When we say reputable car dealership, what do we mean?

I found myself in my clients shoes last month when I went looking for used Honda CR-V’s to replace my Honda Accord coupe. I love to travel, camp, fish, canoe, and do jobs around the house so a larger vehicle with storage space was what I was after. With gas prices currently at about $1.50/liter, I liked the idea of a 4-cylinder SUV.

Through Craigslist, I found a vehicle that had been listed online for many months. It had all the specifications I wanted and the price was in my budget. I followed the ad to the dealers website and put in a frugal yet doable offer. I was called the next day by the dealer saying he would accept my offer and asked for an appointment. I set it for two days later.

When I arrived at the dealership, there wasn’t anywhere to park at this compact, family-run, Surrey dealership. After I found a spot near an old shed, I went inside and met the man whom I talked with on the phone and he gave me the keys to the vehicle. My first impression of the vehicle’s condition was satisfying as I walked over to it  but as I made my way to the back of the car I saw a cracked tail light and a creased rear quarter panel (the area above the rear bumper on the side, behind the rear passenger door). Looking underneath I also discovered that the muffler had been backed into and put a kink in the exhaust pipes. I know this because I did this on my old CR-V (oops).

The salesman told me there was no in-store warranty – it was through a third-party company I had never heard of  (and I sell warranties…)

My immediate reaction to seeing the damage was “this is why this vehicle has been sitting on the lot since September!” (it was mid May now) After a short test drive, alone, and reviewing the history, the salesman met me at the vehicle and offered to fix the tail-light.  I left saying I would have to consider the damage before proceeding, (I figured the cost of the repairs to be about $800)

A small aside – When people say they have to “think about it”, they usually aren’t going home to think about it. It’s code for “I’m not sold yet and don’t know where to go from here”. I was no different. I didn’t think he was going to fix the damage because if he would then I figured he would have by now. A good sales person will take “I need to think about it” and turn it into something tangible to work with – be it price, repairs, warranty, financing changes, or service. Most people will proceed if their conditions our met.

The difference between this small, family-run, non-franchised dealership and the one I work at, Jim Pattison Toyota,  is the quality of our vehicles and service of our staff. When you come into my store to look at a new or used vehicle, you will find it fully detailed and cleaned, fueled up, with all necessary reconditioning completed. There will be a comprehensive safety inspection by a licence mechanic with all any necessary safety concerns documented and repaired. Every vehicle also comes with a 30-day powertrain warranty where no other warranty exists and a 7-day exchange policy. It will be easily accessible and a knowledgeable person like myself will accompany you on a test drive to demonstrate all the unique features of the vehicle. After you will be treated to a beverage of your choice while we go over the paperwork.

These services are what our clients expect and has become our reputation. Non-reputable dealerships are usually buying the vehicles that are traded in at reputable dealerships that reputable dealerships don’t want because selling them at their safety standard would be too expensive and to not repair it would compromise their reputation.

If you want to work with a reputable sales person, then give me a call! I’d be delighted to help.




Ryan McVeigh




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