How to write an effective review

Our top tips for writing an effective car dealer review

  • What you should be writing in your review
  • How to get a dealerships attention to help resolve issues
  • The best way to keep your review online and in the public spotlight
  • What to avoid regarding defamatory or libelous comments

Why writing a review could be the answer to your problems

Dealerships read reviews, in most instances they care about what people say online as it impacts other cars buyers decisions about buying from them. It's imperative that together we build a culture of leaving reviews for car dealerships in order to clean up an industry clearly lacking in consumer confidence. The below is a great example of why your review and experience is important to others.

Our main points to writing a review

Share genuine, honest feedback

Stick to the facts & avoid accusations

Be personal & share feelings

Do NOT name or attack individuals

Keep your review updated & validated

Share with friends & on social media

Leave a review at Car Dealer Reviews today

Share genuine, honest feedback about your experience

An effective review that will capture the attention of the dealership and other car buyers needs to contain enough detail for what has happened, this will help others feel an attachment to your words. This is your chance to share your experience so dont waste it.

  • Positive reviews are like gold to dealerships. It helps them sell cars, build a great reputation and learn what they are doing well.
  • Too often as consumers we only take to leaving a review when we have had a bad experience. This has to change. Your positive review gives a dealership the credit they deserve.
  • It's important you say exactly why a dealership deserves a high rating. A short review offers other car buyers very little value as it doesn't share exactly why people should buy from a dealership.
  • If you had a negative experience there are a few principles you must stick to. Be genuine. About what happened. About how you feel. About your expectations when you bought your car.
  • It's very east to leave a scathing review in the heat of the moment, this needs to be avoided as it could result in issues later down the road.
  • Be honest. You MUST stick to the truth. If there is a grey area in your experience, then say it. If you were unaware of something at the point of sale that ended up causing issues later on then say this.
  • Failure to use a genuine email address or validate your review may result in it not being published

Stick to the facts and avoid direct accusations

It's very important when a writing a review to make the reader stand in your shoes. This detail will help the dealership understand how you feel and will have a greater impact in the eyes of other car buyers. If a car buyer is influenced by your words, then any dealership in their right minds must address your issues as it will cost them customers.

  • The safest way to keep your review online and have your voice heard is to stick to the facts
  • If something is of your opinion make sure this is clear in your review
  • Your allowed to share your feelings. However, unless your a mechanic or have had an independent test completed on your car that clearly prove faults existed pre purchase you have avoid directly accusing dealerships of foul play.
  • Cars develop faults, it happens. It can be very difficult to prove faults existed before you purchased your car so make sure reviews share your opinion or beliefs, e.g. instead of "The car dealership knew the car was faulty when it was sold", it should be written " I believe the dealership knew the car was faulty when it was sold although i can not prove this". You should then elaborate on why.
  • If a review site asks for validation then make sure you do this. It adds extra credibility to your review and in most instances stops dealerships challenging your review to be removed.

Be personal and share your feelings

Dealerships often challenge many facts when negative reviews are written against their dealership. What they can never debate or stop you doing is sharing how your experience has left you feeling. Be personal in what you write, be sincere.

  • If your experience was amazing then let people know. What parts of the process does the dealership deserve credit for?
  • This is an opportunity to let a dealership understand exactly how they have left you feeling. You dont need to attack them, just plea to their kinder nature and share how the experience has left you feeling.
  • Help customers attach themselves to your experience by sharing how buying from that dealership has left you feeling.

Do NOT name or attack any individuals involved

When leaving a review it's easy to focus your upset to towards specific individuals who dealt with you. This can often be dangerous by the letter of the law and is better directed at the dealership in general.

  • Avoid using the full name of an individual in your review. It's safer to describe them or their job role.
  • You must refrain from including any defamatory or libel comments. What are these? See below for an explaination that was sent from a legal representative on behalf of a dealership to try and have a review removed. This couldnt better demonstrate the grounds they look for in removing review.

What the law says about defamation

Defamation involves the communication of remarks to others which may tend to lower the subject of the remarks in the minds of right thinking members of society generally. There are two types of defamation:

  • Slander which involves communication in transient form such as talking
  • Libel which involves the communication of remarks in a permanent form such as a written or printed document. This includes such communications such as drawings or emails.

What this means to your review

Keep this in mind when leaving your review, remembering to stick to the facts.

  • There must be a defamatory remark; and
  • The person about who it is made must be identifiable (although a group or company can be defamed)
  • The remark must have been published.

This demonstrates that by avoiding naming an individual you potentially avoid any legal challenges that a dealership could have against you. Remember, no business likes to have negative reviews online so be truthful and take care writing your review. 

In our experience it is very rare that a dealership will go all the to take a customer to court over a review, especially if you have stuck to the facts. This advice helps avoid that legal letter in the post and ensures your review can stay online where we hope it encourages a dealership to resolve issues.

Keep your review updated & validated

Things can change once you have left a review and it's important that this is reflected in your review. More important for both the review website and the people reading your review, is that you validate your experience often by sharing an invoice.

  • Updating your review brings it to life and share with others what is happening. If car buyers read your issues then so will the dealership who are more likely to want to find a resolution.
  • Your review being updated adds additional information other car buyers will find valuable.
  • Validate: For example, if you leave a review at Car Dealer Reviews they will always ask you to upload an invoice but do not want any personally sensitive information and they do not share this with a dealership.
  • Means the review site, car buyers and importantly the dealership know your review is genuine as its displayed as verified.
  • Massively reduces the change of your review being taken offline.

Share with friends, family, work colleagues and across your social media accounts

Sharing your experience with those closest to you can offer many benefits. It can give you perspective in your case and also help others understand how this dealership treats its customers.

  • Social media has never been so powerful. Simply sharing your review across Facebook for example is an effective tool in spreading the word about your experience.
  • Sharing your review across multiple platforms should encourage the dealership to act


  • Should be used to encourage dealership to act or warn others.
  • We strongly advice contacting a dealership in advance to leaving a review so to allow them to deal with any issues.
  • Stick to the truth.
  • Be descriptive.
  • In most instances you can remove or edit your review at any time which means if a dealership threaten legal action you can react
  • This should not be used as an attempt to emotionally blackmail a dealership into acting and we do not endorse any car buyer to exaggerate the impact an experience had on them.
  • Remember the purpose of writing a review is to share your experience and to have any issues resolved. It is not designed to seek any further compensation or to bribe a dealership into action. You should only ever write the truth. Should you bend the truth or attempt to ruin a reputation of a business then you may find yourself being prosecuted.
  • Avoid foul or threatening langauge as it could result in your review not being published

Author: Carbuco

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