Purchasing a car is a huge financial decision, and it’s one that you need to think long and hard about. Not only do you have to determine which type of car is the right one for you, but you also have to figure out how much car you can afford and make sure you’re buying a quality vehicle.

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re purchasing a quality car is to make sure that you are purchasing from a quality dealer. And one of the best ways to make sure it’s a quality dealer is to enlist the help of car dealer review websites.

It’s unfortunate that most car dealers have a stereotype of being slimy, money-hungry individuals who will do or say anything in order to make a sale. Not all car dealers are liars, and it’s important to weed out the good from the bad in order for you to have a pleasant experience and drive away with a great vehicle. So before you purchase a car, make sure to check out sites like YellowPages, DealerRater and Edmunds for the following reasons.

1. You’ll be prepared.

Some car dealerships will allow you to haggle your price while others are firm. Before you prepare yourself for a haggle battle, you may want to use these sites to find out if haggling is even an option. If you want to haggle, find out which dealerships allow you to negotiate your price and visit those dealerships. If you don’t want to bother with the haggling experience, use review sites to find out which dealerships simply stick to no haggle pricing. By using these sites first, you’ll know what to expect.


2. You can weed out the bad.

You cannot judge a dealership based on one bad review. It’s possible that someone is going to have a poor experience at one time or another, and if you see ten positive reviews and one negative review on a dealership, don’t let it sway you. However, if all you see are bad reviews, then you may want to decide whether or not visiting that dealership would be worth it. If you see that everyone has had a poor experience or that the cars they’ve purchased have been in bad condition, you can use this information to skip that dealership when it comes time to making a purchase.


3. You can learn who to deal with.

Some reviews will go as far as giving names of the employees who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure a great experience was had. If you notice a large number of reviews rant and rave about a specific mechanic or salesperson, ask for that individual when you visit the dealership. This way, you will know that your experience should be a positive one since so many other people had a lot of good things to say about the employee.


4. You may receive a discount.

Some car dealerships offer discounts to customers who found them through these review sites. These discounts or special perks can be anything from free car washes for life on the purchase of a new car or even a small upgrade at half off. The discount given is completely up to the dealership, but knowing the special perks that you can receive from each dealer may help sway your decision. Just make sure to print out a copy of the advertisement to have on hand as proof.


So when it comes time to purchasing a car, don’t let the experience weigh you down. Instead, start with a review site and learn a  little bit about each dealership. After determining where you want to go, you can then start browsing their website or visit the location for more information. And don’t forget to go back to the review sites and share your experience for others.

Steven Peters likes to write about anything from cars to technology. He also gives advice to others and tells them about the importance of car dealer review tracking.