Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, which is why the average used car buyer spends around fourteen hours online researching the car model they want. However, the same amount of time isn’t taken to research the car dealer to buy it from. This needs to change. We think you should give serious thought to the car dealer that you use, because the right car will always come from the right place.
Choosing a reputable used car dealer comes down to lots of things, so we’ve outlined the five main questions you should ask yourself before making any final decisions.
Does the dealer have a strong online presence?
A good, functional website is a positive sign of a reputable business. Firstly, you should take a look around and see if it’s easy to browse and navigate – a disorganised website could indicate a disorganised company.
Secondly, search for information around the dealer’s history and approach – all reputable branches will want to promote the way they operate and their previous success. (This will also give you a good idea of whether their approach matches with the way that you like to do business).
Thirdly, make sure there is plenty of information on the cars they have listed – i.e. lots of images of the interior and exterior, and a detailed record of specification, previous owners, mileage, etc.
You should also have a look at their social media platforms. This will give you some insight into their customer service levels and will enable you to view actual interactions between staff and customers. If there are questionable conversations on their social media platform, that’s not a good sign.
Have you read the dealer’s reviews?
Reviews can provide a good understanding of the overall quality of the dealership, as well as their previous customers’ experiences. The fact the dealer is comfortable asking for reviews suggests that they are passionate and confident about their customer service.
It’s not a great indication when a dealer doesn’t have a review section on their website or other platform. However, if you’re interested in a dealer that doesn’t have a review section, try typing the dealers name into a search engine followed by the word ‘reviews’.
How long has the dealer been trading for?
Selling used cars can be a tough business, so many used car dealers come and go. Whilst this can come down to several uncontrollable factors, it’s also important to consider that well-established dealerships are still in the market for a reason.
If you consider a scenario where you had issues with your car and it was under warranty, it’s unlikely that you would expect the dealer to still be trading in 12 months’ time. It’s therefore usually safer to choose a well-established dealership that’s been trading for a substantial amount of time.
Is the dealer a member of any industry recognised associations?
Being a member of recognised associations is vital to any form of work. It’s a good way to prove that you are proud of what you do and are willing to be held accountable for your work. So, all reputable dealers should display a trade association member logo – more than other industries, this is pretty much a must in the car dealership trade.
Examples of associations that are worth looking out for are the ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ (FCA), the ‘Institute of the Motor Industry’ (IMI) or ‘Retail Motor Industry Federation’ (RMIF).
What aftercare would be available to you?
Buying a car is a substantial commitment, and you want to be sure that you are safeguarded if anything should go wrong. That’s why we believe every reputable dealer should have at least some form of an aftercare scheme in place.
If a dealer is willing to offer good aftercare services, such as MOT, car repairs or car servicing, you know that they are respectful of the commitment you’re making as a customer.
What we offer
My Car Credit recognise the challenges presented to customers looking for a used car, which is why we have our own network of approved ‘My Car Dealers’.
All My Car Dealers have been vetted by us for their status with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), their financial stability and their customer service standards. With access to an extensive stocklist of quality used cars, you can be assured that choosing your used car through My Car Dealers will provide you with the best choice of cars, the best car buying experience and an excellent after-sale service.
We hope this helps you in your search for the perfect used car. Remember, getting the right car is partly down to getting it from the right place. Please feel free to get in touch if you need any advice or guidance.