Caleb Unruh is not your typical used car salesman, for several reasons.
His background, for one: When it became clear that his initial dream of being a missionary pilot wasn’t the right path for him, he looked around for a job that would support his family: his wife, Nicole, son, Asher, and daughter, Aspen (plus their dog, Archer).
Caleb, who grew up in a strong Christian family and counts his early decision to follow Jesus as “the best decision I ever made,” still wanted his work to be meaningful. “Isaiah 40:8 says, ‘The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.’ I love how this verse puts the journey we are all on in perspective. It allows me to refocus on what really matters, which is God’s eternal kingdom.”
So, for Caleb as well as the rest of the staff, selling donated cars at UGM Motors means a lot more than a paycheck. “We are here to support UGM financially so that lives are changed, and we couldn’t do this without the support of our community. We take pride in being able to ‘revive’ some of these cars so that we can offer our customers decent cars at an affordable price.”
Caleb’s first responsibility is to assist customers who come into the showroom. “It is fun for me to meet new people from all different walks of life each day. You never know who is going to walk through that door and what their story is.”
Sharing the impact of their purchase with customers helps staffers remember their job isn’t to make the sale for its own sake: “Telling customers about UGM and our heart for the homeless and reaching others for Christ really helps to keep our mission at the forefront of my mind.”
Caleb also helps maintain the UGM Motors website and its online inventory of vehicles available for purchase. That means he also ends up on the phone with folks all around the country asking questions about cars he’s posted online.
While he knows a lot about all the cars on the lot, Caleb doesn’t claim to be the biggest “car guy”: “I’ve never really been a car fanatic like some people I work with,” he says. He does love motorcycles, however, and is the first to volunteer to test drive a new donation.
But what really sets Caleb and his colleagues apart from the stereotype of a used car salesman is the fact that Christ-like values of integrity and truth are first and foremost in their relationship with buyers. They know used cars always come with risks, and that’s why they provide customers with full disclosure of all the issues found during evaluation and repair of the donated cars. Caleb tries to match buyers with a car that is truly right for them, rather than the most expensive one.
And he knows what you can reasonably expect from your car shop once you've purchased your vehicle. He provided five questions to which you as a customer have a right to get an answer from your service shop.
Five questions to ask your mechanic
1. Can I have an estimate?
Ask your mechanic for an estimate before the work is performed. Then, for one thing, you’ll be prepared for how much it will cost. For another, it means the shop will give you a call if anything is going to change or if they need to perform more work.
2. Do you have a warranty on parts and labor?
Many shops, including UGM Motors, will warranty the work they do and even the parts they install. There are times when a repair will fail and you can fall back on a warranty.
3. What repairs are absolutely necessary?
If you’re going to an honest shop, they will tell you what needs to be repaired immediately and what can wait. Many things don’t require immediate attention and can be put off for a while if you’re on a tight budget.
4. Can you show me what’s wrong?
Any upstanding shop will be happy to show you exactly what’s wrong with your car and what they are doing to it. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about your vehicle and how to maintain it well.
5. What scheduled maintenance is coming up?
Each vehicle is different when it comes to scheduled maintenance. Be sure to ask your shop what will need to be done with your vehicle and when.
You can help the homeless by getting your car serviced at UGM Motors, buying a vehicle, or even donating one! Click below for more information about making a tax-deductible vehicle donation.