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Used-car dealership

Report on [Small] Business Magazine

Used-car dealership (Toronto)

Rent: About $25,000 a month for 10,000 square feet

Construction and licences: Mandatory registration and application fees run about $1,000. Designing a lot, signs and other displays can cost upward of $40,000. Advertising can range to another $40,000

Staffing and insurance: Depending on the dealership's size, a sales and admin staff will run you about $50,000 a month

Initial inventory: $400,000 to $800,000 for enough low- to mid-range cars to get started

Total start-up costs: About $750,000 to get up and running. Once you make some sales, you can start boosting inventory through trade-ins

Where the money is: There's typically more money to be made on financing, insurance, service and parts than on actually selling the cars

Perils: High gas costs can render some vehicles, such as SUVs, harder to move. Increased consumer awareness means that squeezing more profit out of a sale becomes more difficult

Why do it: "Most dealers have a passion for cars, and they have since they were young," says a member of Ontario's used-car dealers' association

How to break even: Sell 10 $27,000 Honda Civics a month

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