By: Sarah E. Sanuth, an insider in the automotive industry  with many years of experience in the car dealership and repair business, is guest contributing an article sharing insightful tips on finding a good reputable car dealer to buy a used car.

Sometimes buying a used car can be seen as a gamble. There are some of us who dread walking into that car dealership because we have heard all the stereotypes. Are we going to get a lemon? Are we going to get taken advantage of? But not all used car dealers are made the same.

The following are tips to aid you in finding that a good reputable used car dealer.

Ask Your Friends

Any reputable used car dealer will rely on their customers to put the word out on how they conduct business. Referrals are a dealer’s cheapest and most reliable form of advertising. Ask anyone that you know who has purchased a used vehicle and how they were treated, they will give it to you straight.

Check Consumer Reporting Agencies

When customers feel they have been wronged by a company they might report it to agencies such as The Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General’s Office and any other outlet that will give them a place to file a complaint. Take the time to check these places to see whether or not a car dealer you might want to do business with has been reported. It may give you new insight into a dealer you might have thought was reputable.

Trust your Intuition

When we get that bad or weird feeling deep down, there is usually reason for it. First impressions are lasting impressions. Trust your instinct. It has gotten you out of possible trouble before, and it won’t let you down this time either.

Ask Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask any car dealer that you are interested in doing business with some essential questions. Some of these questions might include, “Can I bring the vehicle to a mechanic before I purchase?” or “What kind of guarantee/warrantee do you offer?” The way these questions are answered is more important than the answer itself. If your questions are answered with hesitation or the ever famous “I don’t know,” the probability of getting a raw deal increases. Any questions you ask should be answered clearly and confidently.

Don’t Listen to What Car Dealerships Say about Themselves

If someone wants your business, they are going to try and tell you through any of their advertising means that they are “reputable” or the “best” in the business. While it is possibly true, it very well may not be.

How Long Has the Car Dealership Been in Business?

In the used car business there are a lot of “fly-by-night” dealerships. You may have driven down the street and seen the name of a dealership change frequently or be constantly closed down. This is usually a sign that they are in it for the quick buck or have wronged too many customers. Unless the car dealership has been in business for a least a few years, there is no guarantee that you won’t get ripped off. A simple search on your states Secretary of State website will tell you how long they have been in business.

With all the used car dealerships out there, research and time is on your side. Take the time to do the research and it can help you find that one car dealer that will treat you right for years to come.

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