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With hundreds of different car dealerships across Ontario, finding one to shop at can seem like a challenge. There are many elements that will play into your decision, such as which brands they offer or what specials and promotions they have that month. One of the biggest factors that may influence your decision – is the car dealer is trustworthy?

As a car buyer you will put a lot of trust into the car dealer you chose. Whether its choosing financial options, deciding on the right vehicle or getting the best offer, you trust that your car dealership is there to help find the best option for you.

It’s not always obvious to differentiate which car dealers you can trust from those you can’t. To help you narrow your search for the right dealership, we put together a list of 6 ways to avoid an untrustworthy car dealer:

1. Do They Inspect And Refurbish Their Used Cars?

Dealerships offer a variety of new and used vehicles. Although brand new cars will usually come from the manufacturer with a warranty, most used cars will have already run past their warranty.

An important question to ask a dealership is what kind of pre-sale inspections or refurbishing they do on their used vehicles. Buying used tends to get a bad rep because of the unknown level of quality. However, many dealership perform extensive tests to insure that you don’t drive out with a used vehicle that breaks down the next day. Knowing if a dealership does these pre-sale inspections is a good way to tell if you can trust the quality of their used car inventory.

2. Do They Offer Their Own Service Department?

Having a service department offers an extra layer of credibility to the dealership. It lets you know they perform their vehicle inspections on site and that they can address any problems that you had at the same place you purchased your vehicle. When a dealership has its own service center it tells you that the dealership is not just in the business of selling cars, but also of providing mechanically expertise and vehicle service.

3. Are They Transparent With Their Costs, Terms and Vehicle Availability?

Transparency is one of the first signs of a trustworthy dealership. Are they upfront with their costs and financial terms? Or do they hide information that could impact your decisions?

This can also take the form of promoting vehicles’ availability that aren’t actually available or listing prices in advertisements that don’t match the ones in the dealership. These are good indicators of a culture of mis-information that should raise some flags when you are searching for a trustworthy dealership.

4. Can You Research Their Vehicle Inventory Online?

It’s easier than ever to research products online. Car buying is no exception. By listing their inventory online, a car dealership lets potential customers review which vehicles are available and for what price. Doing this lets you review your options so that you come into a dealership with a good amount of information and expectations of what you are looking for.

Additionally, most online inventories with used cars will provide the vehicles’ VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This number allows you to research the history of a used car; seeing if it has been in any accidents or if any insurance claims have been made with it. That way you know exactly what a pre-owned vehicle has been through and give some insight on how it will perform in the future.

Just because a dealership lacks an online inventory does not automatically make them untrustworthy. However, if you are already having doubts about the quality of a dealership’s inventory, a lack of an online inventory with vehicle specifics and history is a sign that they may be intentionally obscuring your ability to do research ahead of time.

5. Do They Have Online Dealer Reviews?

Online reviews are essential to helping you decide which dealership you chose to shop at.

The experiences of previous customers at a dealership is a good indicator of what type of service you can expect. If they have a low rating or poor reviews on Google, there is a good chance their service may not be up to standard. You can even look specifically for instances of untrustworthiness or deceit.

Another red flag is if you can’t find any reviews at all. If you find a dealership that has no online reviews whatsoever, you are taking a risk by not knowing how their treat their customers.

6. Do The Sales People Listen To You?

After you have done all your online research and decided which dealership you want to visit, there is another important factor that can help you determine if it is trustworthy.

The salespeople are some of the first people that you will encounter in a dealership and you can learn a lot about the integrity of a dealership by asking them questions.

Do they listen to you? Do they answer your questions in a specific and helpful way? Or do they avoid certain lines of questioning? Listen to what deals or specials they offer you. Are they offering something that is truly helpful and getting you what you asked for? Or are they just trying to push their own agenda and close a sale as quickly as possible?

At Drive Autogroup, each of our 9 dealership are committed to high standards of customer service and meeting all the criteria for creating a helpful and trustworthy environment. From our insightful staff to our diverse inventory, we are confident that we satisfy all you car buying needs.


For more information on help buying cars check out our blogs 5 Overlooked Benefits Of Buying A Used Car and 7 Steps To Financing A Car At 18.

Drive Autogroup is one of the premier Automotive Groups in Canada. Easily access 8 dealerships, 6 brands and 2400 new and used cars all from your couch. Shop for a Honda, Nissan, Infiniti, Acura, Hyundai and Genesis. Our goal is to make your car buying experience the best possible with prices and service that can’t be beat. Drive Autogroup’s virtual dealership offers a wide variety of new, and used cars, trucks, minivan, and SUV models for sale.

For more information about Drive Autogroup and to browse our inventory of over 2400 cars visit us now.