Advantages and Disadvantages of Going to a Car Dealership Website

January 27, 2012

Visiting a car dealership website can help you complete important research before contacting a dealership directly. Car dealerships know that prospects who visit websites and ultimately contact the dealership have a much higher closing percentage than other types of prospects, so you should receive a large amount of attention from the dealership. Although visiting car dealership websites can provide you with important information, you may also want to consider using a service like CarsDirect to request quotes on your vehicles of choice. This guide highlights some important advantages and disadvantages of visiting car dealership websites to get pricing information before visiting the showroom.


  1. Shop on Your Own Terms: Visiting dealership websites allows you to shop for cars and truck on your own terms. Most dealerships list new and used car inventories online, so you can find information and pictures on almost any vehicle of interest. Additionally, if pricing and incentive information is not provided or you want to start negotiations via email, many dealership websites have a make an offer tool, where you can put invoice pricing information discovered online to use when negotiating.
  2. Low-Pressure Sales Tactics: Most large dealerships employ an Internet sales manager who is charged with providing a great online shopping experience for all Internet shoppers. Unlike a floor salesperson, an Internet manager is allowed to negotiate their own sales without having to go to management for approval.
  3. Compare Pricing: Visiting multiple dealership websites also allows you to compare pricing and request multiple quotes on your own schedule. Dealership websites can also put you in touch with sales staff members with whom you can further negotiate.


  1. No Test Drive: If you center your car shopping on dealership websites, it can be difficult to complete a test drive. If your vehicles of choice are far away, you may not want to travel for a test drive, and a local dealership may not want to work with you if they do not believe they have a chance of completing the sale. If you do purchase a vehicle via the Internet without a test drive, make sure that there is a money-back guarantee in the event the car is not as advertised.
  2. You May Miss Some Dealerships: If you center your search on the Internet, you could miss some dealerships that have poor websites that are hard to find via search engines. Therefore, if there is a particular brand of vehicle you are considering, it can be helpful to visit the manufacturer's website to use their dealer search tool. You may find area dealerships in small towns that are hungry to make a sale.
  3. Finding the Right Information Could Be Difficult: With dealerships using a variety of website templates, it can be difficult to find the information you require. While some dealerships may offer lots of pricing information that is easy to find, others could ask you to contact a salesperson, or Internet prices may be falsely inflated. Some dealerships still believe that a good price should only be offered when a prospect is physically in the dealership.
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