Fourteen hours. That’s the average amount of time people take to research the used car model they want. This makes sense to us: buying a car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. However, the same amount of time isn’t taken to research the car dealer to buy it from, which 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.
1. Does the dealer have a strong online presence?
A good, functional website is a positive sign of a reputable business. 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 reputation – 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 to doing business matches with the way that you like to do things.
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.
2. 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 and then posting them on a website or social media platform suggests that they are passionate and confident about their customer service.
You should check for reviews on their website but it’s also good to have a look at their social media platforms. These more modern platforms usually encourage more interaction between customers and business, so you will gain insight into their customer service levels by looking at them this way. If there are questionable conversations on their social media platform, that’s not a good sign.
3. 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 is can be due to a number of uncontrollable factors, it’s also important to consider that well-established dealerships remain in the market for a reason.
For example, if you end up having issues with your car and it is under warranty, you’ll not be able to go back to the dealer for a resolution if they’ve stopped trading 12 months later! It’s therefore usually safer to choose a well-established dealership.
4. Is the dealer a member of any industry-recognised associations?
Being a member of recognised associations proves that you are proud of what you do and are willing to be held accountable for your work. All reputable dealers should display a trade association member logo – more than other industries, this is considered 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).
5. 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 My Car Credit offers
My Car Credit recognises the challenges presented to customers looking for a used car, which is why we have our own network of approved ‘My Car Dealers’.
My Car Dealers have been vetted by us for their status with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which establishes their trustworthiness and financial stability. We also conduct customer service standards inquiries to ensure that they are personable too. Our dealers have access to an extensive stocklist of quality nearly-new and used cars, so you can be assured that choosing your car through My Car Dealers will provide you with the best choice, the best experience and excellent after-sale service.
We hope this helps you in your search for the perfect used car. Remember, a large part of getting the right car is down to getting it from the right place.
Please feel free to get in touch if you need any advice or guidance.
Require more help?
Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!