Used Vehicles

Traditionally we have searched out used vehicles for our clients on a per request basis. In our old office we did not have the ability to keep inventory, forcing us to wholesale the high quality vehicles we get on trade from our clients. With our new facility in 2012, we can pick the best to retain for inventory. That said, the majority of our used car business is still a flat-fee based search outside of our own inventory.

Regardless of where we find the car, our primary focus (and claim to fame) is vehicle quality. Our criteria is much more stringent than even the best “certified” programs out there. This adds time (picky on our search) and money (during the make-ready process) but results in a quality vehicle we are certain you will be pleased with. If you’re looking for the cheapest used vehicle, we’re not your place. But if you want top quality at a fair price, you’ve found a new home.


Of course we offer financing and leasing options, top market trade-in values, and our famous quick and simple delivery process

This varies considerably, but generally I estimate 4-6 weeks. The more specific orders (color, options, etc.) tend to take longer. Timeliness is our toughest issue. We’re at the mercy of what’s available through our various wholesale venues and even when we find a vehicle that fits what you want on paper, chances are it won’t fit our quality standards. So realistically, we have to find several vehicles that fit your needs in order to find one we’re comfortable putting our name on.
We search any viable wholesale avenue for quality vehicles. Most of our vehicles are purchased at “dealer only” auctions. We also buy from dealers on trade-in and from various fleet sources. Of course, our own trade-ins and lease turn-ins are also a great source. The more expensive the vehicle or the more specific your requirements, the broader we search. High-line cars are often purchased out of state and shipped in. We generally do not purchase from dealer retail lots; the economics simply don’t work since the dealer typically won’t accept a wholesale offer.
The majority of our used vehicles are still within factory warranty, so the major concerns are previous wreck damage and water damage. Previous wreck damage, even if repaired perfectly, materially impacts the value of a late model used vehicle. Realistically, many are not repaired perfectly anyway. On any late model vehicle for our clients, we will not accept any paint or body work. If you’re looking for an older or less expensive car, we will at times accept paint/body work, but will disclose it to you immediately. Paint or body work is easily recognized by the experienced wholesalers we use to find vehicles. They can spot paintwork by visual inspection and “feeling” the paint, but today rely primarily upon paint meters. A paint meter measures the distance in microns from the outside of the paint to the sheet metal. As little as one extra pass from the paint sprayer will make these measurements jump. Water or flood damage is probably the most serious taboo of the used car industry (title fraud has been virtually eliminated within professional venues). Water damage is spotted via manual inspection in less than obvious places (under dash, under carpet, etc). Water damage will wreak havoc with electrical systems, which are increasingly complex in today’s vehicles. This damage may continue to cause problems for years to come and therefore, we will not accept any vehicle that shows any hint of water damage.
Generally, we ask you to make a decision sight unseen. We give you a detailed description (options, color, condition, mileage, estimated value, etc.) including pictures, and ask you whether or not we should pursue it on your behalf. We know that can be nerve-wracking and is not for everyone, but by the same token, we’re buying a car for you without any assurance other than our conversations that you’ll end up buying the car. In the end, it comes down to trust. We trust that you know what you want and are familiar with the model you’ve asked us to find. We also trust that at the end of the day, assuming the vehicle is as we’ve described, we’ll have a deal. We ask you to have faith in our professionalism and honesty. We over-describe any potential vehicle to avoid confusion. If we buy a vehicle on your behalf and it comes in not as described, or has undisclosed paint/body work or water damage, you’re under no obligation. That’s a failure on our part in one way or another. If it is as described we want to know we have a deal. Realistically though, we don’t have a signed contract or security deposit, so we’re back to that faith thing. You may be to hear that since we started in 2002, I can count the number of “issues” we’ve had on used cars on one hand.
