goal is. Are you trying to trade in your vehicle and buy another? More often than not, each car dealership will give you a different value for your trade in vehicle, so shopping around for the best deal makes sense. When you're trying to ascertain a trade in value for your used car, visit at least three different car dealerships so that you have a minimum of three different options to choose from.

Likewise, if you have a specific car make and model in mind (and especially if know what year and mileage range you'd accept), visit at least three different car dealerships that have your specific car in mind in stock. If you're looking at used cars, make sure to get Carfax reports from each of the car dealerships, and make an item to item comparison of those reports.

You may have noticed that the magic number in the above cases tend to veer towards the number three. Again, try to get at least three options of car dealerships to choose from. After you've narrowed your list down to three, then jump in and take an even closer look at each dealership's proposed sales agreement. Deconstruct each agreement, looking closely at any "hidden" fees, or "documentation fees" that the car dealership would expect you to incur. Steer clear from those that want to charge you ridiculous amounts for these types of fees.

Also, look closely at what warranties the car dealerships are offering you. If you want the most bang for your buck across the entire lifespan of the car (at least, its lifespan as long as you intend to own it!), warranty information has to play a part in your car buying decision making.
So, do your research first. Whittle your master list down to reputable dealers first, then try to narrow it down further to at least three different dealers. With a specific car model / make in mind, visit each dealership and get a detail of their proposed sales agreement and fees, along with the warranties that they offer. At this point, you're looking for the best deal.

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