Credit: North Texas Auto Expo.  (2023)


How To Make The Most Of Your Auto Show Visit

Written By: Jerry Reynolds | Feb 21, 2024 11:37:00 AM

The North Texas Auto Expo kicks off this week! If you're shopping for a new vehicle and can't decide between models, I always advise listeners to visit their local auto show. It's a great place to see many makes and models in one place.  You can test out ride height, ground clearance, seat comfort and a lot more.  You can even get some drive time behind the wheel of some models.  These days it's also a great place to learn more about electric vehicles. Ride and yes,  even drive one. 

CarPro Guide To Auto Shows

Of course with so many vehicles to check out, auto shows can be a bit daunting so these tips should help you navigate through them with ease.

Time Your Visit

Go early to avoid the biggest crowds. You'll have more time with the vehicles and trained product specialists. Opening weekends are also generally the most crowded and sometimes that's your only choice for smaller shows. If the show is going on longer, try a weekday instead.  

Prioritize But Be Open-Minded

Start with your favorite brands or certain models on your must-see list, but be open-minded to other unexplored options that might pique your interest. Get a map of the layout and pinpoint where your favorites are and try to avoid zigzagging back and forth (your feet will thank you, too.) Note, not all brands attend all shows.

Upcoming 2024 Auto Shows In CarPro Show Markets

North Texas Auto Expo (DFW)February 22-25 Visit Website 
Portland: February 22-25: Visit Website
Oklahoma City:  March 1-3 Visit Website
Indianapolis: June 7-9 Visit Website
Austin: June 30-July 2 Visit Website
Orange County, CA: October 5-8  Visit Website
Sacramento: October 18-20 Visit Website
San Antonio: November 22- 24 Visit Website
Los Angeles: November 22- December 1 Visit Website
Jerry will broadcast LIVE from the North Texas Auto Expo on February 24th!



Assess Your Specific Needs

If you have special needs of any kind, an auto show can be your friend. You generally have fantastic access to vehicles and most models are open for you to explore, except if it is a production or concept model. I hear from people all the time who are short, tall, large, and small, wanting to know what car will fit them best. Although I drive well over 100 cars a year, I cannot relate to someone who is drastically different in size from me. I hear from people who have back problems, hip problems, etc. and I would have to have the same problem to know what will best fit them. Getting into and out of every vehicle made, all under one roof, can be a savior. If you have specific needs for cargo area, take a tape measure with you to the auto show, that will help you get a vehicle perfect for your needs.

Take Notes, Photos and Compare

Take the opportunity at an auto show to compare multiple vehicles in one spot. Jot down notes about the vehicles you are comparing because after a couple of hours, they tend to run together. A list of pros and cons is also helpful. Take your own photos and use them to compare models later.

Talk To A Product Specialist

Don't rush things. Spend some time with the cars and ask product specialists questions about ones that catch your eye. They are walking encyclopedias of information about the vehicles they are representing. You can't actually buy cars at an auto show so the lack of pressure is refreshing. Their goal is to woo you with information, make a friend and a future customer.

Ask about Safety and Driver Assist Technology

Safety features and advanced driver assist technologies (ADAS) are important factors for many car buyers. Make sure you ask what features a specific make and model offers, and importantly what is standard and what is not. While some lineups are offering more standard safety features, others are still reserved for upper trim levels.  

Ask About Extra Manufacturer Rebates

While automakers can't sell vehicles at auto shows, oftentimes, they offer extra manufacturer rebates to attendees. I have seen incentives of $500 or more for people who visit an auto show, then buy in the next month or so, so be sure to ask about those. They are especially prevalent at the auto shows in major metro areas.

Take On-Site Test Drives

Many automakers offer "Ride and Drives" at these shows and it's a great opportunity to take one without any hassle, provided you meet the manufacturer's driving requirements and have a valid driver's license.

Good Luck!

At the end of your auto show visit, your feet may be tired, but hopefully you are leaving better prepared to make a car buying decision than when you arrived. The next step is to connect with a Certified CarPro Team Member to schedule a longer test drive.

Photo Credit: North Texas Auto Expo.