Buying from an independent car dealer

If someone talks to you about a car dealership then the place in our photo is probably the sort of place you think ok.

A small showroom with 30 or so cars for sale outside. These are called independent car dealerships because they aren’t tied to any one car manufacturer. This means they can sell cars from a wide range of companies.

We know from our own research that some potential buyers are put off by the image of places like this but this isn’t really fair. Our research also goes on to show that customers that have bought a cars from an independent dealer have been very happy with the experience.

As you’d expect every car dealer does the same job but in a slightly different way. A large percentage of dealers on the website do a fantastic job of looking after their customers.

Visiting an independent dealership

Most buyers that visit an independent dealership already have a good idea of the car they want to buy because they’ve seen it on websites like When you arrive you’re likely to be greeted by a member of staff but never suffer from a pushy salesperson. The attitude from most of the dealers that advertise with us is to help you to buy rather than sell you something. You’ll find that most of the cars are locked but if you do want to look at one then all you have to do is ask a salesperson who’ll let you take a good look.

If you’re really interested in a car then you’ll be actively encouraged to take a test drive and you’ll also be welcome to bring along car seats, golf clubs and so on to make sure they all fit. At any stage you can ask questions and if you want to then you’re free to walk away and think things through. To ensure the car isn’t sold while you’re thinking you can place a deposit on it.

The great thing is that everything can be done on-site and with just one salesperson who will look after every aspect of the deal. There will be some scope for negotiation on price but not a great deal. This is because more and more car buyers get a valuation online in advance so they’re only likely to come in if the car is suitably priced to start with.

Part exchange

This is much the same story with your part exchange. So, the salesperson will show you two independent valuations to prove they are offering you a good price for your car. If you want finance then they’ll show you the various options available. These options are usually HP and PCP and if you’re not sure which is best for you then the salesperson can tell you more about both options. Alternatively, they’ll be quite happy for you to pay by credit or debit card and if you have your own finance in place then all you’ll need to proof of it. If you do want the finance offered by the dealer then they can go through your application with you online. Assuming finance is accepted, which can take just a matter of minutes, they can also sort out the registration, tax and insurance. This means that you could be on your way home in as little as an hour after you first came in.

With the knowledge that you’ve been dealt with properly through each stage of the process there’s just one thing left for you to do with your new car – enjoy it!

Independent dealer summary:

  • Not tied to any manufacturer
  • Only sell used cars
  • You only deal with one person
  • They can do part-exchange
  • Finance is available on-site
  • You can test drive the car