When it comes to discussing warranties with customers, many dealers tell us they are scared of rejection and feel they lack in experience, believing they are there to shift metal not offer add-ons – although the point of sale is the best time to introduce such products as they already have the customer’s attention. By shying away from the subject, they are actually missing a tremendous opportunity to maximise profit, add value to customers, make their stock more attractive than that of their competitors, improve workshop activity and retain customers for potentially many years to come.

Traditionally, franchised dealers would only stock the brand(s) specific to their business and if they took a vehicle in part exchange that fell outside of their marque or parameters then it would go to auction (unless it was under three years old, in which case represented a lower risk because it would still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, involved less preparation, would be more desirable and the biggest drop in price had already been achieved). But they can no longer run the business like that, because there aren’t enough of those vehicles around. Now if they’ve got the size, they’ll have a ‘too-good-to-trade’ section which is where our ‘Safe and Sound’ scheme (including a six month wear and tear car warranty, safety inspection, independent valuation, complete provenance check and more, worth over £500) comes in, because dealers are able to demonstrate the quality of their used stock, give their business a USP and improve consumer confidence. Many of our franchises are even starting to replace their manufacturer-approved used programme, as it offers greater protection for, quite often, a fraction of the price.

For the dealers who don’t qualify for ‘Safe and Sound’, our comprehensive car warranty packages will help to show customer commitment, protect margins and negate declining residual margins. The retail cost can even be built into the finance package, and if you are asking a reasonable price, it will usually be a no brainer for the customer. We have recently introduced a ‘lifetime’ warranty (renewable every year free of charge) which applies for the customer’s entire period of ownership, providing the vehicle is serviced in accordance with the manufacturers’ schedule.

Regardless of the programme being offered, it is essential that all customer-facing staff buy into it – not just the decision maker. The ingredients of a successful model are a robust sales process that is measured and monitored; offering the highest level of cover suitable for the customer’s vehicle; ongoing sales training and development; marketing materials displayed in the showroom and online; a range of incentives for customers and a rewards programme for staff.

One key area where dealers are failing is at the point of renewal – 99% of dealers do not re-solicit their warranty customers which means that they are missing out on one of the largest revenue streams available to them. For those dealers, we have an experienced aftersales team on hand to capture said customers (proven to increase penetration by as much as 80%) who can even book them in for a service, MOT or vehicle healthcheck at the same time. We then take a small, one off commission from each sale, so it’s win-win for them. Whilst customer peace of mind is often the main prerequisite, it is in your own interest to capitalise on generating repeat profitability – but this can only be achieved if customers have the products in the first place.

To find out how we can help your business, simply click here to request your free dealer pack or call us on 01844 293817.