If any buy-here, pay-here operators were fans of the HBO comedy program “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” they might not be any longer after the host’s unflattering portrayal of subprime auto financing, and in particular BHPH dealerships.
The nearly 18-minute segment recounted the story of a vehicle repossessed and resold multiple times, revisited the series published by The Los Angeles Times that triggered significant legislation in California, and included snippets of comments that Ken Shilson, the president and founder of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers, made during the annual conference hosted by DBA International earlier this summer.
Before operators get too discouraged about being negatively portrayed, BHPH Report found a consumer who has greatly benefitted from the “transportation solution,” as Shilson likes to put it, that dealerships with related finance companies can provide individuals with badly bruised credit histories.
And the anecdote came from a story posted earlier this year by sister publication SubPrime Auto Finance News.
The individual, who was listed as Joy in the comments section and verified by BHPH Report, indicated that delivery came through a DriveTime dealership. One of DriveTime’s former top executives, Mark Sauder, was recently inducted into the NABD Hall of Fame.
Joy recollected, “DriveTime is great if you are responsible. I went to DriveTime because my heart broke every time my son cried because it was too cold to sit at the bus stop.
“My credit was so bad, I was surprised they gave me a car. When I was young I maxed out a bunch on credit cards and was evicted twice. I wouldn't give that person a car. I only had a job for a couple of months, but my baby was crying. So I went to them, and they saved me,” Joy continued.
Joy did some due diligence when selecting a vehicle, too.
“I took my car to two mechanics to be on the safe side. My car was great. It only needed one fix and they paid for it,” Joy wrote in the comments section of this report.
Another portion of the HBO show segment explained how a vehicle with a wholesale value of about $3,500 would cost someone buying from a BHPH operator many times that figure because of interest and the length of the contract.
Joy said, “Having a car has allowed me to go to school, so now I can afford the payments a little better. But I'm not really angry because even though I will pay double for the car, without them I would not have a car at all.”
Joy also touched on one of the most difficult parts of the BHPH business that the HBO segment didn’t paint favorably, either.
When referencing collections, Joy added, “If anyone owed me money, I’d call them all day also. That’s just a given. I don’t understand why people complain so much.”
If you haven’t seen the HBO show material, it’s available here and in the window at the top of this page.
For BHPH dealers who need more encouragement from fellow operators and industry experts, NABD’s next event could be the remedy.
NABD recently released details of its upcoming BHPH Conference set for the first days of November.
The conference, whose theme is “Best Practices to Succeed Now,” is designed for both new and experienced operators. The event marks the 13th annual fall conference hosted by NABD, which is the largest used-vehicle special interest group for BHPH operators with more than 13,000 members.
The conference — to be held Nov. 1-3 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. — features dual-track workshop sessions that will focus on best operating practices, compliance, technology and new developments that operators must learn in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive subprime auto finance market.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their families and enjoy one of the nation’s most popular destinations. NABD has arranged discounted room rates with no resort fees in an effort to make it affordable for everyone. Early registration and member discounts are available, while supplies last, by calling NABD at (832) 767-4759 or going online to www.bhphinfo.com.
A conference agenda and speaker information have been posted and will be updated on the NABD website at www.bhphinfo.com. Attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to register soon while space is still available.