The modern car market has several different types of car sellers, particularly with the rise of online car sales. Online shopping certainly has a strong convenience factor, but there are certain benefits when buying a car from a dealership, where you can have a much more personal experience. Here are some of the reasons buying a car from a dealership is still an option to consider.
1. In-person variety
One of the best reasons to visit your local auto dealerships is the variety of vehicles that they can offer immediate access to. Dealership lots are more likely to have vehicles of various types, both new and used, all physically there for you to examine and test out. Don’t see what you’re looking for? It’s likely the dealership can locate it online and bring it in for you. Dealerships additionally may offer a wide variety of warranties, accessories, service options and promotional incentives.
By comparison, a private sale is obviously limited to whatever used car the seller has listed, with no additional products or service options.
2. Reputable quality assurance
Dealerships stay in business by keeping customers happy. A big part of that is maintaining a solid reputation so you’d feel comfortable recommending them to your own family and friends when they’re buying a car. One way to do that is to offer reliable, high-quality vehicles that customers can depend on. This is even more crucial for used car dealerships, since used cars have more uncertainty surrounding their potential reliability. Some dealers even offer certified pre-owned cars for even more assurance of quality, and many dealerships offer warranties on both new and used cars.
3. Personal expertise
Car dealerships often have sales personnel with years of experience and expertise. They’ve sold a plethora of cars and served countless customers, which helps them better serve you. They’re generally happy to answer all your questions, go over any technicalities and maybe even provide helpful suggestions about other options to consider.
A salesperson can work with you to see what’s in your budget, determine deals you might be eligible for and potentially even help you navigate the financing process.
4. Financing options
One of the biggest advantages of buying through a dealership is the dealer’s ability to locate car financing options that may be available to you. But when it comes to private sales, where a car is bought from an individual person, most lenders are unwilling to provide financing due to the inherent risk factors involved — the car might be in worse shape than disclosed, and private sellers are likely to inaccurately value the car, leading to financial distress for the buyer, and repayment problems for the lender. As a result, private sales are often cash only.
Car dealerships are generally considered to be much more accurate in the pricing of their cars and offer more reliable vehicles overall. This is partially why lenders choose to provide financing for customers buying a car from a dealership rather than those buying from private sellers. Additionally, some dealerships offer their own in-house financing options as well.
5. Post-sale service
Finally, there’s the post-sale services that dealerships can offer. For instance, dealerships typically have entire departments specializing in filling out sale-related paperwork for you to save you time and frustration. This potentially includes filing any sales taxes and registering the vehicle in your name with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Many dealerships also offer regular maintenance for your car by qualified technicians, a service that’s sometimes bundled into your original purchase in the form of an add-on maintenance contract. This helps you keep the car in good shape during your ownership. When it’s time to get a new car, dealerships may also accept your old car as a trade-in to help you offset the cost of your new vehicle.
Buying a car from a dealership offers advantages that private sellers and online retailers can’t always compete with. One of the biggest of these would be the sheer variety of vehicles that dealerships give you. Another is the assistance with financing and paperwork you’ll likely receive, particularly when compared to private sales. While online retail is a growing market and an exciting new frontier of car buying, there are several reasons dealerships aren’t going away any time soon.