How To Become a Car Salesman

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: December 1, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Business
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If you want to become a car salesman, you will need the right plan. This is a great career for the right type of person. Some car salespeople can make a very nice income.

The career of a car salesman is very rewarding. You get to help people find the vehicles they need for their families or businesses. If this type of career interests you, it’s important to look into it further.

Understanding the job duties of a car salesman is important. You’ll be able to figure out if this career is for you or now. Let’s look at the job duties and how to become a car salesman.


Job Duties of a Car Salesman

Your main job duty, as a car salesman, is assisting customers in the process of purchasing or leasing a vehicle. You will likely help customers evaluate the potential vehicles you offer to figure out which one fits their needs.

A successful car salesman will know the details of the vehicles they offer very well. You will likely spend quite a bit of time studying your vehicles. It’s also important to understand the paperwork that goes with the purchase or lease of a vehicle.

The most common job duties for a car salesman include:

These are the basic job duties of a car salesman. The duties may vary from one dealership to another, however.

How to Become a Car Salesman in 5 Steps

Step #1 – Finish High School or Get a GED

Most dealerships will require car salesmen to have a high school diploma or GED. You will likely need to complete this type of education first. If you plan to move up to a sales manager type of job, you will likely need to get a college degree, as well.

Step #2 – Gain Experience

Sales jobs are often entry-level. This means you can easily get into the car industry on the sales side. You can likely find a job at some type of dealership if you’re friendly and trainable.

Most dealerships will train you for the job. Gaining experience will make you more hirable by better dealerships, too. This is especially true if you show you’re good at selling cars.

Step #3 – Become Licensed

Most states don’t require car salesmen to become licensed. However, some states may require you to become licensed. For example, in California, you have to submit an application and pay a fee to the DMV to sell cars.

You might also need to undergo a driving record check to work at a dealership. They may have to check to ensure you can be insured to drive the vehicles and go on test drives.

Step #4 – Complete the Necessary Training

After you land a job as a car salesman, you will need to complete the training. Many of the best dealerships will provide excellent sales training to help you learn how to sell cars. However, it may be necessary to seek additional training on your own.

Step #5 – Learn about Your Vehicles

A good car salesman knows their vehicles inside and out. Once you have completed sales training, you want to spend time learning about the vehicles you offer. Whether you’re selling new, used, or new and used vehicles, know the features and what they offer.

Common Skills You Need to Become a Car Salesman

There are many different skills you should have when you want to go into sales. Car sales isn’t easy and it’s not for everybody. If you’re interested in this career, a few of the common skills you need include:

These skills, along with the ability to adapt, can be very helpful in car sales. You want to make sure you develop these skills to ensure you’re successful in this type of career.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Car Salesman

How much can I make as a car salesman?

According to, the average salary for a car salesman is nearly $61K. However, ZipRecruiter, lists the average by state with the top salary at just over $48K.

Some salaries can be higher. Many car salesmen work on a small salary and earn commissions for their sales. This makes it possible for a good car salesman to make more than $100K per year.

How will I earn money as a car salesman?

Most car salesmen will work for a car dealership. The dealership will likely pay you a very low salary. Most of your income will be made through commissions.

Commissions come from the sale of vehicles and are often paid out monthly. Most car salesmen will earn around a 12% commission on the sales price of the vehicle.

You will likely have a quota to meet of 8 to 12 cars sold every month. Salesmen that can sell more than the quota, may also earn bonuses.

What type of benefits do car salesmen often get?

Depending on your employer, you will likely gain access to health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. Many car salesmen also gain access to a 401(k) with some employers offering a contribution match. You might also gain access to an employee discount, flexible schedule, and paid time off.

What type of work environment can I expect as a car salesman?

You will likely spend time indoors and outdoors as a car salesman. Most salesmen will walk the lot regularly, work with customers outside by showing them vehicles and handle other job duties outside. Once the deal is ready to close, it’s time to move indoors and work on the paperwork.

Car salesmen will spend quite a bit of time standing, too. However, you will also sit quite a bit in an office environment.

What type of work schedule can I expect as a car salesman?

Car salesmen often work full-time averaging at least 40 hours per week. It won’t be a set 9 to 5 work schedule, however. Many car salesmen will work a schedule with later hours and will likely work on Saturdays.

Expect to work when your customers are available. With most people working during the day, it’s important to be available at night and on weekends. Some overtime is common, especially during heavy sales seasons.

How can I earn more money as a car salesman?

There are many ways to earn more money as a car salesman. Of course, the simple answer is, sell more cars. Since you will earn commissions and bonuses based on your sales, this is the easiest way to make more money.

You can learn from veteran salespeople and watch the job market, as well. When better dealerships offer jobs, consider moving from your current dealership. Some pay higher salaries and sell higher-priced cars.

Of course, you will also need more customers to make more money as a car salesman. Use your resources to bring in new customers on your own. If you count on the leads given to you by your dealership and people walking onto your lot, you’ll be limited yourself.

Do I need a college degree to become a car salesman?

No. Most car salesmen don’t have a bachelor’s degree or any college degree. However, if you want to move into management at a dealership, getting a degree will likely be necessary.

A college degree in business or finance can be very helpful, however. With a degree, you will likely have a better chance to become a car salesman.

If you want to work with people and help them find the vehicle they need, becoming a car salesman is a great career option. You can earn a salary and large commissions and bonuses if you become a great salesperson.

Everybody needs a car these days. As a car salesman, you’ll be working in an industry that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. This is a great career for those that love to work with people. Use the steps above to become a car salesman and you can enjoy a successful career.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.