By Debbie Holden 08 Jul 2019 7 min read

How to become a car salesperson


Ever thought about becoming a car salesperson? Here’s how you can make it happen. 

Car salesmen work in a dealership filled with cars, meeting with customers to help them find one that meets their needs. You might work long hours, particularly if you need to meet your targets, and you’ll likely be both indoors and outdoors while at work.


Should I become a car salesman?

There are a number of skills that are valuable for car salesman to have – skills that a recruiter will likely admire if you don’t have any experience.. If you’ve got bags full of passion, charisma, are self motivated and a great listener, getting into car sales could be the right move for you. Other qualities that could prove helpful in this role include negotiation skills, a good knowledge of the industry and cars in general, and a target oriented attitude. You will also ideally be great with people and have fantastic communication skills. 


What are the first steps?

The first steps you can take towards becoming a car salesman is to consider the initial qualifications you’ll need to apply. While some dealers will hire those with the right attitude and zero experience, you’ll still be required to hold high schools qualifications (GCSEs A*-C in maths, English and science). 

You’ll also ideally need to have completed your driving test and have a suitable licence, as you may be required to move cars on a regular basis. 


Do I need any qualifications?

Most dealerships will provide training for you, particularly if they like their sales team to do things in a particular way. Since previous experience isn’t always a must, it’s important you have the foundation qualities discussed above if you want a sales manager to see potential in you for this job. 


How can I tell if I’m ready for car sales?

If you’re not 100% sure about a career in car sales, ask yourself these questions:

  • What franchise would you like to work for?
  • Can you get a job in that franchise (if it’s a well known brand you might need more experience first)?
  • Can you sell?
  • Are you flexible? E.g. you might have to work long hours or weekends
  • Can you risk a lower salary while you’re not making any commission (this could take time to build up while you’re training)?
  • Are you motivated enough to come into work everyday and make things happen?


How can I be a good car salesman?

If you want to hit the ground running in your new car sales career, there are a few skills you can work on in advance if you’re sure this is the career for you.

  • Get used to learning names and remembering them
  • Ask the right questions when getting to know your customer e.g. will they use the car for long distance driving or everyday driving
  • Build a relationship with your customer
  • Listen, listen, listen – a good tip for exercising this is to always imagine they have something very interesting to say
  • Treat your customers equally
  • Don’t discourage other dealers
  • Don’t force decisions on to them – a pushy car salesman is the last thing a customer needs
  • Make eye contact and smile
  • Avoid untrustworthy language
  • Price should be the last thing that’s discussed – make sure they want the car first
  • Keep busy
  • Always follow up with your customer
  • Be the last face they see 

Where do I apply?

If you think car sales is the job for you, then you should continue with the next few steps!

  • Update your CV: your car sales CV should be tailored to the job you’re going for. Talk about the brand, and if you have no relevant experience to contribute, highlight the skills you feel will help you succeed in car sales. Got experience? Eve better, make sure you showcase it in your personal summary and experience section. Click here if you want to get started writing your car sales CV.


  • Perfect your cover letter: this is especially crucial if you have no previous experience. You’ll need to talk about your passion for the job, why you think you’re a good fit and whatever relevant work experience/skills you have.