How to Write a Complaint Letter to a Dealership

by Robin Reichert - Updated August 21, 2018
Send a letter of complaint if the auto dealership does not meet your service expectations.

Automobile dealerships often perform warranty or guarantee work for the company whose cars they sell. You should write a letter of complaint if you bought your car from a dealership and you are unhappy with the service, the repairs or with any facet of your experience with the dealership. A polite, but firm letter of complaint that clearly describes your experience will help the dealership resolve your problem.

Prepare to write your service complaint to the dealership by reviewing your warranty or guarantee documents. Find the provisions in the warranty or dealer guarantee that cover your particular complaint to the car dealership. Make sure your warranty has not expired and the problem is covered by your warranty or guarantee.

Open the word processor program on your computer. Open a new document and type the date at the top of the page. Type your full name, address, city, state and ZIP code. Add your contact information such as telephone, cell and email beneath your address. Press "Enter" three times.

Type the name of the dealership followed by the dealership address. Add an "Attention" line after the address and type the name of the person to whom you are sending your complaint. Press "Enter" two times.

Type the abbreviation "RE:" (regarding) and then describe your vehicle including the VIN number. Describe the problem with the vehicle and the date the problem first manifested. List the dates that work was performed to try to correct the problem. Include the names of mechanics or others with whom you had discussions about your vehicle if you know their names.

Type your salutation, "Dear Sir or Madam" or type the person's name if you know it. Describe in detail exactly what you want the dealership to do about your problem. Explain to the dealership that you expect a representative of the company to contact you immediately regarding your problem.

Close your letter by thanking the reader for their time and attention. Type "Sincerely," and press "Enter" four times. Type your full name and press "Enter" two times. Type the word "Attached" or "Enclosures." Press "Enter" one time and then type a list of documents that you attached to the complaint letter.

Print your complaint on letter size paper. Print the envelope. Make a copy of your letter. Fold the original letter with all relevant documents attached. Affix postage and mail your letter to the dealership.


  • Locate the automobile VIN (vehicle identification number) on the left side of the dashboard, which is visible from the outside through the windshield or on loan documents, warranty documents and vehicle titles.

    Attach a copy of your warranty/guarantee.

    Attach copies of completed work orders if you have them.

    Use your word processor's spell and grammar check to prevent embarrassing errors.

About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.

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