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When you’re searching for your next vehicle, buying local is a great option. Buying local is very important to the community you live in. However, the Internet has changed the car research and buying process. Over the past 10 years, the number of dealerships a car buyer actually visits has decreased from four and a half dealerships to just over one dealership. Therefore, car buyers will now travel farther to secure that great deal from 50 to 75 miles now up to 400 miles. The Internet allows car buyers to search from the comfort of their own homes without pesky sales people hounding them. Car buyers can read about safety ratings, dealerships reviews and most importantly, what others are paying for the vehicle they want in other areas.

If you find a vehicle at your local dealership that is out of your price range, these Internet searches can help you negotiate a better price for that car. Building relationships with local dealers is important when it comes time to service your vehicle, but if you can find the vehicle you want at a lower price at a dealership hundreds miles of way, why would you bother buying locally to just help the community? Centris Assistant Vice President of Indirect Lending, Rick Seamann, recommends finding the car you want to buy; test drive it locally to make sure you actually like it; and then broaden your search online maybe even nationwide to research miles, condition and price. If you find the same make and model with similar mileage as the local vehicle and at a price that is more comfortable for you, print it out and take it to your local dealership.

Dealerships want you to buy local, and if they can match that price they will. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. You have built a relationship with your local dealer, and the dealer gets the opportunity to sell you a car and hopefully earn your business on your next vehicle purchase.