The challenge in finding a used car is finding a good dealership

As with every occupation, there are both good and bad used car dealers

File Photo
Richard Perry.

■ Richard Perry / The Hemet Car Guy

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,

A couple times in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to fly first class. I discovered that people in first class always ask what I do for a living. Of course I say, “I’m a used car salesman.” Invariably they reply: “Funny, you don’t look like a used car salesman!”
I think to myself, “What does a used car salesman look like?” Then I hear about their bad experiences. Let’s face it, TV evangelists, lawyers, and used car salesmen have been the butt of many jokes.
I’ve heard horror stories about some dealers who have gone under because of their business practices. But frankly, we all know that school teachers and the police have taken hits on their reputations too, so we know there really are both good and bad in every occupation.
The trick is to know the difference between the good ones and the bad and find the good—ones who offer nicer vehicles at the best value with great service. Remember that used car dealers are selling used cars. These are not perfect; they have their own unique issues no matter how slight they may be. Keep in mind that their time on the road comes with all of the potential hazards ranging from accidents to abuse.
The job of a good used-car dealer is to not resell salvaged, flood damaged, lemon law throwbacks, or those with unknown miles or cars with irreparable problems. A dealer must look through all the used cars, pick out the best available ones, do a thorough reconditioning, and keep them priced within the current market, all while trying to turn a profit.
That can be a daunting task for many used car dealers, who get last dibs at used-car auctions and so get stuck with older inventory. New-car dealers usually keep trade-ins that are in the best condition. VIP Autos has long-term relationships that allow it to get the best trades directly. The vehicles we don’t want for our customers, we send to auctions. Every used vehicle is likely to have its share of problems. The key is to find a dealer who recognizes those problems and is adept at addressing them so you won’t have to.

Richard Perry is The Hemet Car Guy and owner of VIP Autos in Hemet. For more information, visit

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