How to Choose the Right Car Dealership – 2024 Guide

Going into a car dealership can be stressful. What with pushy salespeople, a bunch of cars that might be beyond your budget, and the lingering question that plagues your mind: am I being ripped off?

Not to fear.

Here we give you some tips and advice on how to choose the right car dealership – and how to ensure you get the best outcome possible.

Here’s how to choose the right one.

1. Do your research before going in


Heading into a car dealership without any prior knowledge of the kinds of features you want, and the market prices of the specific car you’re after, is like swimming into the shark’s mouth. Don’t do it. Always do your research before heading in.


Basically, knowledge is power and when it comes to negotiating on price with a second-hand model – you’re going to want to have all the info to support your bid.

Plus, knowing the features you want in a car, even if you’re unsure about the specific model, will help along the process and allow the dealership to hand pick some great options that specifically fit your wants and needs.

2. Check their location and how easy they are to contact

It might seem obvious but many dealerships can often be difficult to get to – especially if this is your first car. Some dealerships might also have second locations – making sure you end up at the right one for a test drive is important. Choosing a local dealership is always best. Especially if you plan on getting it serviced in-house (which is highly recommended if you want to make sure your warranty is kept intact). Driving for an hour every time you need to get a car service is a pain.

You also want to make sure they’re easy to contact. Some dealerships can be difficult to get a hold of – not something you want to have to deal with in the future.

3. Rate their finance options online before choosing


Different dealerships will have different financing plans available and depending on your budget you may want to get savvy on their payment plans and interest rates before deciding which dealership is your go-to.

Make sure you check out a few different dealerships to get an understanding of what the average prices for the cars you’re interested in are, and who is offering the best deals so you can negotiate price when it comes to it.

4. Check out their inventory

This is arguably one of the most important steps before settling on your dealership. Any good dealership will have their inventory available online – and even give you tools to customise your ideal model. Choose whether you want to research online – or have a look in person – which can also give you a better idea of how they operate.

But if there’s a particular model you have your heart set on, make sure you’re checking that availability before you make the trip or commit to a dealership. There’s nothing worse than feeling restricted with the options you’re given!

5. Look at reviews


Reviews help you gain an understanding of what it’s really like to get into business with a specific dealership. Remember everyone’s experience is different, so you may have to filter through a couple of upsetting reviews to get the full picture. Ultimately you can tell when someone is being honest and realistic when it comes to their experience. Try and look for examples where the dealership went the extra mile for the customer – that’s when you know you’ve found a goodie.

6. Ask to speak with the owner – if they’re around.

If the owner is willing to have a chat about your needs and takes the time to have a conversation with you, then you know you’re in good hands. Sometimes it’s a good chance to find out more about the dealership and what their business is all about. Don’t be afraid to ask around and see if they’re available – maybe just say you’re not there to complain about anything.

7. Always think long term


Buying a car – whether it’s new or used is a big investment. You want to be sure that you’re getting the right car for you, and at a good price. Going for the cheaper model that’s got a couple of issues with the engine may seem like a good choice at first. But ultimately, you’re going to want to weigh up your options and go with the most sustainable option. A good dealership will be able to help you find the right car to fit perfectly into your everyday life, and not something that just looks good on the weekend (unless that’s exactly what you’re looking for).

8. Avoid the pressure

You shouldn’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. However, if you do feel like you’re being pushed too hard – you can politely leave and say you’ll get back to them. It’s always a good idea to set expectations with your salesperson – let them know your budget and what you’re after. Never be afraid to tell them straight away if the model in question isn’t what you’re after. It’s always advisable to take a day or two to mull things over before you settle on anything.

9. Ask about demo models


This almost feels like a bit of an insider’s tip, but if you’re searching for a used car with hardly any kilometres and no leftover coffee mugs in the glove box then a demo model may be the perfect fit for you. Demo models are always kept in good condition as they are used by the dealership to show off the car to prospective customers. Once they have too many kilometres on them – they’re no longer classed as a demo model and the dealership is motivated to sell them at cheaper prices. If you can get your hands on one of these you can count yourself lucky.

Choose carefully

Now you’re ready to choose your dealership and make off with a new car. Remember to pick your dealership with care and keep your eye on the prize.

If you’re stuck on where to look -head over to one of your closest Subaru Dealers ( and check out their range today.

Bogdan Radicanin
Bogdan Radicanin

My name is Bogdan Radicanin, but everyone calls me Boba. I also work as a full-time musician. I approach both jobs with a lot of passion, and I believe that's what makes me successful.