What Type of Car Dealership is Best for You?

Know the Facts Before You Shop for a Used Car

Buying a new car

Be happy about your next car purchase

If you’re in the market for a used car, one of the first things that may come to mind is where to start your shopping. There are most likely a dozen or so car dealerships in your area. Some may be big name dealers that sell a particular brand such as Ford, BMW, Chevrolet, or Honda, while others may be small, independent used car dealerships. In some cases, you may even have a Carmax lot nearby. If you’re wondering where is the best place to purchase your new car from, keep reading.

Is Carmax Really All That It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Most drivers are familiar with Carmax. They pride themselves on carrying a wide selection of used vehicles, no-haggle prices, a five-day money-back return policy, available extended warranties, and overall quality used cars. While all of this sounds great, do you really want to pay a premium sticker price for your used car? Everyone knows that when you go to a dealership to purchase a vehicle, there’s always a little wiggle-room to negotiate a fair price that is good for both the dealer and the buyer. Once the sale is over, you want to feel like you just got a great deal on your used car, and with Carmax’s no-negotiation policy, that’s not going to happen.

Carmax also provides their customers with a nationwide selection — sounds great right? Keep in mind that if you find a car you like at a cross-country location, Carmax requires a $250 up-front transfer fee to have it delivered. Additionally, when you choose from their nationwide selection, you are only shown pictures of the car, and while you have an opportunity to inquire about the condition of the vehicle, the answers you get back are only as detailed as the questions asked. For example, if you ask if there are any large scratches, you may get an answer of no. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a slew of small scratches all over the vehicle. When your new vehicle arrives at Carmax, you are under no obligation to buy it, but if you do decide to walk away, you can say goodbye to the $250 you gave them to have it transferred over.

Visit a Traditional Auto Dealership for Your Next Used Vehicle

Your best bet when it comes to finding a quality used vehicle is to visit a traditional dealership in your area. Here, you can feel free to negotiate the price of any car on the lot, you don’t have to worry about paying a transfer fee to see any vehicles in their selection, and you can leave feeling confident that the vehicle you just bought has undergone an extensive inspection, clearing it of any major problems. Financing will also be available. As a bonus, many dealerships also offer used vehicle specials. Always ask one of the sales associates about their current sales for even bigger savings. Happy car shopping!

April 23, 2012 by Jamie Rettig