To “Fee or not to fee?”

Bernard Motorcar Company is an independently owned and operated used car dealership located in Fort Mill, South Carolina Founded in 2009 by Brian Bernard with the company tagline, “wholesale inventory for retail”, Bernard Motorcar sought to provide pre-owned vehicles at a much lesser price than the competition could offer, hence the term wholesale. The dealership also set a precedent by not charging documentary fees charged by nearly all new and used dealerships, some in excess five or six hundred dollars.

Concept 

Attempting to change the ways consumers purchase a used car, the dealership wanted to give customers more car for less money and offer no documentary fees. They felt the company direction would be successful knowing the vehicles would be the profit center of the dealership, and not the extra fees. The wholesale inventory theme attracted customers who were looking for a “good car at a great price”. In lieu of making every vehicle perfect, Bernard Motorcar looked to provide a safe and dependable car, while giving options to the customer as to what additional reconditioning was desired.

Since the original concept, they have sold over 1,000 vehicles. The original reconditioning concept has changed slightly, as the vehicles are now more fully reconditioned, but still offering a product that is considered a wholesale purchase according to most valuation reports in the industry, such as Kelly Blue Book, NADA, and Carfax. Their vehicles also rank as “great deals” on the advertising sources Car Gurus and True Car, which rank their vehicles by value and price.

The standard of not charging documentary fees is a practice, however controversial, that has paid off in increased consumer business for the dealership and also falls in line with recent South Carolina court ruling in November 2015 regarding the charge of such fees in excess and requiring proof of cause to charge such fees.<ref>{{Cite web|title = SC Supreme Court rules against car dealership charging “closing fees”|url = http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article42950274.html|website = thestate|access-date = 2016-01-26}}</ref>

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