Buying a new car can be exciting, but it’s difficult to know how to choose a car salesperson who will have your best interests in mind. Many people are afraid of being scammed by a dishonest car salesperson, or they avoid buying cars at a dealership because they don’t want to deal with a salesperson at all.
However, finding the right car salesperson can make buying a car much easier. They may be able to help you so that you get exactly what you’re looking for and stay within the budget you’ve established for your new purchase. Not all salespeople are dishonest and some of them genuinely want to help you find the car that is the best fit for you.
Below are some steps to follow so that you can be sure that you’re choosing the best car salesperson so that you don’t have to worry about getting scammed or taken advantage of while shopping for a new car.
Part 1 of 2: Research dealerships
Looking up online reviews of the dealerships you’re considering buying a car from may give you some insight to a dealership's reputation and expose you to some feedback from other customers who have used the dealership in the past.
Step 1: Read the reviews. Look online by searching for reviews of car dealerships. A great place to look is here at cars.com.
- Tip: Look for reviews that mention great customer service or identify a specific car salesman who helped the reviewer. If you like the sound of how another car buyer was treated at a particular dealership or by a particular salesman, it’s a good idea to consider going to that dealership or asking for that salesman by name.
Step 2: Contact the dealership. Reach out to the dealership you’d like to consider buying a car from.
The best method is to speak to someone on the phone; however, you can also contact them via chat on their website.
When you’re in contact with the dealership, explain that you’re on the market for a car. Ask for a price quote on the model of car you’d like to purchase.
- Tip: To contact a dealership via chat, look for the chat icon on their website. There will either be a live link of the word “chat” or you will see a blank conversation bubble. Once you click on that, you will be prompted to respond to an agent in a chat box.
Bring that price quote with you into the dealership. If the salesman at the dealership will not honor it or wants to raise it, then you may want to go elsewhere.
Step 3: Ask a friend for a referral. Word of mouth is a great way to hear about reliable salespeople.
Going to a dealership and asking for a salesperson who helped someone you know is a great way to start off on the right foot with a salesperson because they will appreciate the extra business that their performance in the past is generating for them.
- Tip: You many want to ask how long the salesperson has worked at that particular dealership. Salespeople who have worked at a dealership for a long time will be more knowledgeable and will most likely have a good reputation because they’ve stayed employed at the same dealership for so long.
Step 4: Research the car you’d like to buy. The more you know about the car before you buy it, the more easily you’ll be able to tell if the salesperson is misleading you about the vehicle.
Pay special attention to the market value of the vehicle so that you’ll know if the salesperson is quoting you a reasonable price.
Part 2 of 2: Talk to the salesperson
After doing all of your research, it’s time to choose your car salesperson. Being prepared is the best method when going on to a car lot. Remember, the salespeople are there to sell cars, so they want to help you but need to make a profit as well. Talking to an honest, knowledgeable salesperson is the best way to make sure you get a good deal.
Step 1: Ask plenty of questions. You should ask a lot of questions when you’re talking to the salesperson, especially a few questions that you already know the answer to.
That way, you’ll be able to tell if the salesperson is giving you honest answers or not.
If the salesperson doesn’t know the answer and leaves to get the information from someone else, you will know that he/she is trying to help you get the information that you need to make your decision.
- Tip: Salespeople won’t know every single fact about every car on the lot, but if they’re being honest with you, they will tell you they don’t know and find out for you. Watch out for salespeople who are making up information that you know is untrue based on your research before going to the lot.
Step 2: Get all the facts. Watch out for salespeople who want to sell you the car based only on monthly payments and won’t clearly divulge the total cost of the vehicle.
They may be able to get you a low monthly payment that has a high interest rate or will take a long time to pay off so you will end up spending a lot more than you actually budgeted for.
Step 3: Don’t be pushed around. Be wary of overly aggressive or unusual sales techniques. Some salespeople will be pushy or impatient, which is usually a sign that they are more concerned with closing the deal than helping you find the best car and value for you.
- Tip: If you’re uncomfortable with the way you’re being treated by a salesperson, ask to speak with someone else or go to another dealership. It’s better to feel calm and confident when making a major purchase, rather than intimidated or rushed by an aggressive salesperson.
Be upfront and clear about what you’re looking for so that the salesperson understands your budget and what type of car you’d like. This will help him/her determine the best car for you on the lot.
- Tip: Shop around. You don’t have to buy the first car that you see and a salesperson from another dealership may honor a lower price if you’ve been quoted a different amount from a previous dealership that you visited.
Remember to do your research, be honest with your salesperson and ask a lot of questions. If you get an uneasy feeling from the salesperson, it’s probably best to try someone else. If you catch the salesperson trying to tie you into a long lease with high interest rates or they aren’t giving you truthful information, go elsewhere until you find the right fit for you.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Find the Right Car Salesperson For You and was authored by Patrick Haas.