Holding Your Own with a Car Dealer

Some people love cars. They enjoy learning about them, they understand how they work, and they spend time reading books, articles and magazines and watching TV shows about cars. These people understand their own vehicles. They know what is going on under the hood. They totally get which bits go where and how the car works. They can fix minor issues themselves, or at least speak confidently with the mechanics. People like this, never have to worry about dealers or mechanics taking advantage of them. They’d know if costs were being inflated, or if there weren’t getting what they wanted.


Other people don’t. They might not mind driving, but they’ve got no interest in how their car works. They wouldn’t consider it a hobby, they skip past car shows, and they are just happy that it does go, without giving much consideration to how. These people might have trouble when it comes to speaking with professionals. They might get a raw deal when trading in their car. They might worry that mechanics were adding jobs that didn’t really need doing to make more money, and they’d have trouble choosing the right new car for themselves, without risking buying something that isn’t worth its price tag.


If you fall into that second group, and you need to speak to a car dealer, about buying a new car, trading in your old, or an issue with your vehicle, here are some ways that you can hold your own, without having to spend months swatting up.


Do Your Research


You don’t need to be an expert to speak to a car dealer and avoid traps. But, it’s a good idea to have some idea of what you are talking about. Read online articles like “The Good & Bad Of Trading In Your Car”, look online at cars that you are interested in, take a look at some of the specs and make sure to do a VIN check. Remember, a little information can go a long way.


Know What You Want


If you are shopping for a new car, do you want to trade in your old one? Do you want to buy new, or second hand? Can you pay cash, or would you like to explore financing options? Are you interested in family cars? Something more sporty? A city run around? You don’t need to know exactly what you are looking for, that’s the whole point in getting help from a dealer. But, having an idea of what you want and what kind of deal you are looking for means that you can guide the dealer, instead of the other way around.


Present Yourself Confidently


Go in looking like someone that knows nothing about cars and is uncomfortable around you, and you start on the back foot. You are advertising yourself as an easy target. Instead, remember that research that you have done remind yourself of what you are looking for and go in with your head held high. Stand tall, hold your head up, offer a firm handshake and confidently explain what you want and what help you need. Don’t let your insecurities show and they might just melt away.


Take Support


If you are really unsure and worry about speaking about cars and getting a good deal for yourself, don’t go alone. Take your dad, partner or a friend that knows a little more than you do for some support. Even if they just stand by your side, it’s someone to give you a second opinion, and they might make you feel a little better.


Ask Questions


It’s a car dealers job to help you. That means they are there to answer your questions. If you need things explained or qualified, ask. If you’re not sure you’ve understood something, or you want to know more about a vehicle or deal, ask the questions. Don’t feel bad about asking whatever you need to. A good dealer will be happy to help.


Don’t Say Too Much


We often reveal our lack of knowledge and confidence by talking too much. We waffle because we’re not sure of ourselves, and we give the game away. If you want to seem like someone that knows what they are talking about, don’t talk too much. Stick to that bit of knowledge that you have gained, and ask questions when you need to, but bite your tongue as much as you can.


Of course, the very best way to not get taken advantage of is by finding trustworthy and honest professionals, with good reviews and feedback. Ask around before you make an appointment, and everything should be fine. But, even then, there’s nothing wrong with boosting your own confidence a little first.



Founder, CEO at Addicted
Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!