Nik Klassen wants Cochrane vehicle shoppers to feel comfortable as soon as they enter House of Cars.
“The first thing you should experience when coming through our door is a burst of energy,” he says. “You’ll be greeted by a bunch of smiles from the people around you, and we’ll be excited to meet you.”
Klassen, a House of Cars owner and general manager, relishes the opportunity to provide pressure-free service to prospective buyers, and points out that the vehicle sales industry in general has sometimes received a bad rap.
“I think previous generations just chose to do business in different ways than how I want to go about it,” he explains. “I want to show people how a dealership can be run by giving them the service they deserve.”
House of Cars, takes pride in removing the hassle from used vehicle purchasing, from pre-approval to driving off the lot – a process, Klassen says, that can take as little as 10 minutes.
“If you come by for a certain vehicle, we’ll show it to you, go on a test drive and hopefully agree on numbers. It’s very easy,” he says, adding it’s advisable to secure pre-approval for buyers seeking financing.
To that end, House of Cars works with 25 lenders to ensure customers with various rates of credit can get into the vehicle they’ve chosen.
“Whether it’s prime or subprime, we have banks in place to accompany all different types of credit,” says Klassen.
And, if a particular vehicle isn’t on the Cochrane lot, House of Cars can leverage an inventory of more than 1,100 cars and trucks from their 15 Alberta locations. Klassen also notes that, in the current market, deciding to buy a used vehicle can often be a better financial investment than buying new.
“There’s a lot of supply to choose from,” he says, highlighting House of Cars’ breadth of makes and models. “You save quite a bit up front, and you don’t get the depreciation that hits hardest in the first two years of a brand-new vehicle.”
For sellers, a popular House of Cars feature is the Park & Sell consignment program. Essentially, an owner looking to sell simply parks their vehicle on the dealership’s lot, and Klassen and his staff – which is 95% local – do the actual selling.
“You don’t have to deal with tire-kickers or people trying to scam you,” says Klassen. “You can just leave it to us and come pick up the cheque when it’s sold.”
Overall, House of Cars’ approach is one that’s already found an enthusiastic community in Cochrane, and Klassen says he’s delighted to have the business in the city.
“Cochrane has developed a lot,” he says. “We’ve been talking to a lot of locals to figure out what’s been missing here. This is exactly what’s been missing.”
House of Cars, located at 544 Railway St, is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. They can be reached by calling (587) 441-3612, and inventory can be browsed on their website.
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