I'm trying to get some dealer input about CAC instead of just input from CAC. They want $10k and tell me that it's a great program with the right inventory, but according to their public financials the average dealer only does 3 CAC deals per mo. I have a small lot located in Louisiana and it's primarily just a Special Finance Store. We currently primarily do RTO/LTO, but looking at CAC to make some front end profit instead of going in the hole on every one and depending on the revenue stream. I've used DSC's RTO/LTO line and it was awful, I've used Finance Express and we never completed a deal with them. I used a company called Fairway Lending out of Duluth, GA until they went bust, and they were great as long as the inventory fit the program. When I find a good program, I buy inventory that best fits their program. Any input or any other finance company suggestions would be great.
It really takes a committment to the program, but I believe that anybody that is willing to work the program can make it on it. Just be careful with your buying and structure good deals. I've been on the program since around Nov,2011, and I really like it. Sometimes it is tough to structure a deal, but I've made good upfront profits on everything that I've delivered. Just make sure that you send in clean deals, and they will fund immediately. I would say to contact a few CAC veterans and they will be able to give you some great long term advice. I'm in it for the long term, but I honestly don't have any long term experience with them yet. The most important thing to remember is to make sure that you steal deals, and put quality deals together that will pay. Remember, it's your money.
There is a lot of good feedback above, both pro and con. I have talked with individuals who say they have negotiated the buy in at $5K or below. I can't confirm this because I have no intentions of using CAC. My understanding is that you need to have a customer base with fairly good credit. If you suffer a high repo rate because of the quality of customer, or don't aggressively put deals in the program I don't think it you will benefit from using CAC. I have a small lot and don’t turn enough cars to make it worthwhile. My customer base can hardly get cars from BHPH lots. On the other hand I have better luck with lenders who just pay you up front. There's no question how much your making or when. I suggest you evaluate your business. Can you turn enough cars? How credit worthy is your average customer? Are you willing to do the work to aggressively put customers in the program. CAC is what it is and benefits some and not others.
You do not need customers with good credit at all with CAC.You can make money with CAC with any quality of customer. Each customer is rated based on their credit and other factors, and this determines the advance that you receive. You may receive a $4k advance with one customer and $8k advance on the same car with 2 different customers. It is up to you to structure the deal. If you're into the deal for $6k, then you would basically need $3k down and make $1k upfront, or collect $1k down with deal 2 and make $3k upfront. The backend may be $500-$2k, with the backend potential of $3k-$9k backend if the deal pays out 100%. So if you just get a turndown from a regular finance source, you could still possibly structure a deal with 2-4k down. You control the deal, but you have got to do quality deals or it can hurt you in the long run. Any experienced BHPH dealer knows this already. You're basically just using CAC's money to deliver deals. The main difference is that my dealership can deliver $1-$2mil. in deals with CAC this year, and maybe underwrite only $200-$600k of my own deals this year. It just makes more deals possible for us. They collect the CAC deals for my portfolio, and I collect my own deals. Sure they make 20% to collect, and other reasonable fees, but if you've even done a few thousand BHPH or RTO/LTO deals, you really don't mind giving up 20% for someone else to collect some. I figure that there's plenty of people that need vehicles in every market. It's just a matter of putting the right deals together.
My rep is Andi White, she seems like a good one although I just signed and am in the process of doing my first deal now so it`s a bit early to tell. I am not sure where you are geographically and I am sure they all have territory`s they cover. I would go over his head and call the company direct if you feel you are that strong of a candidate for hem.
Thanks Michael for clarifying my post. It sounds like you’re in a good position to make use of CAC. Since you seem to have a better handle on how the program works, let me ask a question. My independent dealership sells less than $1 Million year. Of those sales, about half are cash. My average down payment is about $600, except during tax season and even then those customers are diminishing. My average customer has a credit score of about 500. Considering the buy in of $10,000 do you think I could make money with CAC’s program? I need all the help I can get. Thanks.
