Please give my readers a history of Paul West Used Cars. How long has your car dealership been in business?
Paul West Used Cars started in 1987 as Paul West Ford. However, in 1995 there was a need for secondary financing in Gainesville, FL and after attending a BHPH convention Paul West decided to give it a go. By 1999 things were going so well that a gentlemen moseyed on in to the dealership and offered to buy out the dealership. Paul West took the offer and retired early. The new owners didn’t want to have any engagement in the secondary financing world and let everyone go in that department including Paul West’s right hand man, Paul Nassoiy.
Once Paul West heard the news he came over and encouraged Paul Nassoiy to get his dealer license and open it back up in his name. By 2000, Paul Nassoiy had his dealers license and secured backing from a bank in New York and Paul West Used Cars was born.
We bring to business over 40 years experience in the Automobile industry and are unique to the BHPH industry by offering newer lower mileage vehicles.
Does your dealership primarily sell domestic or foreign used cars? Or would you say it’s a mix of both?
We specialize in selling newer model lower mileage cars, trucks, vans, and suv’s. We’re not too picky on the manufacturer (Chevy, Ford, Honda, Toyota.. etc) although there are some manufacturers we do tend to steer away from. We also ask our customers for recommendations on vehicles they are looking currently looking for to help keep our inventory up to date and trendy. Above all else is clean low mileage vehicles.
If a person has just declared bankruptcy and they want to buy a vehicle, what do you suggest they do?
If a person has just declared for bankruptcy it is recommended they get approval from their trustee before doing any car shopping. Our continued goal is to help people improve their credit from where it is today so following all the directions from the court and the trustee during that bankruptcy period is critical.
We handle each customer on an individual basis, but in general PWUC prefers that the bankruptcy has been discharged which means it has been finalized and satisfied through the court system allowing the consumer to begin reestablishing his/her credit.
Should a consumer run their own credit report before they purchase a used car?
It is always wise to have a good understanding of what is on your credit before you purchase anything that you would have to borrow money to get. Every consumer is legally allowed one free credit report a year or there are several other ways to obtain your credit report such as True Credit who monitors all 3 Credit Bureaus for you. Keep in mind though every time you get your credit run it could reduce your score so be mindful of that before you have everyone in town run your credit.
For us as a dealership though it is not required that you run your credit before walking in the door.
Should a consumer bring any documentation with them before they walk into the car dealership?
Any documents that show who the consumer is, what they do, where they live, and how they get paid is always nice to have if you are seriously considering buying a car. Some dealerships may require them and some won’t, but here is a short list of the documents we require:
- Current Pay Stubs
- Utility Bill
- Two pieces of mail
- Driver’s License
If you’re divorced and as a result of that divorce have bad credit, what tips would you offer the consumer on how to obtain a loan?
We always encourage people to never give up and never stop striving for their best. Bad things can happen to anybody. Murphy’s Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) has visited all of us at one point or another in our lives, but if we keep believing we can do it, if we keep pushing forward, and we never give up then nothing can keep us down forever.
At Paul West, we’ve worked through all types of situations with consumers. The best approach when you are in these types of situation is being open and honest. Here is the situation I’m in and what I’m working so how can you as a dealer help? Honesty is the best policy.
I’ll never forget a situation when we first started in the buy here pay here industry a guy comes in and is in one of the worst situations I have ever seen. He was begging me for a car but the situation at hand said he couldn’t do it. All signs pointed that there was no way possible for him to afford the car, keep the car, or pay for the car so we told him we just couldn’t help right now and sent him on his way. Regardless of selling a car it is our company policy to make sure you can afford the car before we put you in the car. But Mr. Brown came back the next day and assured me he could do it. I looked at everything again and said Mr. Brown there is just no way you’re cutting it too close, I’m sorry there just isn’t a way please understand and he left. He came back again on the 3rd day and said I promise you I can do it, I won’t let you down, you’ll see! So I took a chance and gave him the car. I’ll never forget he never missed a payment and over the years has bought 3 vehicles from us. Today Mr. Brown gets his credit from his bank and buys his cars and Mr. Brown you were right we never forgot you. Cheers to you Mr. Brown for showing us early on that sometimes when everything says no that it’s still possible.
What are some common buy here pay here misconceptions the public should be aware of?
BHPH Dealerships Finance everyone – This is a misconception I get all the time. It is true that most Buy Here Pay Here Dealers don’t have to go through the banks to get loans approved, but that doesn’t mean they finance every single person that walks in the door. We are here to help build, start, and rebuild people’s credit but that doesn’t mean we have to loan money to everyone. Realize when you go to visit a BHPH dealership you’re talking to the bank in person.
BHPH cars are junk – Another good one. Anything you buy whether new or used can have problems. While it is our policy here to have a mechanic look at each car before it goes up front for sale nothing can be guaranteed. In fact we don’t ever use the word guaranteed here because of that misconception. In addition to driving the car with our customers and not having any issues, we also offer a 3 month or 3,000 mile personal warranty on all our financed cars to help during this breaking in period. We also suggest checking the reviews on each dealership you are considering buying a car from to get a feel for how they handle problems and their relationship to their customers as well.
BHPH’s are rip offs – BHPH dealers prices can have a wide variety of ranges. Some are fair and some aren’t. It’s always important to do your homework before you step out on a car lot. Thankfully, the internet and sites like Kelly Blue Book have helped consumers tremendously over the years with the ability of knowing what every car is worth from trade in to retail value. A little research can go a long way. It is important for consumers to remember though that the BHPH dealer is usually the one fronting the money for you to get the car so prices can be higher because of that. We always recommend if possible to go to your local bank and try and get approved through them first. Worse case they say no and you need BHPH financing, but banks especially credit unions are finding more and more ways to help consumers.
This is our twenty-eight interview in our “1000 Interview Challenge” If your interested in an interview, please contact me.
This interview was conducted by Shane McC. Shane currently is attending RISD studying computer programming. He enjoys traveling and plays hockey. He played for the Boston Junior Bruins of the EJHL during the 01-02 season. You can follow him on Google+