What to Look for When Shopping at a Used Car Dealership

Posted Wednesday, Apr 19, 2023

Used car dealership shopping expectations
Used car dealerships differ greatly from those that deal exclusively in new cars. This is why you must take great care when shopping at a used car dealership and understand some of the terms dealers use. A used car can be a great option for someone looking for an affordable one for their first car. Even if you are looking to get a better car after trading in an older one, used car dealerships are helpful for everyone.

The following guide will take you through what you can expect at used car dealerships and how to tackle the issues that may arise. The tips in the following sections can also be applied to other dealerships!

The Dealers

There are no used car dealerships without dealers. In fact, as soon as you step inside a dealership, you will have a dealer assigned to you, whether you like it or not. The dealers in a car dealership usually work on commission, which means getting assigned to you is how they earn.

You can use dealers to your advantage. Contrary to popular belief, they aren't out to fool you and get you caught up in bad deals. In fact, the best dealers use your budget and requirements to provide you with the best options.

Your Pocket

At used car dealerships, your pocket comes first. Since they are mainly concerned with getting you the best quality car at the lowest cost, your budget is their most important consideration. No matter the model you are looking for, they ensure that the car you end up with is something that doesn't break the bank.

This is one of the reasons buy here, pay here dealerships exist. Since used car dealerships are mainly concerned with connecting you to the best option, they want you to get that car as early as possible. Thus, they can also connect you to financing if you have credit issues.

Your Requirements

If you think used car dealerships will not cater to your needs, think again! Used car dealerships may excel at providing affordable options, but that doesn't mean they don't have other options. In fact, they have more options than dealerships with brand-new cars.

Most dealers would even go so far as to assist you throughout the purchase process and the test drive, letting you know everything about the car so you could make an educated decision. However, it is up to you to meet them halfway and take a bumpy route that helps you understand the car better.


Some used car dealerships also specialize in trade-ins. This means you get an even better deal on the car as you can trade in an older car for a relatively newer one.

The Final Steps

The final steps of the process involve negotiating the price and speaking to the dealer about the best possible loan repayment plan. The terms you decide now will determine how you deal with your expenses for the next few years. Choose wisely!

Tips for a First-Time Shopper

If you are shopping at a used car dealership for the first time, there are some tips you should keep in mind.

1. First Steps

When dealing with dealers and loan providers, make sure you negotiate the price of the car after getting quotes elsewhere or researching the price online. The more you know about the car's market value, the better your final decision will be.

Moreover, never commit to more than you can actually pay. This may set you up for failure and cause you a lower credit score down the line.

2. Never Settle

Never settle if you are attempting to negotiate to reach a certain price. Understand that the dealer is trying to meet the expectations of both the dealership and you. However, you are responsible for arguing your case and knowing your requirements.

You don't want to go home with a used car you paid too much for and regret it some months later. It is best to negotiate as much as you like and only pick a satisfactory deal.

3. Always Read Everything

Before you sign off on anything, read and go through everything as diligently as possible. Certain terms and conditions are best known in advance, so you can prepare or ask the dealer to explain.

Once you reach the final steps of the process, you might face a lot of paperwork. However, if you aren't sure, it is best to bring along a friend you trust or an experienced car mechanic.

4. Test Drives

Test drives are important, even for used cars! Don't expect too much from a car you are getting at half-price. However, remember to check for any major faults that can cost you a lot of expenses in the future.

Final Moments

So, you have finalized the deal and are excited to take that brand-new car home. Before you drive the car into the sunset, you must ensure that the VIN matches the number on the paperwork. Moreover, review all the documents one last time and ensure that everything adds up.

Rely on Experienced Dealers at the Best Dealerships

If you are tired of dealers trying to scam you into buying a faulty used car, you may be looking in the wrong place. Understand that better car dealerships do exist. You just need to look for them.

At the Internet Car Lot, you can avoid fraud and contact dealers who are looking out for you every step of the way. We help you connect with a car that meets your requirements and your budget. This means that you go home with a car that truly satisfies all your needs and doesn't break the bank.

We can also provide you with a lot more options as you are no longer restricted by the requirement of brand-new cars. You can get the same features and a much better model than you envisioned simply by placing your trust in a used car dealership!