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Is it better to buy a car at a local dealership?
Car Buying Tips

icon/user/avatar/20 Created with Sketch. By Travis Triggs

Is it Better to Buy a Car at a Local Dealership?

When it's time to buy a new or used car, you have options on where to make that purchase. Should you buy from a local dealership or consider other avenues? There are convincing arguments on both sides. Here's an in-depth look at the pros and cons:


Pros of Buying at a Local Dealership:


  • You can test drive and inspect cars in person before committing. Online buying means relying purely on descriptions and photos.
  • Dealerships have physical locations you can visit for sales and service versus distant corporate entities.
  • Local dealers may be more motivated to provide quality service to earn business in smaller communities.
  • You develop a relationship with the salesperson who can inform future purchases. No ongoing rapport with online sellers.
  • Trade-ins and negotiated prices may be easier in person than virtually sight-unseen.
  • Local inventory caters to area demand versus distant sellers offering more generalized stock.


Potential Cons:

  • Pricing may run higher than larger online counterpart sales if lacking scale.
  • Selection is limited to local inventory versus broader online offerings.
  • Hours may be less convenient than always-open online shopping options.
  • High-pressure sales tactics could push buyers into deals not best for them.
  • After-sale service responsiveness may vary if dealership lacks competition.


There are compelling arguments on both sides. For many buyers, being able to test drive, negotiate in person, and establish ongoing service relationships makes local dealerships worth consideration. Do your research to find reputable dealers with fair pricing and service.

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