How to Save Time at the Dealership


Buying a new car is an exciting time, but waiting hours at the dealership can be a frustrating inconvenience. When you've found the perfect car, the last thing you want to do is spend hours getting your paperwork and finances ready. The average time to buy a car at a dealership can stretch upwards of four hours. 

In order to avoid lengthy visits to the dealership, many car shoppers look for ways to save time throughout the car-buying process. There are a few different strategies you can adopt to save time when car shopping. But one of the most important steps you should take to avoid any hassle at the dealership is to prepare ahead of time. From researching models to online applications, plus gathering all of the necessary paperwork, you'll be ready to step into the dealership to sign a contract in no time.

We'll go over some helpful tips to save time at the dealership, including things you should prepare ahead of time and important information you should take to your appointment. We'll also go over the best time to go to a dealership to avoid long wait times.

Research Models

Before you head off to the dealership to check out new cars, you should consider forming a plan first. Most reputable dealerships will have an accurate reflection of their current inventory available online. This way, you can check out all the latest models from the comfort of your home. 

Online research can help you narrow down your search, as you'll be able to compare technical information more easily, like gas mileage and interior measurements. You can also search the inventory for used and new models that fit within your price range. You may find that you prefer particular features or advantages of one model over another. 

Putting together a list of cars you want to test drive, can decrease the average time to buy a car at a dealership. A sales representative may not know exactly what features are important to you or they may try to show you models or trims that you don't want or can't afford. To avoid wasting time at the dealership, your list of cars should be as specific as possible (model, year, trim, etc.). 

Apply Online

Most dealerships have embraced technology and the internet, providing much more efficient and convenient options for customers. Some dealerships have the option for customers to apply for in-house financing online. With this completed paperwork, you can walk into the dealership already pre-approved for a certain price range. 

Better yet, some dealerships take all the hassle out of the car-buying experience and provide full online services. How does this work? If you know which specific car you would like to buy, then you can purchase it online through the dealership's website. Often the dealership will have it to delivered to your home (within a certain range from the dealership), eliminating the need to step foot at the dealership at all.

Get Your Paperwork in Order

Paperwork is one of the reasons why the average time to buy a car at a dealership is so long. Buying a car typically requires a few official documents and if you decide to get a loan then you'll need to provide even more information. If you forget one of these pieces of information at your house, then you'll slow down the whole process and may need to make a second trip to the dealership. Before you head out the door, you should try doing a checklist of all the documents you may need. 

  • Driver's license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Money for a down payment (credit card or check)
  • Proof of residence, like a utility bill (if you're applying for a loan)
  • Proof of Income, recent pay stubs (if you're applying for a loan)

Make an Appointment

It's a smart idea to make an appointment with a staff member before you go to the dealership. Although walk-ins are usually welcome, it's helpful to have already talked with a staff member about your particular needs. You can explain the cars that you're interested in test driving and they can inform you of any additional models that might fit your needs. They can also have these cars ready to go when you walk onto the lot, saving you a bit of time. You also won't have to worry about waiting for customer service if you need to go to the dealership on a busy day. 

Pick the Least Busy Time of the Week to Go into the Dealership

The average time to buy a car at a dealership can be several hours long. However, this also depends on how busy the dealership is on a particular day. On a super busy weekend, you might end up waiting a lot longer than usual. Even though there may look to be plenty of salesmen, the finance office may only have a couple of people working to process contracts. 

To avoid any kind of hold-up due to a large influx of customers, try going to the dealership at a less busy time. Weekdays are always less busy than the weekends. Additionally, if you go during the morning or early afternoon, it's unlikely that you will have to deal with a long wait for service, as most people will be at their 9-5 jobs.

Overall, the average time to buy a car at a dealership is pretty long. However, there are simple ways to reduce this wait time, such as preparing and researching ahead of time. If you're looking to buy a Honda model, get in contact with us to schedule an appointment. Or, if you're sure about which car you would like to buy, then save time and buy online with us.