As soon as you return to the dealership from your test drive, a salesperson will almost certainly try to hustle you into an office to start the buying process. He or she is counting on your enthusiasm after driving a new car to seal the deal. But this really is not a good time to start the negotiating process, especially if you have planned to test drive vehicles from other manufacturers. This is actually the best time to collect your thoughts.
Evaluate the dealership
How you’re treated during your first visit to a dealership may tell you a lot about any future relationship, so make sure you’re comfortable with the atmosphere and test-drive experience.
Your test drives give you a good chance to evaluate a variety of dealerships. Even the lowest possible price usually won’t compensate for a bad experience with a particular dealership. Salespeople should treat you with respect and honesty. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, so here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding where to buy your next vehicle:
Was the salesperson responsive to questions?
Was I treated with respect?
Did I get all of the information I needed?
Did I get honest answers?
Was it easy to arrange a test drive?
Were any high-pressure tactics used during my first encounter?
Was I invited back for additional test drives?
If you answered “yes” to more than a few of these questions about a dealership, there’s a good chance you might want to do business there. If you answered “no” often, you should think about going elsewhere to buy your car.
New Car Buying Guide
Learn more about choosing a car, what to do at the dealership, pricing, trading in your car, financing, closing the deal and more in our new car buying guide.
FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up? Manage your newsletters here too.