What Are Car Brokers and Should I Use One?

April 1, 2021

Most people don’t look forward to buying a car. While the act of owning a new car is enjoyable enough that some people can power through it, it’s just not worth it to everyone. That’s where car brokers come in.

Car brokers can help you to navigate the automotive world on a personal level to help you buy your dream car. They can even help you to find a rare or specific vehicle.

Today, we’re going to examine what a car broker is, when you should use one, and how you can find a quality one.

What is a Car Broker?

What is a car broker? A car broker, also known as a car buying service, is basically a professional car buyer. The goal of a car broker is to level the playing field between you and the car dealership.

An auto broker is familiar with car dealership’s sales tactics, strategies for negotiating, and profit margins. They know how and where to save money throughout the entire process. They won’t fall for some of the numbers manipulations or specific strategies that might work on other customers. Instead, they’ll see these tactics coming and have a rebuttal already prepared.

Some auto brokers work for themselves or a small company, while others are part of a concierge service at a bank or credit union. An auto broker will often work for dealers and customers, helping to connect the two.

There are two ways that car brokers make their money: As a flat rate or as a percentage. An auto broker might charge everyone a flat rate, ranging from $200-$1,000. Other brokers opt to charge a percentage of the money that they saved you on your purchase. Expect to pay a retainer of approximately $100 once you decide to use an auto broker.

Car brokers can help to negotiate deals for new and used cars with dealerships.

Reasons to Use a Car Buying Service

Now that we’ve answered the question “what is a car broker,” we need to discuss the reasons that you should use one. People typically decide to use a car buying service to save time and money. Car brokers know exactly how to navigate the sales process to find any opportunities to save you money. You also won’t have to waste your time negotiating and spending hours at a dealership.

Other car buying services might be used when you’re looking for a rare or vintage car. Specialists hunt down these cars and buy them for their clients. This is a much more high-end service than the kind offered by the average car broker.

Using a car broker is similar to using a real estate agent. They help you to minimize mistakes and maximize your savings. For those looking to skip the whole car buying process altogether, this is a great way to go.

How Do You Find a Car Buying Service?

There are several things that you need to do when you want to hire a car buying service. You should begin by asking about options available through your favorite warehouse club store or the credit union that you bank with. Many types of brokers that offer car buying services may even have their fees included with your memberships.

If you don’t have a free option, it’s time to head online and look for a well-reviewed auto broker. Some attributes to look for are:

  • A flat fee that varies based on the quality of the car being purchased
  • A fee structure based on a percentage of savings under MSRP
  • Not taking any form of payment or kickback from dealerships
  • Offering services like trade-in brokering or delivery to your home

You will need to make sure that the auto broker is licensed to sell cars in your state and that they are able to abide by any other regulations that may apply to your specific transaction. Research any potential auto brokers on review-based sites to see how other customers have felt about working with them.

Want to get a better deal by yourself? Join CarEdge to get access to a suite of tools and information to help you get the best deal buying a car.

Auto Brokers Might Be Worth Your Time

Deciding to work with an auto broker might well be worth your time. If you don’t care to learn the ins and outs of car buying in order to score a great deal, auto brokers are an excellent alternative. Keep in mind the requirements that we’ve outlined above and do plenty of research before deciding which one to work with.

Of course, if you want to learn how to negotiate and handle the work yourself, we’ve got a deal school that’s designed just for you.


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  1. Al Pollock

    I have a question.

    If I get an interest rate on an auto loan, can I insist that my dealer use that rate on my new auto lease? Or, am I stuck with the best interest rate that the dealer will offer when I negotiate with them?

    • Justin

      The dealership has partnerships with other lending institutions (this is where their money is made). Outside of that the rate does not apply unless you are bringing your own financing, these deals are typically treated by the dealership as a cash sale.

  2. Greta James

    Thanks for pointing out that a car broker is already prepared for manipulations and strategies that a dealer might use, and know how to handle those. I plan to buy a new car in the spring and this would be a big help in acquiring a car at a fair price. I think it would be smart to find a reputable auto broker in my area who can help me find the best car for my needs.


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