Advantages and Disadvantages of Going to a Local Car Dealership

January 27, 2012

Going to a local car dealership can make it easy to shop for your next vehicle. Although your local dealership is only a short drive away, there are some important things to consider before you decide to shop locally. Despite the convenience of a local dealership, you may not get a deal that equals one you could find with some research online via a service like CarsDirect. This guide highlights the advantages and disadvantages you may face when choosing to visit a local car dealership.

Advantages

  1. Convenience: Your local dealership is a short drive, so you can save some gas, especially if you car or truck gets poor MPG. Remember that this matter of convenience impacts both buyer and seller. The dealership is hoping that their convenience can sway you, even with a higher price.
  2. Supporting the Local Economy: Car dealerships are small businesses, and many are integral parts of their communities. You can help support the dealership's funding of local events by visiting an area dealership.
  3. Personal Connections: You may already have an established friendship with someone who sells cars at a local dealership. Although this relationship can make purchasing your vehicle easier, you may not get the lowest price possible.
  4. Easy to Test Drive: As a result of the dealership's close proximity to home, you can complete test drives without having to travel far. However, visiting a local dealership for a test drive can become problematic if the dealership continues to call you to make sure you are completely satisfied.
  5. Establish a Service Relationship: Purchasing a vehicle locally will make it easier to establish a relationship with the dealership that will later provide your service. Warranty restrictions put in place by some manufacturers can make it difficult for service departments to adequately handle customers who purchase vehicles elsewhere. Having a relationship with the dealership can make things easier when warranty work is required.

Disadvantages

  1. Higher Prices: Local dealerships prey on prospects who fail to complete the research necessary to get the best value. If you do research on pricing via a service like CarsDirect, you can be prepared to negotiate a good deal at your local dealership. By requesting price quotes at CarsDirect, you can have competitive quotes to shop with your local dealership. 
  2. High Pressure: If you simply walk in to a high pressure local dealership, you may be subjected to the normal array of car sales games, including pushy sales tactics and a turnover to a closer who will try to get you to make a decision today. If you work with a dealership with a dedicated Internet department, you may not encounter these sales tactics.
  3. Uncertain Futures: Depending on the brands you are shopping for, your local dealerships may face an uncertain future. If you notice there is little inventory at a dealership, they may be closing or planning to focus on service business. While this is not always a bad thing, you should only purchase a new car if there is another local dealership who can provide warranty work. If a dealership speaks like they are uncertain of their future, it is best to use a service like CarsDirect to request quotes from other dealerships.
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