Buying a new or new-to-you car is a big decision, but too many times people turn to private sales because they think they can’t afford a new car or are intimidated by dealerships. The whole used car salesman cliche is one that gets stuck in people’s heads. However, where you buy your car is just as important as the type of car you get.
Matt Derbyshire, sales manager at Town and Country Chrysler in Smiths Falls, says that the person or place you purchase your car from plays a big role in what car you ultimately end up with — or if you end up with one at all, especially for those who have had credit issues.
“If you’ve claimed bankruptcy, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a loan. You likely will just have a higher rate than prime,” he says. He explains that sometimes it takes some work and some time to make a financing deal come through for someone who’s had credit problems but it’s legwork Derbyshire and the team are willing to do to ensure clients get into a vehicle.
“We have 15 banks on board and I have all my reps on speed dial. So with us, it’s one dealership, one deal and one hit to your credit,” he says. “And often times, an issue with financing isn’t the person, it’s the car. So, we’ll work with people to get them into something for now and then trade them out once their credit improves in a year or 18 months. We’ve bought vehicles for people to help them out and establish a relationship with the bank.”
Town and Country Chrysler tries to keep a stock of good, quality, used cars that keep their value, such as a 2013 Dodge Charger or a 2012 Chrysler 300 S. When someone who is considered high risk applies for a loan on a quality car, banks are more apt to approve because they know, should the person fault their payments, the bank will still get their money back.
Derbyshire has seen clients come in who haven’t been able to get financing at other places leave the Town and Country Chrysler lot in newer car than they expected — and at lower payments than what the competition could offer.
Derbyshire admits that high-risk deals are not as profitable, but the relationship is more valuable. “It’s not about this one deal. Anyone can sell a customer once, it’s about building relationships. Helping clients to re-establish their credit and making sure our customers are always looked after. We want our customers for life.”
Derbyshire speaks for the whole team when he says, “At Town and Country Chrysler you’re not just a number on our sales board. You become part of the family.”