Top Five Reasons You Should Shop at a Dealership for Your Next Car

So, you're in the market for a new vehicle. You've been searching for new cars for sale and Googling "car dealerships near me" but are perhaps feeling a bit conflicted. Should you really be buying from a dealership? Should you just spend a few grand on a used car sold by its owner?

Both avenues have their pros and cons. In the end, only you can decide what route is best. However, shopping at a dealership for your next car has some pretty distinct benefits. What exactly are these benefits? Let's take a look at five reasons you should shop at a dealership for your next vehicle.

A Reliable Vehicle

You want something that will get you from Point A to Point B right? But how are you supposed to know that a vehicle you buy from an independent seller is actually reliable? You might have to drag the vehicle to your mechanic or have a mechanically minded friend or family member come with you to buy it.

At a dealership, you get more up-front information about the vehicle's history and reliability. The Hyundai dealership will answer any questions you have about the vehicle's performance and track record with other owners. If you're buying something new, you can learn more about its repute from a dealership than you can anywhere else.

High-Tech Safety Features

If you want the latest and greatest in high-tech safety gadgets, you're going to have to peruse a dealership's inventory. Many new vehicles are given 
helpful features like lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. There are also new driver features geared toward keeping your teen safe on the roadway. While you can get some of these features on newer used cars on a certified pre-owned (CPO) dealership's lot, it's almost better to get a new vehicle. These features are becoming standard on newer vehicles, whereas they used to be more predominantly optional.

The Warranty

CPOs will sell you warranties that look appealing at first, but in the long run, aren't really that beneficial. First of all, some CPOs are not as 
closely inspected as new vehicles, so you might run into some reliability issues. Second, the warranties just do not compare to what you get with a newer vehicle. The CPO standard for warranties seems to be 12 months/12,000 miles, whichever you reach first.

On the other hand, auto manufacturers are really stepping up their games with warranties. Most will offer you a 3-year/30,000-mile warranty or better. This is a major incentive for customers to buy new vehicles since it gives drivers more peace of mind when it comes to repairs and random issues that arise in the first few years of ownership.

Financing Options

Buying used means that you have to pony up. Buying from an independent seller typically involves paying a full lump sum for the vehicle you want. While the vehicle is cheaper at the start, you won't get the benefit of having a warranty. And if you don't have all the money up-front, you can't buy it.

That's why financing options are so appealing. Car dealerships like to offer financing options and will try to work with people of all credit scores. You might think about pursuing financing options with your credit union or bank, but you could still find yourself hard-pressed to find a deal that matches that of a dealership's. Dealers tend to have a few different types of 
financing:
  • Captive finance companies
  • Dealer-arranged financing
  • Buy Here, Pay Here (BHPH)

Only about 6% of loans are issued by BHPH dealerships, so you will likely pursue one of the other two options. Captive finance companies make up about 30% of vehicle loans, and customers with good credit scores can reap the benefits offered. (For example, a 0% interest charge for X number of months.)

Meanwhile, dealer-arranged financing has the dealer playing the middleman between you and one of their banks of choice. While this does mean some dealerships will add on extra interests, this option tends to be more ideal for those with less-than-stellar credit scores but who bring in sufficient income.

Incentives to Buy

Independent owners give you very few, if any, incentives to buy their cars. You're getting the car as-is from them for an agreed-upon price. The rest is up to you. While this is a good option for those with low credit scores and the money already set aside, it isn't ideal for everyone.

Dealerships recognize this and, therefore, offer consumers incentives to buy their vehicles. Ever hear the phrase "cash on the hood"? It is one that dealerships like to use, and for good reason. This references limited-time discounts to customers in order to sell specific vehicles.

If you've thought about buying an electronic vehicle (EV), the United States federal government is offering a $7,500 tax rebate for certain makes and models. Going 'green' pays off in a lot of ways but getting that sizable of a tax rebate is extra nice.

Dealerships know that certain groups of people will benefit quite a bit from incentives. If, for example, you're a college student buying your first vehicle or a veteran looking for a shiny new ride, there is likely a dealership offering an incentive for you.

Many people still feel that buying a used car from an independent owner is the way to go because it saves a lot of money upfront. But what about the long run? Is the vehicle going to be reliable?

Getting a new ride from a dealership isn't as scary of a process as it gets made out to be. There are a lot of financing options available for people with various credit scores. Also, you will likely find that any dealership you visit will be offering different types of incentives to buy.
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