You can absolutely make money with CAC if you are willing to commit to the program. I'm a small dealership too. My average down payment was around $600-$1,500 before CAC. My average inventory was probably $1-3.5k acv vehicles. I've never had any luck with cash sales. I may move 5% cash deals. Because I mostly steal deals, my inventory tends to be a little more edgy than a retail lot, so I end up getting nickle and dimed to death on a cash deal and just send those customers down the road. I've found that a cash customer or a good credit customer has done the most research, and wants to cherry pick the best deal in town. I tell customers on the telephone that if they're looking for the best price in town, or the cleanest car in town, they'll always be able to find a better deal, but if they need a good reliable vehicle and are willing to make their payments, then we're the best in our market. When I started using CAC, I began to carry vehicles with an average acv of $3-$8k. If I have a higher quality inventory, then I'm able to deliver a higher quality deal. Before, I would be lucky to sell a 99-02 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and now I've got an 05 and 06 Jeep Grand Cherokee on my lot. I can now sell an 06 Cobalt, when before I was lucky to move an 03 Cavalier, an 03 Suburban instead of a 99, etc. etc. You will still need to steal deals when you buy vehicles, but you're able to deliver a lot more vehicle. I would say that the $10k investment is absolutely worth it, or you could look at Option B which doesn't require anything upfront, but it can make it more difficult to deliver as many deals because you start as a 4 rated dealer vs. a 3 rated dealer. Good luck, you'll enjoy the program if you sign up. Just make sure that you steal deals on vehicles, and that you deliver quality deals. One other thing that you'll notice when you carry a higher quality vehicle is that the guy that you saw with $1,000 last month will somehow be able to come up with $3k down when you've got the vehicle that he reallly wants, instead of just another ride.
Congrats on your success. We are also a small independent dealer. Mostly BHPH, very few cash deals (same scenario you described with cash.) We just signed on with CAC. I have a question for you. How are you pricing your vehicles? I was told to take the blackbook clean retail and add up to $2500. The CAPS system confirms this. However, since making this change we have sold -0- cars in a month - and we normally do 3-5 even in slow times. The customers are not liking our new pricing. Also, we were told not to advertise a price. That makes it increasingly difficult because to me, okay if I'm shopping for a car and I come across a website or drive up on a lot that doesn't have any pricing, I go to a different website or either I drive to another lot. I don't want to ask every price of every car with a salesperson and neither do my customers.
When I tell them $8,250 (what CAPS prices the car for) on a 2003 Honda Civic with 148k miles (I literally have that on my lot) the customer is in their car and gone before the "50" part comes out.
Another example I've got a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup reg cab 2wd now it only has 96k miles. But CAPS wants this truck priced at $12,325!!! Nada Retail (what we use to price with) is like $7,600 clean retail. How the hell do I explain this to a customer who has a phone in their hand and looks at a book value? They don't even have to look it up. They know it's crazy over priced.
I had one of my best customers laugh at me on the phone today when they asked about the price of a car we had on the lot. She's bought 3 cars and paid off 2 of them still paying on the other. This system is running off my business.
It has been a while since this was posted. I'm interested in hearing how it's going with Credit Acceptance from some of the people from this discussion.
I'm a very small dealer just signed up with them this week. It took me 3 years of going back and forth in my mind to finally decide to take the plunge.
For those of you looking for current info, here is the deal i was offered:
Option A: Pay the $9,850 up front and receive credit towards POS materials (signage, banners, etc) and 9 gps units paid for (you will want to use gps in each vehicle it gives you a bigger up front in most cases and helps your portfolio perform.)
Option B: $0 up front $95 per deal 1st 100 deals. HALF of the express check after closing first pool (100 cars.) Have to buy at least 2 gps units on your own up front.
The part that really made me hold up is they also charge $595 a month to access their system (which comes out of your back end) which is ridiculous in my opinion. I mean you're paying $10,000 to use them. You're also paying another $9,500 ($95 per car first 100) on the first pool. THEN they want to charge you $595 PLUS $1.99 PER CREDIT PULL! ($0.99 AFTER 500+ PER MONTH) to access a system that you cannot do the program without. It's pretty messed up really to charge that.
They also want you to use the Blackbook App for pricing cars - which is $50 a month. That too gets taken out of the backend.
SO when they are done slamming you with fees and charges, good luck with that backend. Which you ONLY GET IF YOUR PORTFOLIO MAINTAINS 70% OR BETTER PERFORMANCE!!!