Car-Mart’s Vehicle Buying Process

When it comes to buying vehicles, Car-Mart takes a meticulous approach to selecting vehicles it will purchase to sell to its customers.

Bruce Lynch, Vice President of Inventory.

“Our car-buying process is pretty thorough and it’s with the customer in mind,” says Bruce Lynch, Car-Mart’s Vice President of Inventory. “We are very careful and judicious about the vehicles we buy.”

Car-Mart’s goal is to sell the very best used vehicles. The company has developed a detailed and exhaustive procedure for testing vehicles before purchase. Additionally, Car-Mart’s Purchasing Agents – the associates who buy the vehicles – are certified, automotive professionals who participate in extensive training in vehicle inspections.

Bottom line, each vehicle must meet stringent requirements before it becomes a Car-Mart vehicle.

Bruce Lynch, Vice President of Inventory, checking the tires, brakes, and wheel well of a vehicle.
Bruce Lynch, Vice President of Inventory, checking the tires, brakes, and wheel well of a vehicle.
From the exterior to the interior and everywhere in between

Tires, wheels, brakes, turn signals, ignition, engine, transmission, steering wheel, windshield, windows, body, paint, and seats. All are carefully scrutinized by a Car-Mart Purchasing Agent.

Car-Mart’s 72-point checklist guides its car buyers on items to examine as part of the pre-purchase inspection. Some questions on the list include:

  • Underneath the vehicle, is there rust, oil/transmission leaks?
  • Does the oil from the dipstick have a coffee or milk color?
  • Any smell in the interior?
  • Is there any white or blue smoke from the exhaust?
  • Is there a clunk or jolt when you come to a stop?
  • Does the steering wheel have a notable free play?
  • Is there any brake pedal pulsation or steering vibration during braking?

“We also won’t buy vehicles over a certain mileage or age, or with unquestionable mechanical issues,” adds Bruce, who started at Car-Mart as a Lot Attendant where he learned all about the intricate features of a vehicle.

Drive Cycle

Each vehicle is given an extensive test drive at various speeds – 30 mph, 50 mph, 70 mph – to see how the vehicle handles these different drive cycles. “It’s a pretty lengthy and thorough drive,” says Bruce. “We also drive the car in the city and out on the highway to see how it handles. We pay attention to the brakes and how the vehicle handles turning corners. That’s just for starters.’’

Once the vehicle passes the comprehensive inspection – 72-point checklist and driving test – the vehicle is delivered to the Car-Mart dealership where the manager checks the vehicle again using the same inspection list and driving test. “It’s important the manager knows the car so they can best tell a customer about it,” Bruce says.

Finally, the vehicle is detailed – a 15-step process and very thorough deep clean. “There’s a difference between a cleaned car and a detailed car,” says Bruce. “A cleaned car looks good. But a detailed car is as clean as it’s going to be. We clean things most people wouldn’t notice such as the mirror on the visor. We pull out the spare tire and jack and clean them. The detail is in the little things.”

Bruce Lynch, Vice President of Inventory, checking the oil of a vehicle.
Bruce Lynch, Vice President of Inventory, checking the oil of a vehicle. Car-Mart checks all of the fluids in a vehicle.
Hand-selected for Car-Mart customers

“Our vehicle selection and inspection process has a personal touch to it. We’re working directly for our customers and we want to make sure they are happy,” says Bruce.

“We cherry-pick the vehicles we buy for our customers,” Bruce concludes. “We want the best of the best. We hand select those vehicles that will be good for our customers. And, we’re looking for those cars that have a wow factor.”

At Car-Mart, you can rest assured you’ll find a reliable and dependable vehicle to fit almost any budget.  Check out Car-Mart’s large selection of quality, used vehicles today!

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