From September 1st, 2020, all new vehicles in the UK will carry the number 70 on their registration plates.
New vehicle registration day presents a huge opportunity for dealerships. On the one hand, many drivers are attracted by the prestige of owning a brand new vehicle with the new registration number, whilst on the other, the new registration allows you to reduce the cost of high quality cars with older registrations to boost sales.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SMMT has released guidelines around social distancing, which means dealerships need to think carefully about how to enable contactless car sales.
How to prepare for contactless car sales
In this blog, we’ll help you prepare for socially distanced car sales through unaccompanied test drives.
This includes implementing an online diary and booking system, validating drivers’ licences, navigating damage reporting and leveraging sales insights.
Implementing an online diary and booking system
Test drives are an essential part of the sales process, but social distancing measures now mean that test drives must be carried out unaccompanied. To make this as easy as possible for both dealers and customers, it’s important to have an advanced booking system in place.
Using an online diary offers visibility over your entire demonstrator fleet. This means you can easily manage customer expectations, so they’re never waiting around for their chosen vehicle to become available for test driving. An online diary lets you plan your resources ahead of time, so you can clean and prepare vehicles before the test drives are due to take place.
The ability to book online also offers customers a higher level of service, as they can choose a time that is convenient for them, without needing to visit the dealership in person in order to book a test drive.
Validating driver licenses
One very important aspect of contactless vehicle sales is ensuring that the customer holds a valid driving license and is legally able to drive your vehicles.
This crucial step involves making sure the driver has no endorsements that could invalidate your insurance. The process involves speaking to the customer over the phone, checking that their license complies with DVLA regulations and storing photographic evidence of the license.
There are several ways to validate a driver’s license contactlessly, but by far the easiest is to use a system that checks against a fixed set of criteria and responds with a decision as to whether the customer is eligible to drive one of your vehicles.
Leveraging sales insights
One of the biggest challenges when offering unaccompanied test drives is working out how to provide the insight of a salesperson without having them physically present during the test drive. This can be done using telematics.
Telematics can help your dealership to sell vehicles by providing valuable insight into several aspects of the test drive. This includes where the vehicle is being driven, how far it is being driven and how the customer is driving.
Access to this information gives your sales employees the ability to see whether the vehicle is the right fit for the customer. They can use the insights to help sell the vehicle, or to offer suggestions on alternative motors that might better suit their needs and lifestyle.
Navigating damage reporting
In the past, dealerships have been put off unaccompanied test drives due to the risk of damage. As well as being costly to repair, vehicle damage can cause conflict between dealers and customers, as it’s often difficult to determine if the damage appeared during the test drive, or whether it was already there.
This problem can be solved using digital imagery. By uploading images of the vehicle to be sent along with your test drive agreements, the customer can see the condition of the vehicle before driving it.
Having image records of your vehicles also gives you the opportunity to keep a history of any previous damage, so if any new images appear after a customer has driven it, you’ll know for certain when it was incurred.