Prime Auto Imports in San Diego, CA

Share |


Selling cars, low pressure, financing, registering vehicles you purchased here, trade-ins, buying your car.


Established in 1991.

30 years ago, Shapour bought a car and sold it. Then, he bought another, then two. Not long after, he got a lot with a partner on El Cajon Boulevard. He opened Prime Auto by himself 23 years ago. Tony, his son, doesn't like business or cars, but he likes people. Together, they keep the lot pretty full and customers leaving with smiles on their faces, while Kaleai keeps the cars clean, safety-checked, and their batteries fresh. That's the goal anyway.

Prime Auto Imports

Dealer Info:

Phone(s):(619) 282-6060
Address:4540 Zion Ave, San Diego, CA, 92120
  • Monday: 9:30 am - 6:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 9:30 am - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday: 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday: 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Reviews on Prime Auto Imports

Kaley H. | 2015-04-23

I never thought i'd give a car dealership a 5 star rating, but this place is awesome! Tony and Shapour are great and their prices are very close to blue book. There is no pressure to buy a car. I came in a week ago to look at one car that I didn't end up getting and after my questions were answered I left without getting hassled to buy. I came in again yesterday and ended up buying another vehicle. They let me take the car to my mechanic for inspection and they fixed some of the small issues the car had. They even gave me some cash to put some gas in the tank because it was almost empty. I'm very happy with my purchase! Great way to run a business, guys!

Chris H. | 2015-04-19

Very awesome, I got a Nissan Altima here and they have great blue book value prices.

Tony was the coolest, nicest guy and he helped me immediately with any questions and concerns. He leveled with me on a lot of my situational questions as well.

They don't ever at any point pressure you to by a car, you can come in on your own will and look around how you want. They'll give you space and won't breathe down your neck at all, but when you do want them around they'll be there.

They go above and beyond in service and I would recommend anyone looking for used car to look no further and come here!

Thanks Tony! :)

Carl G. | 2015-04-04

I just bought a 2006 Acura TL from these guys and I couldn't be happier. Tony and Shapour are true savvy professionals and, in my opinion, they set the standard for how used car lots should be run. Here are the things I like the most about Prime Auto Imports:

1. Comfortable Atmosphere - Friendly faces, helpful people, organized layout, and no pesky salesman breathing down your neck.

2. Variety - These guys have nearly everything most consumers are looking for - sedans, trucks, SUVs, sporty cars, luxury cars, etc. Even if you're coming in to look at one specific car, you'll likely find yourself looking at other options as well.

3. Quality - All the cars I looked at were all in good to excellent condition. These guys clearly put in the work to ensure that they're only getting the best quality cars on their lot.

4. Fair Pricing - Nearly all cars are priced close to Blue Book value.

5. Customer Trust - These guys put their trust in me and my Dad to take the car out for a test drive on our own. In addition, they had no problem with us taking the car all the way down to National City so we could get it inspected by our mechanic of choice.

6. No-BS Buying Process - Prices are fixed, customers have the freedom to finance with whoever they want, and Tony and Shapour don't pressure you into buying bogus warranties or add-ons.

Due to all the points listed above, my car buying experience was completely painless. Tony and Shapour are honest, hard working individuals and I wouldn't hesitate to do business with them again.

Abhi S. | 2015-04-02

Shapour are Tony are wonderful people. I found a used car I was interested in online and I called them up yesterday to set up an appointment - Tony was very polite over the phone and said the'd be glad to have me over anytime. I went there this morning and Shapour greeted me warmly and asked me what I was interested in. I test-drove two cars (they just took a copy of my ID and trusted me alone with the cars) and Shapour showed me their complete CarFax reports. I think their prices are very reasonable and they are happy to do what they can with respect to maintenance if there is something you don't like about the car. I was really hoping to seal a deal with them today, but the car I wanted didn't drive as smoothly as I hoped it would on the highway. I will look out for other cars in their inventory and definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a friendly and honest dealership.

Jordan D. | 2015-03-22

I bought a car through them in March 2015 and so far I am in love with the car. Tony, one of the salesmen, was extremely friendly and helpful throughout the entire process. He allowed me to bring the car to a mechanic and was extremely understanding when I voiced my minor concerns about the car. Tony seemed more interested in making sure I was completely satisfied with my purchase than pinning down a sale, which is something I appreciate. It was a pleasant experience buying my first car with them and would easily recommend anyone looking for a reasonably priced car to give them a shot.

