Blog courtesy of EasyCare
Everyone talks about that new car smell, but there’s also that new car feeling. It’s exciting when your customer gets behind the wheel for the first time, and the last thing they want to think about is what may happen a few years down the road — or even just on the way home. But the reality is that as soon as buyers drive off the lot, there’s no telling what’s around the corner.
Aside from the routine maintenance and wear and tear they may already be factoring into the cost of ownership like oil changes and the occasional flat tire, some things are probably not top of mind, like major engine repairs, lost keys, or cosmetic damage — and they can really add up.
Be prepared to educate your customers during the buying process so they’re aware of what the cost of ownership can add up to — beyond a monthly payment. Here are some talking points:
1. Manufacturer Warranty vs. Expected Length of Ownership
The average buyers keep a car for close to six years, but with both time and mileage limitations, a manufacturer’s warranty can run out much sooner. Making sure you compare the warranty’s expiration date with the amount of time they expect to be in the vehicle shows the value of layering on additional protection. Most owners keep a car for close to six years, but with both time and mileage limitations, a manufacturer’s warranty can run out much sooner. Making sure you compare the warranty’s expiration date with the amount of time they expect to be in the vehicle shows the value of layering on additional protection.
2. Routine Maintenance
The average monthly car payment was $554 in 2019, but that’s far from the real price of owning a car. According to a study by AAA, regular maintenance and repairs can cost an average of $1,309 a year. That’s not always in the budget. But with a pre-paid maintenance plan, your customers can keep things running smoothly and you can keep them coming back for service.
3. Tires & Wheels
Prices for new tires keep increasing, averaging $525 to $750 to replace all four tires. And it’s a problem no one is immune to, no matter how strictly they follow suggested maintenance schedules. Road hazards like glass, potholes and nails can’t always be avoided, but making buyers aware of this expense and offering a tire and wheel repair and replacement plan can help them dodge a major setback for their wallet.
It’s something everyone can relate to — keys rank as the third most commonly misplaced item, and sometimes they’re never found. But with advances in key technology, the price to replace and reprogram “smart” keys can be $500. Adding a key replacement and lock-out protection plan can be a low-cost solution to this highly probable predicament.
5. Cosmetic & Safety
Your customers want their cars to look new and fresh for as long as possible. But accidents happen, and fixes for stains, a dented bumper or a deep scratch can range from $50 to over $1,500. To highlight the value of your appearance protection plans, make sure your buyers know the average cost of body repairs and that just one or two dents can make a huge difference in what they’re offered when it’s time to trade their vehicle in. Plus, in the event their car is stolen and not recovered, they could be out of pocket more than $500. Etch makes their vehicle less desirable to thieves and reimburses for incidentals like insurance deductibles.
Click here to download EasyCare’s handy infographic on these 5 Costs of Vehicle Ownership you need to be prepared to discuss with every buyer in the F&I office to help them understand the value of the protection products you’re offering.