A “certified” car is under a manufacturer’s program that ensures a used vehicle is within certain year/mileage guidelines and has passed their mechanical inspection (various degrees of stringency). They usually include a “free” warranty and at times offer incentivized financing. The dealer pays up to thousands of dollars to the manufacturer to stamp a vehicle as certified. This cost pays for the warranty (and incentivized financing if any) and is passed on to you within the price of the vehicle. Certified does not mean the car has not been previously wrecked. All the certification programs, including luxury brands, allow two to three panels of previous wreck damage (ie both front fenders and the hood). Dealers do not disclose paint/body work and typically the used car salesperson does not know or care if it’s been wrecked. Our certified vehicles are thoroughly inspected and brought to the most stringent of mechanical specifications. We typically don’t accept any paint or body work (unless you’re looking for an older/cheaper vehicle, and in that case, any paintwork is fully disclosed). We include a 90 day bumper to bumper mechanical warranty. Most of our certified vehicles qualify for an optional full coverage extended warranty as well. Our certified used vehicles also include our renowned Concierge Service which provides a free loaner vehicle anytime you bring the car to us for service work, including factory warranty.
This is typical of the auto industry (although others don’t disclose their fee or profit). An average used car gross profit is around $2k, but on a $50k vehicle, a dealer would expect to make about $4-5k after haggling. Part of this is supply and demand because late-model high-line cars are harder to find. Cost also plays a significant role. If we buy a high-line vehicle out of state (which we often do on more expensive cars), it might take us several weeks to transport the vehicle here and put it through our make-ready process. We bear the carrying costs which adds hundreds to our overhead (you pay only direct costs).
The price you pay will include the following: our wholesale cost of the vehicle, auction fees*, transport charges*, make-ready expenses, aftermarket items*, and our fee. Based on the wholesale value of the vehicle and the preliminary inspection, we conservatively estimate the ultimate price. If we buy it cheaper, or make-ready expenses come in lower than anticipated, you save the money. If the numbers come in higher, we eat the difference out of our fee. So you don’t ever pay more than our original quote. (* if applicable)
If you’re looking for the cheapest car, don’t call us. We are much more focused on quality over being the cheapest car in town. We pay a fair price for a top quality vehicle, and then we put it through our rigorous make-ready process saving you money on maintenance/repairs down the road. Generally, you’ll find our pricing right within the market, but the quality of our vehicles stands above.
Quality is always our primary focus on used vehicle. Usually we are sourcing vehicles from wholesale venues, and often times these are out of town. We have the source (auction, fleet company, etc.) inspect the vehicle at point of purchase. To be honest, the quality of these inspections is not very good but that’s not why we use them. That vendor inspection allows us to punt the vehicle if it comes in and we find any significant issues not identified on the inspection. Once the vehicle arrives here, we put it though our intensive make-ready inspection. If we find an issue not shown in the pre-purchase inspection, we can turn the car back or ask for compensation from the vendor to fix the issue (assuming we still have confidence in the vehicle). During the make-ready process, we comb through the vehicle mechanically and cosmetically making that vehicle as close to new condition as possible. We even check the things you wouldn’t think of (jacking equipment, 2 keys, owner’s manual, etc.). A typical 3-4 year old car will take about a week to go through this process, which costs us $1500-2000. The integrity and thoroughness of this process gives us two benefits; – We know you’ll like it. Given we’re spending tens of thousands based on you liking this vehicle, confidence is as important to us as it is to you. – Our certified vehicles get a free, bumper to bumper, no deductible, mechanical warranty for three months or 3,000 miles. That’s not a long warranty period we realize (extended warranties are available). But we cover every single little mechanical item, from bulbs to belts to AC to transmission.
Probably. Vehicles over 6k pounds are eligible for Section 179 depreciation for qualifying companies, allowing up to $500k in first year depreciation if purchased (capital lease treatment is the same). This is a generous depreciation allowance, and should be taken advantage of to the extent possible. However, Section 179 depreciation is limited to roughly $500k annually and includes many kinds of capital acquisitions. If you have over $500k in Section 179 acquisitions, the balance is subject to normal IRS depreciation caps. Vehicle depreciation is more constrained than other capital purchases, so generally it’s better to put other types of equipment into 179 first, then run your heavy vehicles through an operating lease.
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