Driven To Give People Their Own Wheels

By Janee Law

jlaw@longislandergroup.com

Eric Outcalt, fresh start program coordinator at Certi-Care Pre Owned of Huntington, stands next to a 2013 Honda Accord, which is a customer favorite at the Huntington Station dealership.

Eric Outcalt, fresh start program coordinator at Certi-Care Pre Owned of Huntington, stands next to a 2013 Honda Accord, which is a customer favorite at the Huntington Station dealership.

Anxiety combines with excitement when car buyers walk into dealerships, hoping to buy their dream cars without getting misled to spend more than what is in their budgets or turned away because of the status of their credit.

At Certi-Care Pre Owned of Huntington, a division of Huntington Honda, the staff works hard to ease that tension.

“We don’t pass judgment,” said Eric Outcalt, the fresh start program coordinator at Certi-Care. “A bad credit circumstance is a circumstance. It’s not a reflection of you as a person. It’s generally an outside force applied not an inside force released.”

To get customers in a car, Certi-Care works with clients to find a way to get them financing.

“As long as a customer can prove that they have enough income to support the loan, they can drive out with a car,” said Outcalt, 54, of Coram.

Outcalt said customers are not turned away because of bad credit.

“Everybody gets to drive. If they walk through the door and they have a need, they get what they came for,” he continued.

Certi-Care, located at 147 E. Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, sells not only Hondas, but all makes and models, including Cadillacs, Acuras, Fiats, Mercedes-Benz and more, Outcalt said.

As opposed to Honda-certified cars, which have 7-year, 100,000-mile warranties, Certi-Care vehicles have 10-year, 125,000-mile powertrain warranties.

“You get 24-hour roadside assistance, emergency trip interruption protection, a CarFax vehicle history and we cover the powertrain prep to 125,000 miles,” Outcalt said. “It’s a pretty inclusive package and the customers have major benefits when they buy a pre-owned car from us.”

With prices ranging from $6,000-$60,000, Certi-Care sells more than 150 cars a month, Outcalt said. A customer favorite is the Honda Accord and, now that the weather is changing, the Honda CRV small SUV is also a big seller.

For Honda Accords from 2009 to the latest models that have 80,000 miles or less, a customer can pay less than $12,000, said Outcalt.

“This is what I enjoy the most, because I’m giving back a little bit making something happen for someone who didn’t think could happen,” Outcalt said. “I’m truly a problem-solver at my end of the business and that’s very gratifying.”

Owned by Huntington Honda for more than 10 years, the building can fit as many as 30 cars inside for those harsh times during the winter. It became Certi-Care a year ago.

For the holidays, customers can receive a $500 value when buying a car before the end of the year, along with a free remote-start when mentioning the Certi-Care TV ad.

“People are concerned, as they should be, about where to buy a car,” Outcalt said. “If they make this their first stop, they’ll certainly make it their last stop. It’s a different place. It’s a different experience.”