Pros and Cons of Car Buying Service vs Dealers

If you’re planning to purchase a new or used car, the chances are that you’re also preparing to check out several dealerships in your locality. For most people, buying a car from dealers means haggling over the price or spending too much time trying to find the perfect unit. However, there’s another way: using a car buying service. 

Generally, buying a car from a dealer means you’ll do the bulk of the work yourself, from finding the right car for your needs to identifying the best dealership. Needless to say, few people have the time and patience for all that. On the other hand, a car buying service handles all the bolts and nuts of car buying. That said, here’s a look at the pros and cons of car buying services vs dealers: 

Car Buying Services 

Anyone who has owned a car before undoubtedly knows what car buying services are all about. Taking advantage of these services is an excellent idea, especially if you want a fair price without spending time shopping for a unit or negotiating with dealers. 

Types of Car Buying Services 

There are two types of services you can use to purchase a car without making a trip to the dealership. These are: 

Auto Brokers 

These are professional car buyers who are there to do the messy work on your behalf. When you hire a car broker, they will find the car you want, then negotiate with the dealership on your behalf. Whether you’re dealing with independent brokers or brokers employed by a company, they’ll do their best to help you save money on your next car purchase. 

Pros of Using an Auto Broker 

  • They handle the entire transaction from start to finish. 
  • Most charge a flat rate, so no worries about overspending on your car purchase. 
  • They guarantee price savings because they protect you from getting ripped off by dealerships. 
  • Their experience helps them identify possible faults with the vehicle you’re eyeing, thus saving you money in the long run. 
  • Having an expert by your side when buying a car eliminates the feeling of doubt and uncertainty, which is typical of the process. 
  • Their access to statewide databases of new and used cars makes it easier for you to land the car of your dreams. 
  • It’s easier to access auto financing when working with car buying services. 


With an auto broker, dealers don’t compete for your business. The system typically works like a referral program in that the brokers often get directed to specific dealers. Often, the dealers agree to a pre-negotiated price. Nonetheless, the price you’ll pay will still be fair. 

Car Buying Concierge Service 

An auto concierge isn’t any different from a broker. As with brokers, concierge services handle every aspect of the car buying process, including: 

  • Searching for the car you want 
  • Contacting dealers and negotiating the prices 
  • Overseeing and explaining the contracts 
  • Organizing delivery to your location 

The only difference between a concierge service and an auto broker is that using a concierge is somewhat costlier. Also, concierge services primarily deal with new cars. Generally, they are like the friendly concierge you meet at your favorite hotel. They listen to your needs and help you find your way around. 

Pros of Car Buying Concierge Services 

  • A car buying concierge service handles the buying process on your behalf. 
  • Most render their services remotely, which saves you from the trouble of having to visit their office in person. 


Car buying concierge services are a little expensive. Most companies will charge you upfront, then ask for a percentage of the savings you’ll make. 

Buying From a Car Dealer 

According to a recent market survey, 61.4% of prospective car buyers prefer dealerships. With millions of Americans appreciating the benefits of buying used cars over new ones, it’s no surprise that dealerships remain popular. 

Pros of Buying From Dealerships 

More time to make a decision: Most dealerships allow customers more time to make the purchasing decision. You can ask the dealer to give you up to 48 hours to consider your options, which isn’t possible when using car buying services. 

Buyer protection: Dealerships in California are legally obligated to ensure that the vehicles they sell are fit for the purpose. When you go shopping for a car, you have the peace of mind that it’s been checked thoroughly. Furthermore, most dealerships have a fine reputation and will do everything possible to uphold it.


Dealerships charge high prices and leave little room for negotiation. So, if you buy from them as an individual, you’re likely to spend more money because you have less negotiating power because you’ll be dealing with a professional sales team. On the other hand, if you use a car buying service, it will be easier to drive down the price. 

Buying from a dealership isn’t risk-free since they are out to make money. Even though dealerships are bound by strict federal and state laws, some still find a way to skirt these regulations. The salespeople working at these dealerships serve their employers’ interests. Therefore, they’ll do everything to convince you to purchase a vehicle even if it’s too costly or defective. As a result, you’ll be stuck with whatever problems arise after buying a car. 

More legwork goes into buying a car from a dealer. Usually, dealers stock specific brands, which means you must shop around to find one that has what you need. When buying new on-demand vehicles, dealers often prioritize the brokers in their networks. So, buying from a dealership may mean being on the waitlist for far too long. 

Car Buying Service vs. Dealership: Which Is Best? 

At the end of the day, whoever you buy a car from is all about convenience and trust. However, it’s always an excellent idea to use a car buying service, since you’ll score a fantastic deal. If you’re ready to eliminate the guesswork from the car buying process, the brokers at AutoSwiftly are there to help.

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