Jessica D. | 2015-03-13

I bought a car from here in 2009 and still driving it today. I was a first time car buyer and they worked with me on the price and were really nice and informative. The only problem was a couple months after buying the car, the battery died suddenly (i believe it was due to a really hot summer in Escondido) but they replaced the battery free of charge even though i didn't get a warranty. I thought that was really nice and showed how much they cared about their customers. Thanks for my first car Prime Auto Imports!!

Meaghan M. | 2015-03-01

Here's the deal, I haven't even bought a car from them yet. However, I have never been so impressed with a dealership. I found the car I wanted online and emailed in that I was interested. Tony immediately responded and has been MORE than helpful. We have exchanged almost twenty emails with him answering questions, clarifying on down payment, and just being so understanding and sympathetic to my needs. I want to up my down payment but I will definitely be buying from Prime Auto because Tony genuinely cared about me as a customer and is willing to help out in any way possible.

Celina B. | 2015-02-04

A wonderful car buying experience! Tony was great to work with. He is honest and cares about his customers. My first pain free car buying experience! Thanks tony! We will definitely buy from you again in the future!  Very happy with our purchase and your customer service. :)

Daniel F. | 2014-10-02

What a pleasure it was to finally meet honest used car salesmen! No BS, no games. I was treated with respect and found Tony and his father an absolute joy to deal with. They couldn't come down much on price, however they were more than reasonable to begin with. You won't regret coming here. I will buy all my cars from them for now on!!!!

Megan L. | 2014-09-10

This dealership was a joy to visit. I didn't actually buy a car from here, because I was in a rush to get one (bought a car off craigslist the next day). The only reason I didn't get one from here is because the AC was making a funny sound and they wanted to fix it before selling it to me. That just shows how much they really, actually care about the cars being in good condition (which they all were!) and the happiness of the customers.

I talked with Tony and he was very friendly, totally easy going, and not at all like a sleazy salesman. He pretty much just let me do my thing. It was an awesome experience.

Andy P. | 2014-08-23

Purchased a 2002 Jaguar XKR from this small, family-run shop. Prime Auto prices their vehicles very competitively and so there was little need to haggle, although they did come down a few hundred dollars from their original price. Tony (son of the owner) was a friendly, honest guy to work with; he was very fair in discussing the pros and cons of the car, and really didn't use any slimy "selling" techniques to push us into purchasing. Tony made the paperwork process very smooth, even with financing, and handled all the numbers right in front of us rather than disappearing into some back-office room to "speak with the manager" and then returning with some vague, scribbled numbers that made little sense like so many car dealerships do. Totally worth the trip down from L.A., and I wouldn't hesitate to buy my next used car from them.

Brandon E. | 2014-05-25

I have financed vehicles in the past through other dealerships, some were too pushy others were overpriced. So this time as I looked for a family vehicle I did my research and went straight to yelp for the very highest reviews. Prime Auto popped up with the highest reviews 5 stars across the board.

I bought a 2005 camry recently and it was the most easy going purchase. The manager Tony made the sale as smooth as possible. It was a great experience , the vehicle was immaculate.

I'd recommend this dealership to anyone looking for a reliable vehicle at a great price tag.

Deborah P. | 2014-05-23

After being at a used car dealership the night before where the salesmen would go up and down on a vehicle by thousands of dollars and try to get me in a vehicle that was way above my budget, I was pretty frustrated & dreading buying a vehicle. When I walked into Primo Auto I had my guard up and ready to "go off" if I had a horrible salesman. I didn't have much time left to shop since my other vehicle was totaled in a car accident. The moment I walked into Prime Auto I was greeted by Shapour  who was very nice and accommodating.

I looked at a few different vehicles and when I found the one I had settled on they made the car buying process very easy. I was so impressed to have no one breathing down my neck pressuring me to get something I'm not sure of. My husband & I were ABLE to walk around the lot by ourselves with no one trying to sell me the first car I looked at. When it came to purchasing it was the FIRST time in purchasing a vehicle where I didn't get frustrated. Shapour and my husband and I were able to agree on a decent price on the car and that was it. It was so simple and painless. His son Tony is awesome and helped me with a few questions on how to get a new key ordered for my vehicle. I would recommend anyone to this dealership and would certainly go back again. I have to say for a used car dealer that I was impressed at the different kinds of variety of vehicles they offered. They had cars, SUV's, trucks, sport cars and economy cars. I liked seeing vehicles that could fit all different price ranges and options for customers. It's no wonder they have been around for 23 years!

