Questions to Ask Before Visiting a Car Dealership

August 12th, 2016 by
Questions to ask when buying a used car

Knowing the right questions to ask before visiting a car dealership will save you a lot of time!


One of the comments we hear pretty frequently from people is that they don’t know what to ask a car dealership when they call before deciding to actually visit the lot. Let’s say you’re gearing up to purchase a used car and you’ve been spending time surfing the Internet to see what’s out there. And then you see it: The car you’ve been looking for, whatever that may be. The photos look great, you love the color, the year is not too old, and the price seems like a decent starting price. You pick up the phone to call the dealership and…now what?

First of all, get yourself in the right mindset. Buying a car is a big deal. For many people, their car is their most important asset. If you’re going to buy one from a dealership, you want it to be one that does things right. So pay attention to the feeling you get as you interact with people on the phone. Are they pleasant, cheerful, and eager to help you?

Okay, you’ve taken note of how the phone was answered and you’ve been put through to a salesperson. Since you’re interested in a particular car, the first thing you want to know is if it is still available. Even though you saw the car on the dealership’s website, it doesn’t mean it’s actually on the lot. At Auto City, we make every effort to remove a car from our website right after it sells or if we have a committed buyer. However, once in a blue moon we may be selling the vehicle you are interested in as you are looking at it online. Even though this is rare, we have had it happen before. So confirming availability is always a good idea, as the last this you’d want is to arrive at the dealership only to discover that the car you were interested in had just been sold.

If the car is still available, you should then verify that the price you saw listed on the website is still accurate. If you have specific questions about features and options, ask about those. And then say you’re very interested in the vehicle but you’d want to see a vehicle history report on the car before even potentially visiting the dealership. If the salesperson is reluctant to provide you a vehicle history report, consider it another red flag. At Auto City, we think it’s just common courtesy to provide a vehicle history report on each and every one of our cars.

Your last two questions should be about what warranty is included, if any, and whether or not the dealership can help you find financing if you need to take out a car loan.

If you’re looking into used cars in El Cajon or the San Diego area, Auto City is always more than happy to answer all these questions and more!