Barry Jackson, owner of Sandy Springs Toyota in suburban Atlanta, says getting his used-car customers financed requires "more."
More prodding of customers for bigger down payments. More verification of income and residency. More effort to match customers with the right used car or truck.
The result? More used-vehicle sales.
Jackson sells 125 used cars and trucks a month, 25 percent more than he sold a year ago. That helps offset slumping new-car sales of 145 units per month, down 40 percent from a year earlier. "We've always had a good relationship with the bank, and that's paying off," he adds.
Like many franchised dealers, Jackson depends heavily on used-car operations as sales of new vehicles falter. But with many lenders backing away from subprime loans, dealers are finding that used-vehicle financing takes a lot more work than it used to.
Documentation requirements by lenders are heavy, Jackson says. "Proof of income, proof of residency — things they would ask of someone with bad credit but would waive if someone had good credit — they're asking for it now," he says.