Thank Shapour & Tony for making all the other car salesmen look like idiots!

Christy G. | 2014-05-13

I ended up getting my car from another dealer because I had something specific in mind, but the 3 visits I made to see Tony here were excellent. He is honest and forthcoming, and his vehicles are priced fairly from the start (instead of inflated so the seller can give a "discount" to make the purchaser feel like they got a great deal). Tony told us the pros and cons of the cars we saw, and he just acted like a normal person. So rare for a used car dealership!

C. G. | 2014-03-15

The BEST car buying experience ever! The owner gave me sincere,personal care. He sold me a low-miles, low-price Jeep and treated me as if i were the mayor of the city: polite, willing to wait, no hard-sell, helpful to the max. THIS IS A MODEL OF HOW BUSINESS SHOULD BE RUN. I am delighted with my Jeep and it was a pleasure to deal with this outstanding, family-run business. If you need a car,stop by Prime Auto Imports before you go anywhere else. Great inventory, great prices, great service!!!!! Thank you, Shapour!!!!

Mark E. | 2014-03-03

I moved to San Diego about 13 years ago and needed a car soon thereafter.  I went to Prime Auto because it was right down the street from my house.  From just looking at the place I didn't have very high expectations.  However, when I started talking to Shapour, he immediately made me feel comfortable and at home.  There was no pressure, complete transparency, and a very friendly and welcoming demeanor, atypical for a car dealership.  Prime Auto offers very fair prices with good terms and a friendly attitude.  I've since bought 4 cars from Prime Auto and recommend them to everyone looking for a car.

Sade C. | 2014-01-19

I was having bad luck with my previous car and I couldn't take it anymore so I decided to get a new one. I actually found this place on yelp ,and thank god for that because this place was Great, I bought a 2006 Toyota matrix from here in December.. And It's been amazing!!! Tony and his father were so kind, and honest!!! And I am thankful for that!! Great dealership highly recommended if you're looking for a new/used car :-)

Deidre B. | 2014-01-12

Honest, no pressure family business.  The best in San Diego for used cars & trucks! Absolutely a pleasure purchasing from them.

Nick E. | 2013-12-22

About 5 years ago I purchased a 2000 Frontier from them, it needed a little work but the price was right. I was hesitant to purchase from an independent car dealer, but Shapour was open and honest and let us test drive it before we bought it and even said we could take it to a mechanic to have it looked at, no problem. Zero pressure, zero hassle. The best independent dealership purchase I have ever made.

My wife and I have gone down there a few times over the past few years and browsed, test drove and negotiated pricing on a few cars. The cars/suvs we looked at were quality used units and the price was fair, we just didn't have enough value in our trade to make it doable for us.

I was in the market for a Mustang and Friday I placed a call to Shapour, he remembered who I was and we did some simple negotiation over the phone. Reached a deal and I went down and bought another car. Car is super clean, low miles for the year and he even got me a better interest rate and terms than my bank. His son Tony does a great job and is every bit as friendly as his Dad. Very friendly, easy going people. I would and will buy from Prime Auto Imports again.

Thanks Shapour!

Michael K. | 2013-12-07

If you need a quality ride, look no further.  Shapour and his son Tony have great cars on their lot.  No junk here.  They will take care of you and make things right.  Got a great deal on a subaru forester with low miles.  Shapour put new brakes on it and replaced a recalled part.  He really wants his customers to be happy and is a very honest man.

Eva V. | 2013-09-12

This is a great family owned small business.  They have a wide selection of cars.  I did my homework because I am leery of independent car lots but they had the make, model and price for the type of car I wanted to purchase.  I did my homework and they have been in business since 1991, and their DMV Occupational License (the license they need to be a car dealership) was current.  They have an A+ rating with the BBB, and I couldn't find any dirt on them via an internet search.  

The service is not as slick and polished as you would find a franchised dealership but it's much more personal and friendly.  I found the car I wanted, at a reasonable price (at Kelly Blue Book).  The transaction process was seamless.  I bought the car As Is.  

