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Pros and Cons of Working With a Car Dealer in the USA 

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/02/2017 Posted: 10/21/2015

If you are thinking about buying a vehicle, whether it is new or used, there is a very good chance that you will be going through a dealer. It’s the “normal” method used by many people to buy their vehicles. Sure, some will buy through private sellers, but new and used dealerships are still around for a reason. People see them as the easiest way to get a vehicle.

However, working with a car dealer in the USA has both pros and cons, and it is important to understand these before you make your next vehicle purchase.

The Traditional Car Dealer

Even if you’ve never stepped foot onto a car lot and this is your first purchase, you probably have a good idea of what you can expect. When you get to the lot and walk onto it, one of two things will happen. Sometimes, the salespeople will ignore you, and you will likely have to approach them for help. Other times, they will swarm you until one of them approaches and starts trying to get you to test drive the most expensive vehicles in the lot.

Of course, there’s a lot of hyperbole in the above statement about working with a car dealer in the USA. It’s not that bad most of the time. Many times, the salespeople are friendly and helpful. They can tell you about the new vehicles in the lot, as well as any certified or used vehicle they might have. They can take you out for a drive in the vehicle of your choice.

However, you have to remember that at the end of the day, they are trying to get a sale, and they will do everything in their power to make that sale.

What does this mean for you? It means that you will need to hone your negotiation skills before you ever walk onto the lot. If you want to get a good deal on the vehicle through the car dealer in the USA, you have to know exactly what you want so you do not get roped into buying all of those unneeded extras.

You will also need to make sure you are able to stick to your budget. Ideally, you will have researched the vehicles that interest you and you will know the wholesale price of the vehicle. You want to negotiate so you can get as close to that price as possible. It is not easy, but it can and does happen. If you are honestly willing to walk away, then you will find that you could get some great deals.

The Cons

However, most of the time, you will be paying more for the vehicle. You also have to think about the amount that you will be financing and the amount that you will be paying for the car at the end of the contract. How much more than the original price you wanted to pay is that amount? This is true of new and even used vehicles when you finance.

Once again, make sure you are willing to negotiate and get the price as low as possible. If you have a large amount that you can put down on the vehicle, it may be easier to negotiate.

One of the biggest cons of working with a traditional dealer is the amount of paperwork you will need to fill out. This can potentially take hours. Try to get as much of your information in order as possible so it is fast and easy to fill out when the time comes. Of course, you will still be waiting on the salespeople. The sale will only move as quickly as they do.

The Pros

One of the benefits is that the cars you buy will generally come with a warranty. This is certainly true of new vehicles, and even some used cars. However, the warranty that comes with the used vehicles, as long as they are not certified, tends to be underwhelming. Make sure you understand exactly what the warranty is going to cover.

In some cases when working with a car dealer in the USA, they will offer suggestions when it comes to your purchase. Even if you are looking for a particular car, they might say they are able to get you into a nicer car at the same price or even a lower price.

If that’s the case, and if you like the new vehicle they suggest, then it might pay to follow their suggestion. However, you have to learn to recognize when they are actually trying to help you get a better deal and when they are trying to get you to spend more money.

You might find it advantageous to bring at least one other person with you when you are buying a vehicle. It’s best when they are a friend and not a spouse or significant other, as they will not have any emotional investment in your decision. They can look at the deal from an outside perspective and will let you know whether you are getting a good deal or not. Just make sure you trust the opinion of the person you bring.

Car Dealers in the USA for Auctions

In addition to working with car dealers in the USA for regular sales, you can also find dealers that work with auctions. In fact, all dealers will attend auctions to find inventory for their dealership. While you can find some auctions that you are able to enter on your own, others are only available for dealers.

This means that you might need to work with a dealer if you want to have more options when it comes to auction vehicles. While they charge fees for their services, you can still save more on the cost of the vehicle than you would if you bought from a lot in the vast majority of cases. This is one of the best ways to work with a dealer today.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.