How to spot a trustworthy car dealership

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(Photo: Supplied)

Car dealerships play an important role in the car buying (or selling) journey, therefore it is crucial that you choose a trusted car dealership to avoid scams and other mishaps. The reality of scams and shady deals is unfortunately very real, with scammers often using trusted brand names to lure their victims.

How can you differentiate credible car dealerships from the problematic ones? What are the important 'must haves' to look out for when searching for a trustworthy car dealership?

Here are 5 ways to spot a trustworthy car dealership, from, supported by Motus Ford (previously Imperial Ford):

Tip 1: Google Listing

A good place to start is to see if the company exists on Google, and then ensure that they have factual and complete details on the Google My Business listing.

See what the community has to say about the company by checking out the reviews on Google, Facebook and other reviewing platforms and take note of how the company manages these and engages with clients' concerns.

Lastly, contact them and see how they respond to your query. A reputable company like, will provide you with all contact details of their dealerships as well as information regarding car models. 

Tip 2: Brand & Branding

Have a good look at overall branding to ensure that there is consistency, and complete branding across different marketing channels. For example, compare website branding and messaging to Facebook branding and messaging and make sure that there are no unexplained differences (scammers often try and clone existing brand's sites - therefore check the URL detail).

Also check to see if the dealership offers reputable finance options. Trustworthy car dealerships will offer handy tools like finance calculators and will be able to arrange finance for you with well-known finance institutions.

Tip 3: Sales Staff

An important part of your car buying or selling journey is the service and assistance you get from the sales staff.

Ensure that the company you are dealing with provides consistently helpful, knowledgeable, and presentable sales staff.

The person you are dealing with should be open and willing to answer all questions and should not make you feel pressured to purchase and / or sell.The company/ car dealer should be able to provide consistency across all regions.

Tip 4: Stock

Ensure that the dealership you are talking to has a range of vehicles in stock. They must be able to provide full vehicle information on all and any vehicle you ask about.

This should include the car dealership's assessment and evaluation of the vehicle as well as a full-service history. The dealership should offer you a test drive of the vehicle you are interested in.

Tip 5: First impressions

Even car dealerships that are a part of a large group may fail to be considered as trustworthy or reliable due to, for example, a lack of service or below par stock therefore first impressions are a good indicator of a reliable car dealership.

Listen to your gut, if you have an initial bad feeling or experience, that is often a marker of how the rest of the car buying or selling journey will play out.

With you will experience a convenient, simple, and safe car-buying journey. With a network of more than 300 trusted car dealerships across South Africa, across more than 30 car brands.

Each dealership is Motus-certified and backed by more than 70 years of car retail experience for guaranteed peace of mind when buying, selling, financing, and servicing your next vehicle. All you need to do is click!

Browse our range of quality, Motus-certified new, used and demo vehicles for sale here.

Visit for more info, or join the conversation on Facebook and YouTube.

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by

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