Shopping at Chevy dealers is confusing for some, and intimidating for others — regardless of what type of car you’re buying. But, it doesn’t have to be. Why? Because, there are a few things you can do before you even head over to the dealership. Thanks to the internet, weeding out the good from the bad dealerships has never been easier. Simply Google the name of the dealership, and start your research. Once at the dealership, the shopping experience is simpler than you may initially think. You will deal with two to three people at most, and they will guide the conversation and process for you. There are also a few quick tips to make your life at the dealership even easier, such as remembering that you have the power to walk away if need be.
Why are we offering all this information? Because, DePaula Chevy has always had a consumer-focused attitude — and we care about your happiness.
What to do Before you Head Over
It’s possible to break down what you should do before you head over to the dealership into three easy steps: dealer research, vehicle research, and a credit check.
Step 1: Dealer Research
Before you decide on what car to buy, you’ll have to find a dealership. After all, finding the right dealership is a lot more difficult than finding the right car — so be patient, and take your time with the research. Like I said above, start by going to the website. The “About Us” page is good to read, since most dealerships will provide how and why they came about, and what their focus is. After you’ve read that, look at some of the customer reviews and see what their experiences were like. You’d be surprised at the amount of reviews some dealerships might have on their website. DePaula Chevy has over 3,000 reviews that are helpful for finding out how satisfied our customers are, for example.
Step 2: Vehicle Research
Now that you’ve found a dealership, it’s time to do some vehicle research. If you already know the make and model you’re looking for, then take a look at the dealership’s website and see if they have it. If they do, check and see if they are offering any specials on new or used cars. That way, you’re able to get a good deal.
If you don’t know what type of car you want, just flip through the dealership’s inventory until you find one. After that, look up some reviews and specs of the model to see if it’s what you’re looking for. If not, simply rinse and repeat until you find one you like.
Step 3: Check your Credit Score/Get Pre-Approved for Financing
While the dealership will get it for you, it’s good to know what your credit score is beforehand. Even though they get it for you at the dealership, it’s good to get your own credit score for a backup. Since credit scores will sometimes get mixed up, bringing your credit report with you will ensure you get an interest rate on your car loan that is accurate. Also, it helps speed up the process since the dealership won’t have to find your credit score for you.
Getting pre-approved for financing is easier than ever. All you need to do is fill out an application on their website, and by the time you get to the dealership you’ll already be pre-approved. This speeds up the process as well, and is worth taking the time to do at home.
What to Expect at a Dealership
Now that you’ve found the right dealership, car, and have your credit score, it’s time to head over and talk to a sales manager. The sales representative is going to be your car-buying guru up until he or she hands you over to the finance department.
First thing they’ll do is ask for an estimate of your budget. Let them know you got pre-approved for financing, and make sure to have a copy of your credit score on hand just in case. Tell them about the car you saw specifically on their website — mention any specials you might have seen, as well— and let them know that’s the one you’re interested in.
Finding the Right Car
Chances are, they’ll try and show you some other cars. There is no sinister intent behind this, rather they are simply trying to show you some other options if the initial car you wanted doesn’t work out. After you politely decline or say “maybe” to some of these vehicles, ask about going for a test drive (if they haven’t already) in the car you initially targeted. They will explain to you about the different features and functions of the infotainment system and any other buttons or switches, then give you a quick run down on what’s under the hood. Once the preliminary information is out of the way, it’s time to go for a test drive.
Even if it’s a brand new car that just hit the lot last week and has 300 miles on it, it’s important to get in the habit of paying attention to the reality of the ride. Strange sounds or smells, vibrations, grinding — all of this could indicate a serious problem. If this happens, walk away as soon as you get back to the dealership. But, if you’ve done your research, this shouldn’t happen because you know this is a reputable dealership with good inventory.
Closing the Deal
After you get back from your test drive, it will be time to sit down and discuss the terms of sale if you are satisfied with the car. If you aren’t satisfied or aren’t interested in buying the car that day, let them know before the transaction process starts — because it is a bit involved. That way, it will save both you and the dealer valuable time. If you are satisfied with the vehicle and are interested in buying it that day, it’s time to start the car buying process.
In a nutshell: the first thing they’ll do is take a look at your budget, and check to see if you filled out that pre-approval form. After that, they’ll find a lender who is willing to provide a loan. Third, they’ll work out how much your down payment will be, as well as monthly payments and interest rates, and how many installments you’ll pay over the designated term of your loan.
Review all of the information with the sales representative, and head on over to the finance department. While you’re here, you’ll double check the contract and sign it. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase any of the additional offers, such as an extended warranty.
A Few General Tips
To make your shopping experience at the dealership easier, here are a few quick tips to bear in mind:
- Figure out your credit score and review your credit report beforehand. If there is anything you can mend, do so. It’ll bump your score up and help you get a better deal. If you can wait a few months to get a car and build your score up even further, you’ll get an even better interest rate.
- Always inspect the vehicle you are looking at thoroughly. Check for any leaks under the hood, rust on the body or undercarriage, and for any wet spots inside the vehicle or trunk to find out if water is getting in somehow, which can cause the bottom of the trunk to rot out.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
- If you feel uncomfortable at any point when visiting a dealership, simply walk away. A larger and reputable dealership like DePaula will make you feel right at home, but it’s still important to understand that you have the ability to walk away. Walking away is your power play — so don’t be afraid to use it if you feel uncomfortable or something just feels off.
It All Adds up to DePaula Chevy
Finding the good reviews online and a detailed “About Us” page, having someone there with you during every step of the car buying process, and providing help and tips to consumers to make their lives easier; everything above is a perfect representation of why DePaula Chevy has been around for a while. After all, we do have a customer-focused attitude, which means 24/7 phone, email, online live chat availability and up front pricing. We even offer a VIP program that provides our consumers with exclusive offers, discounts, and rewards.
Here at DePaula, we understand that the happiness and comfort of our customers comes first.