The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Top News

CarGurus Study Reveals Top 5 Complaints, Compliments About Car Dealers

June 7, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A new CarGurus study suggests that a car dealer's candor and responsiveness carry significant weight with an online shopper and can make or break a sale, sometimes even before the consumer meets the dealer in person.

The auto research and shopping Website’s study examined 1,000 dealerships reviews posted by car shoppers in a six-month span. Poor communication and deceptive business practices were the dominant themes in the negative reviews, while friendly service and timely communication were cited most often in positive consumer reviews.

For each dealer review submitted, consumers rated dealers on a scale of one (negative) to five (positive) stars and were asked to provide written comments about their experience. Of the reviews analyzed, 34 percent had one or two star ratings, 10 percent had three stars, and 56 percent had four or five stars.

"For most car shoppers today, the dealer relationship begins online, and that has changed the game for consumers and dealers alike," said Langley Steinert, founder and CEO of CarGurus. "In this age of online information transparency, reputation matters more than ever. The dealers that have embraced this new online paradigm are winning customers.”

For dealers that don’t, Steinert said they risk alienating not just one prospective customers, but all customers who find them online. Below are the Top 5 consumer complaints about car dealers:

1. No Response: Consumers complained that some dealers failed to respond to e-mail or phone inquiries about an advertised car.

2. Bait and Switch: Consumers cited instances in which a car they viewed at the dealer's site did not match the advertisement or the dealer claimed the car had “just been sold" when the consumer visited the dealership.

3. Communications Disconnect: Consumers cited frustrations in getting accurate, prompt answers from dealer staff via email. Others cited inconsistent communications between the dealer's online staff and showroom staff.

4. Unsatisfactory Customer Service: Consumers cited instances of rude, arrogant or uninformed service from dealers. Others indicated they do not like feeling pressured to buy and complained that aggressive communication and arrogant attitudes from some dealers were a turnoff.

5. Time Wasted: Consumers complained of the time spent chasing answers from the dealer or time wasted driving to the dealership only to find the car no longer available. In some cases, consumers complained they were made to wait despite having scheduled an appointment or asked to fill out lengthy paperwork before they were able to see the car they wanted.

The following are Top 5 reasons consumers love car dealers

1. Friendly, Professional Service: Many consumers with good dealer experiences commented on dealers that were sensitive to their unique needs, and they commended specific salespeople and expressed future loyalty.

2. Fast Response. Many positive consumer reviews praised dealers for their quick response to online inquiries about a car.

3. Accurate Answers: Consumers were grateful for dealers' willingness to provide detailed answers via e-mail or phone rather than pushing for a location visit. Dealers that provided candid, accurate information about the car being considered received high marks.

4. Clean Dealerships, Clean Car Interiors: Many favorable reviews commented on the cleanliness of the dealership and on the appearance of the used car's interior.

5. Good Prices: Consumers who felt they had purchased a car at a competitive or fair price were generally pleased with their dealer.


  1. 1. Steve [ July 08, 2012 @ 08:45AM ]

    I responded to an add at Herb chambers Sudbury a 2010 Toyota Tundra with 15,000 miles for 26450, emailed them back and forth since 7/5 telling me to come test drive it , emailed them on 7/6 truck still available emailed them early 7/7 said I was going to look at the truck and probably buy it, drove to Sudbury 48 miles one direction, got at the dealership no truck, talked with dealer they stated " the truck was sold earlier in the week",

  2. 2. Taylor [ April 25, 2014 @ 07:37PM ]

    Ron Carter dealership in Friendswood Tx is a classic bait and switch. If I could give negative stars on website I would. After getting online price plus TTL bc we were paying cash, knowing we were coming from out of town, the morning we left halfway there they went up on the price several thousand dollars. After dealing with the salesman a manager called back with the most condecending attitude asking if I had actually come in and shaken hands with someone to solidify the deal. Our several day conversation had taken place over the phone as most online purchases do. The superior attitude that he would do me a favor and would work with me was more than we could handle. Bewarers


Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  



Reynolds Introduces Mobile Version of Its CRM Solution

The Reynolds and Reynolds Company announced the launch of dealerPad, a mobile version of the Reynolds Contact Management solution developed specifically for the Apple iPad.