Because cars tend to have more problems as they get older and see more use, buying used cars tends to bring with it a certain degree of risk. Although this risk is always present, you can minimize it somewhat by dealing only with reputable used car dealers.
There are many used car dealers, some of them large dealerships with service departments, and others nothing more than small car lots. Car dealers with service departments generally market that they inspect all of their cars, and offer different levels of warranties when you buy a car from them. Although inspections and warranties make a buyer feel more secure, the truth is that they don’t prevent you from getting a lemon.
The best way to ensure a problem-free purchase and a reliable used car is to research used car dealers’ reputations before making a purchase. For this purpose, the Internet is one of the best tools at one’s disposal. There are many review websites online, and reviews are often syndicated to make them more visible. By using “used car dealer reviews” and the city’s name as their search terms, users can therefore identify which used car dealers have positive or negative reputations before they begin to shop for a car.
The Internet can also be used to locate information about a specific car dealer, for instance if the shopper has already found a car they like, and wishes to know whether the dealer is reputable before making the purchase. A keyword search using the dealer’s name and city often pulls up reviews that other customers have written. To make the search easier, search engines such as Google pull in reviews from other websites, enabling the user to view many reviews in one place.
Another method of researching used car dealers online is via the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In addition to recording and mediating complaints about businesses, this organization sets certain standards that members have to meet in order to maintain their membership. Buying from a car dealer that is a member of the BBB can therefore provide a certain amount of security and peace of mind.
Finally, the value of word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, and other acquaintances should not be overlooked. Although one or two personal experiences by no means represents a consensus, when used in combination with other methods of researching used car dealers, they can make a difficult decision much easier.