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Small town vs. Big town dealerships

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Comments

  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Hmmm....well, I can think of a couple of purchases that fall into that category. One was from a fairly large out of town multi-line urban store and the other was from a small town multi-line GM dealer.

    I have no idea about sales figures and was just speaking in terms of the number of in-stock vehicles actually on the ground.

    My buying philosphy is that someone will always sell for less for whatever reason and my goal is to find that store and buy. To that end, I settle on a model and options and get quotes, both locally and out of town. It doesn't take long to see who's willing to seriously compete on price.
  • I live in a fairly urbanized area, so there is really no such thing as a "small town" dealership, at least in the traditional sense. We do have what I call "highway dealers" and "in town dealers".

    Highway dealers generally are high-volume, high-pressure dealerships. They use all of the traditional lines ("what do I need to do to get you into a car today?", "how much can you afford a month?", "my sales manager says we can do the deal if we split the difference", etc). I've bought from dealers like that before, but not without having to be on my guard. The main reason I've shopped them in the past is because they've had the vehicle that I've wanted on the lot. However, their "customer service" generally consists of trying to get away with as much as possible.

    On the other hand, we also have some dealerships which are "in town" dealerships, meaning that they are off the highway, usually in some downtown business district. They don't see as much foot traffic, and they aren't as high volume as the highway dealers. However, what they do have is good old fashioned customer service:

    1. They let you take test drives without the salesperson for as long as you want, and on whatever route you want.

    2. The salespeople aren't pushy. No lines like "what can I do to get you into this car today". After leaving these dealerships, I don't have the need to take a shower afterwards!

    3. They actually try to match you to the vehicle that you need, rather than just selling what they have on the lot.

    4. They are willing to make up for their lack of inventory through dealer trades and factory orders.

    In summary, these in town dealerships seem to care about building a relationship with a customer, rather than just selling them whatever car they can at the highest price they can.

    In fairness I should note that the Saturn dealership that I visited on the highway had a lot of traits of the in town dealership. Unfortunately, the product that they were selling at the time didn't measure up to the level of their customer service!
  • I'm looking to get a new vehicle. Right now I live in a fairly big area, with some good dealerships, so I'm not worried about finding a good car. However, I'll be moving in about 6 months to Northern northern California, where there don't appear to be many dealerships. And the ones that are there, are not reviewed favorably.

    If I purchase a car, am I required to bring it to a dealership in order to have it fixed, when it's under warranty? I don't really want to purchase a car from any of these dealerships, but it looks like they are the only ones in the area if I'm forced to bring it to a dealer for repairs.

    I'm a little lost as what my options might be. thanks
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    You would only have to bring it to a dealership for repairs covered under warranty, or under any recall. For regular maintenance or for repairs not covered by the warranty, you can go anywhere.

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