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(StatePoint) When looking for their next set of wheels, car shoppers have choices that extend beyond the vehicle.
The buying experience should meet their needs and wants, too.
"Shoppers should consider buying from an independent dealer, which can open up a world of additional options," says Marcus Dame, senior director, Product Management at Autotrader.
Here are five reasons to consider an independent dealership:
Variety: Independent dealers have greater flexibility to carry more makes and models in their inventory, giving shoppers an ability to test drive a wide variety of vehicles in one location.
Each vehicle is carefully chosen by the independent dealership for its particular attributes and consumers have an opportunity to speak to the person that acquired the vehicle and find out what makes it special.
Personal Service: When shopping at an independent dealer, you benefit from personal service provided by individuals that take time to understand the right vehicle for your needs. Most independent dealers are interested in selling you what you need, as opposed to pushing a model that they want to get out of their inventory. In fact, consumers can easily meet with the dealership owner or manager to discuss their purchase.
Pricing: Independent dealers have a better selection of vehicles in a wider price range than a typical franchise dealership. Independents do not have huge overhead expenses, so they can afford to sell cars with lower sales prices.
The sticker price on a majority of cars (besides classics) on an independent lot is $10,000 or less.
So it should be easy to find a reasonably priced daily driver, a great car to take to college or a new driver's first car.
Financing: Many financing options are available for consumers with all types of credit.
When purchasing a vehicle from an independent dealer, some buyers like the convenience of securing a loan at the same place from which they purchase their car. Some independents are "Buy Here, Pay Here" (BHPH) dealers. BHPH puts credit-challenged borrowers in a car when no other traditional lender will allow it. On-time payments can help rebuild a positive credit history.
Trade-ins: Consumers usually receive quicker, and often better, trade-in allowances with independent dealers that provide an instant valuation, such as Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer.
Based on what make-models the dealership needs on the lot to meet customer demand, an independent dealer might even pay a premium for your vehicle.
You can locate an independent classics dealer at classics.autotrader.com. Details on financing through a BHPH dealer can be found at buyherepayhere.autotrader.com.