car consultant

You could make a really good living becoming a car consultant.

A car consultant helps people who are considering buying a car, usually a used car.

Some car consultants also help people to pick out the perfect new car for their needs as well.

Do you love cars and pretty much know everything there is to know about which cars are worth buying and which ones are going to be duds?

Think about it – there is a reason why used car salesmen tend to have such a horrible reputation – because people often feel cheated when they go out to buy themselves a used car.

After all, the car you purchase off of a used car salesman may need new breaks, a new transmission, even a new motor.

It may have been through a major accident and then rebuilt.

Nothing can replace a qualified car consultant

While some information can be obtained by looking through CarFax vehicle reports, nothing can replace a qualified car consultant.

Especially when inspecting a used car as there are many things that simply cannot be seen by a layman.

Even when purchasing new cars, many people get flustered by all the choices.

Should they buy the Hyundai with the longer warranty or should they go for the Toyota with the better reputation?

What if they want to purchase an electric car? Which choice is the best option? All these questions are things that you may be called upon to answer as a car consultant.

How Much Can You Make?

The amount you can make as a car consultant varies widely, though it is not uncommon for car consultants to charge as much as $500 to $1,000 to inspect a used car that someone is considering buying.

This means that if you are good and can inspect say three to four cars a day you could easily take home in the neighborhood of $1,500-$3,000 per day.

Of course the catch is getting yourself to the point of being in demand and getting consistent work, however for those who can get it, being a car consultant can be extremely lucrative work.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

As mentioned previously, you can also offer your services to people who are considering a new car purchase.

You will sit down with them to discuss what it is they are interested in getting and then help them to figure out the best possible option for their needs.

This is likely however to be a lower paid job than that of a car consultant who inspects used cars.

In addition to this, another area you can work in as a car consultant is repairs.

If people feel like they get ripped off when they go to buy a used car, they feel doubly ripped off when they go into a garage and are told that there is a long laundry list of things that need repair.

Unfortunately, the average person simply doesn’t know enough to be able to say what is a real repair and what is the garage owner lining his own pockets.

Therefore, you can easily offer your services as a “second opinion” on such transactions, especially when the repairs in question may be costly to complete.

Finally, you may want to consider becoming an auto broker. Unlike a car consultant, a broker actually becomes a middle man. He negotiates a price on behalf of their client rather than simply providing the second opinion that many people might want.

The catch is that auto brokers may have to comply with state laws regarding car sales whereas as a car consultant, you are in essence a “car guy” who simply knows what to look for in a used car.

Qualifications / Requirements

Bottom line, to be a car consultant, you need to know more about cars than the average person.

There are no licensing requirements for becoming a car consultant and virtually anyone could hang out a shingle if they so desire.

However you are not likely to get business or stay in business very long if you can’t realistically offer your customers quality advice.

You should also check with your city hall as to the requirements for a sole proprietorship.

You may want to look into liability insurance in the event that you make a recommendation on a vehicle which later turns out to be a lemon.

First Steps to become a car consultant

Get yourself some experience in the car business. Go to mechanics school and learn everything there is to know about a variety of different car makes and keep learning about them.

You can just refer to yourself as a car consultant regardless of your experience.

But you are more likely to get business if you can show that you have experience to back up what you are saying.

In fact, many auto mechanics make extra money working on the side as a car consultant.

They offer their expert knowledge to long time customers who have come to trust them.

Resources

Gaebler: How to Start an Auto Consultants and Information Business – More basic information on the business of being a car consultant.

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association – This is more for those who are interested in becoming brokers than consultants; however there is a wealth of information here nonetheless.

ArticleAlley: Understanding the Auto Consulting Home Business – While this article is intended to get you to visit the consultant listed at the end of it, it does provide some useful information about the business of being an auto consultant.

Image by John Lloyd via Flickr
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Eric Hammer is a personal finance expert and writer based in Washington state.

Eric graduated from Excelsior College, a distance learning school accredited by the Middle States Association and the New York State Board of Regents (the same organizations that accredit Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, etc.).

Eric actually held lots of different jobs, including such varied positions as a sales clerk, paralegal, surveyor’s assistant, community rabbi and English teacher, to name just a few.

He has since learned how to manage money wisely and uses his experience to help others make smart financial decisions. Today, his work appears on sites like Demand Studios and Bright Hub.