About 10 days after I purchased it the check engine light went on and the car was having mechanical difficulties.  I knew that they were under no obligation to do anything because I purchased the car as is.  I figured I'd give them a call and tell them.  They took care of it!!  Even though they had no contractual obligation Tony told me that he wanted me to be happy with the car and feel good about the purchase.  It turned out that it was just a hose that had to be replaced but they paid for it.  

I am so impressed with this company and their integrity that I will definitely return and will refer people to them.

Mahogany S. | 2013-08-08

Best car dealership I have ever stepped foot in! Shapour (dad), Tony (son) are great! Do you know car salesmen who greet you, let you browse their lot full of cars, all car doors unlocked, hands you a sheet with all cars for sale with prices/mileage/year? Nothing about this dealership is phony or untrustworthy. Nice guys who are humble and they just to make things happen for you. I'm surprised I don't see more reviews for Prime Auto Imports; guest service at its finest! I ended up finding a car I absolutely love and I know I will return for another in the future! Check them out, don't take my word for it lol! (This is Yelp, get it? Word for it? ok, whatever) :D

C M. | 2013-01-15

I just bought a Ford F150 4x4 with a trade in last night. Couldn't be happier with the experience.  Shapour and his son, Tony,  are really good guys.  Not pushy at all....super nice....very helpful.  I've bought many cars/trucks and I would have to say this was the BEST  experience I've ever had buying a vehicle. Seriously.  I feel that their prices are very fair and I feel like I got a great price for my truck [much lower than blue book!].   When Shapour realized that the F150 had 3 spots of rust on the roof, without hesitation, he said...."I'm sorry we didn't realize that was there...we will take care of that for you at my body shop...and fix it problem".    He's an honest man and brews up a great cup of Persian tea to boot!   I would buy from this place again. Highly recommend.

Quick Follow up [one week later]:  I just picked up my truck from being worked on at the body shop for the rust issue.  Wow.  The truck roof looks amazing. There is no way you could tell it ever had rust.  Shapour had them take off the inside liner, cut out all the rust, weld in new metal, paint match and buff it out.  It looks fantastic.  He told me, "We don't cut corners, you will be very happy...".  He was right.  I honestly don't think I would ever buy a used car anywhere else......If I could give this guy 10 stars out of 10 on YELP, I would.  You will not be disappointed buying your next used car from Shapour and Tony.   Great guys.

Dawn S. | 2012-09-29

Bought a truck from Prime Auto Imports.  The two owners are honest and fair.  The price was great so I can see why they don't come down.  Let me just say that I have NEVER paid asking price for a used car, especially not from a dealer.  But, in this case I did pay asking price and it didn't bother me at all. The truck was a GREAT deal.

I had the truck checked out by Lee's Repair nearby - he only found a few things and the owners offered to put in a new serpentine belt and back brakes.  So no reason to haggle. They're great guys - I can see why they earned an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

Jeremy K. | 2012-08-18

Bought a car from Prime Auto Imports over 4 months ago. No problems to speak of yet, which is good.

As another reviewer said, they do not negotiate price. Every person likes to feel like they get a "deal" so typical car lots will raise the price and then haggle. I for one would rather get a straight shooter price, not have to haggle back and forth all day, so I liked it. At Prime they had the price $4000 under blue book, so I was happy. I could sell my car, private party, right now and minimum break even, possibly make money (even after tax and fees I've paid).

The service was OK. At one point both employees left to run an errand and left me by myself while I was thinking about getting the car or not, which I thought was weird.

I put a deposit on my debit card and it took them 3 weeks to get it back to me, which was a hassle, but not a big deal.

Overall it was a good buying experience, not like your typical used car salesman being pushy and trying to haggle with you, which is a nice change of pace.

David P. | 2012-08-04

Nice little used car lot.  The people are really nice, until you tell them that one of the cars they are selling needs over 1000 dollars worth of work and you want them to come down on the price.  Then, they call some mechanic on speaker phone who gives you the same pricing and they try to tell you that it is less, even though if you do the math it adds up to about 1000 dollars.  Also, they don't know how to use their CC machine.  They took a deposit on my card twice and I had to call to get it refunded, despite not buying the car.  Other than that, they were nice people.

Nancy P. | 2011-10-07

Just bought my first sports car here.  Great place... honest people, good value, and rightly deserve the A+ rating they received from the Better Business Bureau.  Don't expect to negotiate on the price....the prices are fair to begin with.  Also....try their Persian tea...excellent.  Never thought I'd give a used car dealer 5 stars.