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If you are shopping around for a used car, you have a few ways to go about it. You can either buy from an independent dealer or you can buy from a franchise dealer. There are several differences, including pros and cons, between the two types of dealerships. As far as purchasing and financing a used vehicle, however, there are many benefits of buying a car from an independent car dealer.

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Independent Dealerships

Independent dealerships are the types of dealers that are often named after their owners or family names, such as “Ted’s Used Cars.” Their titles don’t include the makes or models (brands, such as Honda or Toyota) of vehicles because as independent dealers, they don’t have ownership over a franchise from a specific manufacturer or manufacturers.  This is why they usually have a large selection of used cars in their inventory and few or no new cars.

For used car shoppers, there are several advantages of independent car dealerships.  For one, they offer better prices. Independents typically don't have the overhead associated with franchise royalties and large dealer groups that focus heavily on the bottom line.  Because their inventory of used cars is often older than that of franchise dealerships, you have a much better chance of finding an affordable used car, regardless of your situation — especially if you’re looking at older models. Independent dealers also provide better warranties than new car dealers for used cars.

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Financing Tips 

If you’re looking for tips for buying a used car from an independent car dealership, be sure to see if they have in-house financing — as many of them do. This means you can finance through the dealership instead of through a third party, such as a bank. If you don’t have good credit, this might be a good choice because if you do make your payments in full and on time, it’s a way to repair your credit over time.

However, if you opt for in-house financing or go to a “buy here, pay here” store, you could be charged extremely high interest rates. Before going to an independent dealership, fill out an online used car finance application. Research and find the lowest interest rate you can and bring it with you to the independent dealer. Give them the option to match the rate through one of their lenders. It’s a great way to help yourself, streamline the financing process and get you off the lot and on the road with the vehicle you want at a fair cost.

Franchise Dealership

Franchise dealerships, on the other hand, have a much smaller used car inventory and a larger inventory of newer models. It’s necessary to have a good credit score to purchase a vehicle from a franchise dealership as well.

If you are shopping for a new car and have good enough credit to finance the investment, a franchise dealership may be right for you. However, if you’re working on a budget with a less-than-perfect credit score, an independent dealership will be better suited for your needs.

At DeBoer’s Auto Sales and Service, we’re dedicated to selecting the top pre-owned vehicles in Sussex County and making them available to you at competitively low prices. Come see what we have to offer!

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Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.