There are lots of car dealerships in Victoria to choose from when looking to buy a used car. Some are better than others. I have a friend that would rather travel to Duncan than have his car serviced at the dealer he bought it from. This is sad.

So how do you find a reputable car dealership to work with? Here are some tips you might find helpful:

Do a web search for potential dealers to get a feel for their business and the kind of stock they carry. Of course, it will help if you have an idea of the year and kind of vehicle you are looking for.

Ask relatives and friends for any thoughts they have on buying cars and on the local dealerships.

Do a Google search with the dealer name and see what kind of information/comments you come up with. Google place listings will show reviews if any were given. Remember, to take negative reviews with a ‘grain of salt’. Some reviewers may have personal issues. Lots of negative reviews should raise a red flag though.

Most dealers put their logo on the cars they sell. If you see one in a parking lot when shopping and happen to catch the owner, ask them about their experience with the dealership.

When you find a dealer worth exploring go for a visit. The sales rep should be friendly and knowledgeable without being high-pressure. If they say something like “What can I do to put you in this car today?” you may be dealing with the wrong person. You are looking for someone who can answer your questions or find the answers for you if he can’t. Your calls should be returned as promised and questions answered in a timely manner.

It’s OK to ask your sales rep how he likes working with his dealer. This can tell you something about how they treat people in general. Your rep and everyone you deal with should be honest, and take a genuine interest in you and in meeting your needs (listening to you).

A little research on your part will go a long way toward ensuring a good car buying experience. Successful dealers know that repeat customers and referrals are built on trust, and trust is built by treating you with respect, and in a manner they would like to be treated. If they can’t do this, they don’t deserve your business.