For most people, buying a car is one of the single biggest purchases they will make throughout their lives. As such, it is also unsurprisingly one of the most stressful purchases many consumers will have to make as well. A million small decisions must be made before a car is chosen: What model? Which year? Used? New? From a dealership? From an independent seller? Although nothing can really remove the stressful decisions from the process of choosing and buying a car, making sure the person you are buying your car from is an honest salesman that is providing you with all the important and necessary information available about their cars can certainly help remove some of the guesswork. Verifying the credentials of an independent seller can be tricky, but here are a few tips for gauging the qualifications and veracity of your registered car dealer:

Going For A Test Drive: Gauging The Trustworthiness Of Your Car Dealership

Ask Around

The easiest and possibly most useful thing you can do to look into the background of your car dealer is simply ask around. Speak to friends and others you know in the area that might have had some experience with the business you are considering. Look on the web for any feedback from customers. Even more, is the company involved in the community? A trustworthy car dealer is happy to be active and known in the community, while a car dealer that may not be proud of every sale they have made might be less inclined to become involved.

Go for a Test Drive

Cars are not the only things that need to be test driven. Give the car dealership a test run by simply stopping by and observing. See how the employees are treated and behave with clients. Pay close attention to how well taken care all of the cars on the lot are. Try asking for information about a random car to see what approaches the seller takes with you. You should be able to tell rather quickly if the salesman (and their company) seems to be telling you everything they think you want to hear about the car they think you are trying to buy, or whether they are presenting you with valid, applicable information according to your feigned interest. If you walk away from the experience feeling as if you were treated well and received good information, this might be a trustworthy car dealer worth doing business with.

Going For A Test Drive: Gauging The Trustworthiness Of Your Car Dealership

Do your Research

A wealth of information is now available online about both the potential car you are considering buying and the dealer you hope to buy it from. Pay the extra fee for a history report on the car from a third party and make sure the information you see on this report, which is based on the car’s unique vehicle identification number, matches up with everything you have seen and heard from the dealer.

You can also investigate the car dealer’s rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) whose job it is to validate businesses and provide consumers with information about problematic companies. You can call the local BBB in your area to see if any claims have been filed against the dealer, how long they have been around, etc. In addition, you can check with your area DMV to make sure that the dealer has purchased the appropriate surety bonds to sell vehicles. These bonds vary in amount and act as guarantees against fraudulent practices by the dealer and are required to sell vehicles commercially in most states. Georgia dealer bonds, for example, are worth $35,000 and are required by all dealers, protecting up to that amount in reparation charges should the company face legal proceedings for faulty practice or bankruptcy. Make sure the dealer you are considering is following all state regulations. Do your research – small signs can tell you a great deal about the trustworthiness of your car dealer.

Getting that new car should be an exciting moment in your life, not a stressful game of wits with an untrustworthy car dealer. Look into the background of your car dealer to remove some of that anxiety and rest assured that you are getting exactly what you expect. For more tips on how to protect yourself against fraudulent car dealers, see Preferred Auto Knowledge.