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Buying A Car From A Dealership

Need some help navigating the sales process when visiting a car dealership? Well in this article we are going to take a look at the process of buying a car from one of our many trusted dealers with quality vehicles currently on our website. We understand this can be a significant financial decision, and it's essential to approach the process with careful consideration but this step-by-step guide should help you prepare for your first dealership visit.

Which dealership should I visit?

Well let’s kick this off with the basics. If you log on to you can scroll to the bottom and do a Dealer search not just by County, but also the area you reside in. Armed with this list of dealers you can browse their current stock and see if they have a vehicle that fits your needs.

How do I know what car to go for?

This comes down not just personal preference but also budget. Establish a realistic budget for the total cost of the car, including annual road tax, running costs, and any additional expenses such as insurance. When you have a rough idea you would like, it is time to organise a dealership visit. You might have your heart set on one vehicle, but find another on the forecourt that fits your needs better!

Should you make an appointment?

It’s not necessary to make an appointment as you will find most showrooms operate normal day to day working hours and you can drop in to view a specific car or the range of vehicles they have for sale. If you do want one on one help and advice, ring ahead and a sales advisor will organise a meeting time that best works for you.

What questions should you ask?

Find out as much about the cars history as possible. How many owners has it had? What is the service history like? Does it have a valid NCT? Inspect the vehicle thoroughly inside and out including under the bonnet. Check the mileage, and ensure all the features work as expected. We can appreciate not everyone is an expert but if you do have someone slightly more familiar with cars, it is worth bringing them along to help. Knowledge is power in this instance and you should watch our other DoneDeal YouTube reviews along with reading our blog to arm you with more vehicle knowledge.

How do I know if it’s good price or not?

If you are unsure, a good guide price can be achieved by using our free car valuation tool powered by Allianz Insurance. If you scroll to the bottom of there are a number of assistance tools to help you. All you will need is the registration of the vehicle that takes your interest and it takes just seconds! Don’t be afraid to compare the price with a few other dealerships to get a better understanding of the vehicles value.

Should you take a test drive?

Yes, if you are happy with what you see from the initial inspection, it’s time to take a test-drive. Pay attention to how the car handles, the visibility, and the overall driving experience. Does it feel ok? Assess the cars performance, change through all the gears and make sure the comfort and features meet your needs. If you have a family is the legroom sufficient? Does it have ISOFIX anchor points for child seats? If you play golf, will the clubs fit in the boot? All simple stuff, but worth thinking about when you are out for a test drive.

What else will give you peace of mind?

Well, you have chosen to buy from a dealer for a start, so naturally here in Ireland, dealers are subject to consumer protection laws. This means you may have more legal recourse if issues arise after the vehicle purchase. Another tool we advise is obtaining your own history check. One in four cars have a hidden history so its worth scrolling to the bottom of to obtain a Greenlight full history report. Most dealer stock will carry a Greenlight Verified tick already but if it’s not visible on our website, don’t be afraid to obtain your own. Once again all you need is the registration and a small payment depending on how in dept you would like the history check to be.

So you are happy with everything expect for the price. Can you negotiate?

Yes of course you can negotiate and we would advise that you do, to secure the best price. There probably won’t be much room for movement and even if the price is firm you still might be able to get a service, tank of fuel or something to make the deal work for both parties. Be willing to walk away if the deal doesn't meet your expectations.

What financing options are available?

Most reputable dealerships can provide financing options, making it more convenient for buyers who need a loan to purchase the car. If this doesn’t work, you could get pre-approved for a car loan from a bank or credit union before visiting the dealership. This will give you a clear understanding of your budget and negotiating power. If you already have a vehicle, dealerships will usually accept a trade-in making it easier to upgrade your car without the hassle of selling your own.

So you are happy to make a purchase. Any final checks?

Carefully review all the terms of the sale, including the purchase price, financing terms, and any additional fees. Feel free to ask questions about anything you don't understand. Before signing ensure that the terms match what you've agreed upon. Be cautious of add-ons and extended warranties that may not be necessary. Before driving away from the dealership be sure that you have insurance in place and that all necessary documents such as the owner's manual, any warranty information and the second set of keys are with the vehicle.

We hope you find these pointers useful as you prepare to change vehicle or indeed make your first purchase. Remember that the key to a successful car purchase is being well-informed and staying within your budget. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable at any point, don't hesitate to walk away and explore other options.

If you would like to search for new or used cars through our private and trusted dealer network, please log on to


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