Used cars parked

Do Used Car Customers Buy Old Cars? We Have The Answer.

Are you a dealership that automatically wholesales out all trade-ins more than three or four years old? You may want to reconsider. Why? Because you might be ignoring a large sector of the used car buying public.

If you’re like most dealers, you sell significantly more used vehicles than new cars, and the current market conditions are likely to continue that trend. A huge number of off-lease vehicles turning over, combined with a decline in household spending, is driving more interest in used cars among buyers nationwide. Are you paying enough attention to your dealership’s reconditioning and remarketing operation?

What can we learn from the last 600,00 auto loan inquiries? In a recent study by LendingTree, more than 600,000 auto loan queries were studied in over 100 popular metropolitan areas, and they found that the average age of a used car people sought to finance was about five years old. The data set was limited to inquiries submitted in 2019 for cars and light trucks with model years older than 2019.

That may be shocking to most dealers who may not consider a five-year-old car for anything other than the “under nine grand land” which tends to just exist as a small backlot for a handful of cars that are clean enough to resell. 

Geography does matter, though. This trend could be a combination of different economies, regionally and stricter inspections and registration laws. But the spread of those who purchased newer used cars and those who purchased older used cars is pretty scattered.

Residents of Spokane, Washington, purchased the oldest used cars with an average age of at least 7.66 years.

Facts about metros that buy the oldest cars

1.    Spokane, Washington is the metro area that sought financing for the oldest cars, with 7.66 years old on average. 

2.    Wichita, Kansas came in second with car buyers here seeking loans for cars just under seven years old.

3.    Ogden, Utah ranked third nationally for those seeking to buy the oldest cars, with an average age of 6.80.

4.    More southern cities joined the top 10 this year, including Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Greenville, South Carolina.

5.    Across the board, the average age of vehicles for which people are seeking financing has dropped from 6 years in 2018 to 5.34.

6.    Colorado Springs residents finance cars with an average age of 6.63 years old.

Facts about places that buy the newest used cars

1.    San Jose, California buys the newest of the used cars, with an average age of 3.54 years.

2.    Miami, Florida is in second place with an average age of just under four years old. 

3.    Orlando, Florida’s average used car purchase age, is just slightly under five years old.

4.    San Francisco sought loans for cars with an average age of 4.03 years 

5.    Los Angeles and Oxnard California stand at 4.42 and 4.67 years, respectively.

6.    On the East Coast, Washington D.C. to Boston largely sought newer used cars.

7.    New York residents buy used cars with an average age of 4.04 years.

8.    Texas residents financed used vehicles with an average age of 4.14 years old

In cities where buyers preferred newer used cars, the cars average 4.12 years younger than the ones purchased by buyers in the places that buy the oldest used cars. This is an interesting statistic, and one worth watching to identify shifts in markets. 

So what can we learn from this? As more and more car buyers turn to used cars, it could help grow sales to be aware of the ages of cars that people finance in your area. Clean and quality units still exist out there, and it may make sense to have your buyers experiment with different years to see if it holds true in your municipality.

Regardless of the average age of used cars you sell, they all need attention to make them frontline-ready as efficiently as possible. We can help with that. Contact us to learn how we can reduce your costs and increase your margins on used cars.

ReconPro Classic Back Office 2.14.5.0

Configure catalog clarification for repair bundle services and text or inherited clarification for generic services assigned to question answers

New Features

  • Set up clarification for question services

Improvements

  • Deleted work orders are not displayed in the ‘Repair Cycle Time’ report

Fixed Issues

  • The ‘Show Photo Markers” option was not working for work orders that were automatically created from the Back Office application
  • An issue with Coupa integration

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ReconPro Classic mobile app 2.21.6 for iOS devices

See the images added to work order notes when opening the work order wizard from the invoice wizard if the appropriate option is enabled for team work orders in the settings

Improvements

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ReconPro mobile app 3.6.5

Generate reports directly from the mobile app, and the link to the generated report will be automatically sent to the specified email address or phone number

