Choosing the Right Auto Dealer

Choosing the right auto dealership can be a hard decision. There are hundreds of dealers that sell cars, so how do you choose? How can you tell a good dealership from a bad one? How do you know what dealership will help you find the right car and which dealership will just sell you a car? Fortunately, with the Internet, it is easier and easier to find the perfect dealership.

Avoid Big Online Dealerships
Websites like and are convenient, but online dealerships are missing some key elements. For example, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, most online dealerships offer few tools to aid you in your search for a new car. Many online dealerships have fields like new vs. used, body type and year, but even after filling out these fields you are left sifting through hundreds of different search results.

Buying a car locally can also boost your local economy. A study done by the New Economics Foundation compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket vs. a local farmer’s market or community supported agriculture program and found that twice the money stayed in the community when food was bought locally. To put this into perspective: when Orange County residents, 16 years or older, spend $200 more in Orange County – rather than online or elsewhere – local sales rise by more than two percent. That two percent rise equates to about $500,000 in sales tax revenue that can fund as many as 10 local police officers or teachers, according to That is why it is so important to go to a local dealership as opposed to an online dealership.

Look for the BBB Badge
Before you actually go to a dealership in person it’s best to look over their website to make sure that they are a dealership you want to visit. One thing that you should always look for while on a dealer’s site is the Better Business Bureau – BBB – badge. If the website displays this badge then that means that the BBB has accredited this business, meaning that the business has been monitored by the BBB and they have determined that the business lives up to their accreditation standards which include, but are not limited to, the business making a good faith effort to resolve all complaints directed at them and maintaining at least a ‘b’ rating with the BBB.

Analyze Review Sites
Word of mouth is and will always be an important factor in looking for a provider of goods and services. Luckily, now you don’t have to rely solely on friends and family for advice when it comes to looking for a local dealership. Review sites like Yelp, or can provide powerful insights into a dealership.

Conducting local searches for reviews can give powerful insights as well. Many local dealerships will have user reviews on their sites, making it easier for you to find user generated reviews.

Check for additional services offered
Apart from the above aspects, you should also look in to various services offered by auto dealerships. Many dealerships also offer other services like, warranties, financial assistance, vehicle insurance, etc. Considering these add-ons will help you get a better deal for the money spent on the purchase.

Purchasing a car locally can have significant positive impacts on your local economy that will greatly outweigh any challenges you may face. And, by making sure that the dealership you visit is BBB accredited and by seeing their reviews online you can make your decision significantly easier.