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4481300759_518757ff35_zUsed car salesmen have a stereotype of being sleazy, slimy and crooks. While generalizations of a profession usually aren’t true there are still some salespeople that will take advantage of you. So it’s important to know who you’re dealing with before you go to the dealer. So we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to research the dealer before you even walk on the lot.


Edmunds was founded in 1966, long before the age of the internet, and printed booklets for prospective car buyers that had car specifications for them. Almost 50 years later they are an online resource for automotive information. Not only can you find information on cars but you can also research dealers. The dealer review and ratings can help give you a solid idea of what type of company you’ll be dealing with.

Dealer Rater

Established in 2002 Dealer Rater represents 40,000 U.S. and Canadian car dealers and has over 1.5 million customer reviews. The site allows you to find car dealers (locally and nationally), read and write reviews, and search their classifieds all for free. Not only can you search by area or dealer, you can search by manufacturers too.


Launched in 1998, Cars.com is one of the world’s largest resources for used car buyers. Cars.com let’s you buy, sell, research and even finance your car. The dealer review section will you allow you to search what type of car you’re looking for, put in your area code and it will bring up local dealers near you. This site will also let you get Carfax on your used cars to help let you know the history of the car.


Last but not least is Google. This will probably be the first place you go to and we don’t blame you. When searching “used car dealers in ______ “ you’ll probably come up with 7-10 dealerships within a few miles of you. Right next to the stars on the webpage is a link to Google Reviews. These reviews will give you a glimpse into the dealership before you get there.

Buying a car is a big thing and can cost a lot of money. When looking at reviews it is a good idea to take every 5 star and 1 star review with a grain of salt. Also, look at the bad reviews and see if the management from the dealership responds to them and if they’re willing to help resolve the situation.

Photo by Niels Paul / CC BY