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How to purchase your next vehicle  Sep 15th, 2014 

  Being in the used car market can be scary if you are not sure what to look for. With the cost of new vehicles being so high and the depreciation once they drive off the lot, most shoppers search for a used car.  Although most people feel that buying a used car is the way to go, you have to make sure the vehicle you pick is not “someone else’s problem”. You must do your homework before you purchase a vehicle that has preexisting issues that you as the new owner must take on.  Below is a list of what to look out for in making sure the used car you want to buy is in sound, operating condition.

  When you find a vehicle that you are interested in take it for a thorough test drive.  Make sure that you test the vehicle in city driving and highway driving. Get a feel for the steering and the brakes in both situations. Once operating the vehicle at a steady speed listen closely to see if the engine is running smoothly. When you accelerate from a stop make sure there is no hesitation. Make sure that you are listening carefully to any noises that might appear. Also, make sure you do not feel any vibration in either the steering wheel or through the seat.  Check the options in the vehicle to make sure they work. Now is the time to make sure the wipers, radio, a/c and heat function as they should. Any noises or other issues you feel during a test drive should be brought to the salesman’s attention.

  While test driving the car, make time to check if it is leaking any fluids. Sear for a clean space to park the car, leave the engine running and open the hood.  Make sure the engine is clean and that there are no signs of any fluids leaking on to the pavement. Besides the water condensation that will drip when the a/c is running, any signs of fluid leaks should be brought to the dealer’s attention. That would be something that needs to be repaired.

  Checking out the interior and exterior of a vehicle can tell you how the car has been treated during its life. You always want to make sure that the inside and outside of the vehicle tell the same story. For example, if you find a vehicle with fairly low miles yet the interior is fairly worn, make sure the mileage is correct.  Now is also the time to open the doors, hood, trunk etc. to look for any cosmetic repairs.  Buying a vehicle that has been is a minor accident or had paint work should not be a deal breaker. You just want to make sure that the repairs look like they were done by a professional. If you still see visible signs of collision damage after a vehicle has been repaired find out why. Also make sure you examine closely the underside of the vehicle for rust.  Finding bubbling rust can only bring you more trouble down the road if not taken care of properly.

  If there is a certain vehicle you are looking for make sure you do your homework on it. Check to see if there are any common problems or issues with a certain model. Check on the internet to see what problems other owners might be having. Make sure those items are addressed on the vehicle you are looking at.

  See if the vehicle has been inspected or checked out by a mechanic. Most reputable dealers will have the vehicle inspected to make sure that it is ready to sell. If not, try to stop by a trusted mechanic while out on your test drive.  A mechanic can help you detect if the car has hidden or prior damages and will also help you to determine if the vehicle is worth its asking price.

  Check the glove box to see if there are any receipts from previous service.  Most reputable car dealers will offer warranties that will extend beyond the original car coverage.

  Verify that the VIN matches all of your paper work and has not been tampered with on the vehicle. Making sure that the paperwork all matches now can save you loads of trouble especially if the vehicle where to turn out to be stolen.

  You can also ask for vehicle history reports (Carfax) on the car because this will enable you expose any issues such as title problems, ownership history, previous accidents and service points. A good car dealership will be happy to provide you with these reports on the car you are interested in.

  In order to avoid a purchase you will regret – make sure to take the time that you need to make a final decision but also consider some great deals won’t last for days on end.

 
 
 
CIADA Awards Deal Depot Quality Dealer of the Year for 2014  Sep 12th, 2014 

Carolinas Independent Automobile Dealers Association (CIADA) which represents independent used vehicle dealers located in North Carolina and South Carolina recently presented its 2014 QUALITY DEALER OF THE YEAR AWARD to Darla Booher of Deal Depot, Inc.  The award was presented during the annual the CIADA Dealer Convention’s Banquet and Gala Dinner held at the Marriott Grande Dunes Resort & Spa in Myrtle Beach South Carolina August 9th, 2014.

There are over 8000 independent dealers in North and South Carolina, over 1200 of which are CIADA members. Ms. Booher was selected from the field based on her many qualifying business attributes  including her community involvement, charitable contributions and solid business reputation with her customers, Greer community leaders and her staff.  Ms. Booher is also one of less than 100 dealers nationwide to be a Certified Master Dealer. She has been in the automotive business for over 25 years working for franchise and independent dealers before making the transition to owning her own dealership shortly after the attacks of September 11th 2001. Starting her business with a loan of $25,000, 12 cars and one employee, Ms. Booher has grown the business to three locations and currently employs 15 people, many of whom have worked for her for over 5 years of the 12 years in business. Ms. Booher says “A combination of employee retention and great customer satisfaction is the foundation on which Deal Depot, Inc. was built.”

Ms. Booher, who is an active member of New Hope Freedom Church in Greer asked that “All praise and glory be given to GOD, thru whom all things are possible.” during her acceptance speech. 

Present at the awards ceremony was the person she credits with being key to her success, her mentor Mr. Billy McCullough of Auto Market in Greer. She gave special recognition to him after receiving the award.  “Mr. McCullough believed in me from the beginning when others were not so sure. I will forever be grateful.  He has been a great friend and mentor, always there for me with advice and counsel. You couldn’t ask for a better business mentor!”

Also present at the awards ceremony were many of Ms. Booher’s staff who travelled to Myrtle Beach to be present at the awards ceremony. Ms Booher credited her staff for their excellent character, quoting Col. Kevin Schewdo (retired) the Director of SC DMV as to the three C’s of great character you want in your staff:  “Courtesy, Competence and Commitment” … she added 2 of her own C’s with “Caring and Courageous”, saying it takes courage to stand up for what is right in today’s business environment.

Ms. Booher also received the Chairman’s award sponsored by Next Gear. This award is presented to a few dealers with several years in business while maintaining outstanding business practices and a high average sales volume.

Darla has an active role with the CIADA as the V.P. of the Executive Committee. She has served on the Executive Committee now for 3 years prior serving as Secretary, Treasurer and VP; one year in each position.

Ms. Booher’s niece, Elizabeth Emery of Greer also won an award at the awards gala. She was presented with the 2014 CIADA Scholarship award based on her outstanding academic achievement and letters of recommendation from Greer High School and Greer community leaders. Ms. Emery will begin her freshman year at University of South Carolina School of Nursing in Columbia SC in August 2014.