New Features

  • Generate reports
  • Create service requests

Improvements

  • More filters for repair orders
  • Part categorization in work order print preview
  • Image notes in inspection and work order print preview
  • Using ACES categorization associated with matrix panel
  • Assign technicians to repair bundle items
  • Select multiple parts for question services of the ‘Labor’ price type
  • Support for the ‘Invoice from device’ setting
  • Auto-assignment of new retail customers to the team’s area of the logged-in user
  • Showing all repair orders when users tap the ‘Monitor’ button on the ‘Home’ screen
  • Empty question sections are not displayed for inspections, work orders, and their services
  • Unassigned price matrices are not displayed for price matrix services on the ‘Select Price Matrix’ screen

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Used cars on dealer lot

5 Tips For Operating A Successful Used Car Business

Running a business can be both an exciting and challenging time, and used cars are an increasingly popular choice among consumers. According to Auto Remarketing Magazine, over 40 million used cars were sold last year. Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, the used car market in the US continues to be robust, and many are forecasting an increase in sales as consumers avoid public and group transportation. 

So, how do you operate a used car business that’s built for success? Do you have enough space for displaying your cars? Are you near any other dealerships to get more customers? All these and more are things to consider when starting a used car business. The following are five tips for operating a successful used car business: 

1) Find Your Niche 

You’ve decided to sell used cars at your dealership, but do you know exactly which type? Finding your niche will help you stand out among other dealerships in your area and could increase your chance of success. You could have a used vintage dealership, a used luxury dealership, or maybe even specialize in used trucks and SUVs. The possibilities are endless! Do your homework, decide on the type of vehicles you want to offer, and calculate the volumes and margins you will need to turn a profit.

2) Ready Vehicles 

Selling used cars at a dealership doesn’t mean just slapping an “as-is” sticker on the window. Each one of the vehicles in your inventory should have proper maintenance and thorough inspection. Any repairs that need to be made must be documented and kept on file. You need to invest in an efficient reconditioning process to make your vehicles presentable on the lot. 

3)  Offer Warranties

A lot of people coming to used car dealerships might think the available cars are “what you see is what you get,” and “what you can’t see may come back to bite you.” This is why it’s essential to offer some warranty options for customers. It provides them with a bit of a safety net, you with incremental revenue, and can increase the chance of them purchasing at your dealership. 

4)  Customer Service 

Customer service is part of the car buying experience at a new car dealership, and it can be an important differentiator at your used car dealership. Provide your customers with a CARFAX or AutoCheck.com report or a free vehicle identification number (VIN) report. The more information you can provide about the car’s condition and service history, the better. Providing the honest data will show your customers that you respect their desire to know more about the vehicle and that you’re able to assist them in the process. 

Another way to show excellent customer service is to follow up any sale with a “thank you” email or a phone call. It’s a great way to show that you weren’t helpful to them solely for the purchase of their car. Doubling down on customer service will pay back in referrals and repeat purchasers.

5)  Location, location, location 

Unless you are ready to compete in the growing virtual dealerships arena, all of these tips won’t matter if you don’t choose the right location for your used car dealership. Do you have enough space to display your cars on the lot and have a place to store vehicles if there isn’t any space left? Is there enough office space for you and your team? Is there a service department area for repairs? How close or far away is your dealership to others in the area? It might come as a surprise to you that being closer in proximity to other dealers increases your chance of drawing in more customers.

If your passion for automobiles is strong enough to drive you to help others find the right vehicle for them, running a used car operation can be both fulfilling and rewarding. The tips above will help get you started on your way.

Repair360 Back Office 3.6.25

Select the start and stop date and time of the employee time records not earlier than repair order start date and time and not later than repair order completion date and time

Improvements

  • Changes in repair order time tracking

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ReconPro mobile app 3.6.48

View work order question services on a separate screen including information on the selected question and answer even if these services do not belong to the service package assigned to the work order type

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  • Improvements for question services in work orders

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Repair360 Back Office 3.6.2

View, add, edit, and delete services and documents related to service requests; use additional filter options in the ‘Revenue By Service’ and the ‘Revenue By Service Type’ reports

New Features

  • Manage service request services
  • Manage service request documents

Improvements

  • Additional filter options for some reports
  • A single available warehouse is automatically preselected on the ‘Parts Inventory’ page when users open it for the first time.
  • The quantity of a part, which is added to or ordered from the ‘Parts Management’ page, is now limited to ‘1’.

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ReconPro mobile app 3.6.47

Select a specific paint code when creating or editing service requests, inspections, and work orders for vehicles based on their make, model, and year.

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