Improve Your Dealership's Reconditioning Process

Simple Tips to Improve Your Dealership’s Reconditioning Process

Your used car inventory is a great source for generating higher profits for your dealership. Getting your trade-ins ready to resell needs to be a priority for your lot. Optimally, you should set a goal to have a vehicle ready for sale within 24 hours from when it is traded in.

To ensure that you make the most profit from your trade-ins, you want to ensure that over 50 percent are made available for reselling within 30 days of acceptance. Turning them over faster will generate more revenue.

There are several steps you can take to ensure that your used inventory is being reconditioned more quickly so that you can optimize profits.

Simple Tips to Improve Your Dealership’s Reconditioning Process

1. Know When the Auction is the Best Choice

Not all used cars are equal. If you have accepted a trade-in that will take a lot of work to recondition, you may want to consider sending it to the auction instead. You want to make sure that you are selling quality used cars to your customers. If the vehicle needs extensive repairs, there is a potential that it will still not be a great vehicle to sell. Selling these types of vehicles can potentially damage your lot’s reputation for quality.

If you are purchasing used vehicles for your lot because trade-ins have been slow, ensure they are worth your investment. Again, having to invest too much time and money into a vehicle may be bad for your dealership on multiple levels.

2. Set a Baseline For Repairs and Reconditioning

Setting a base amount you are willing to invest into reconditioning a vehicle without manager approval can help speed up the process. For instance, establishing a $500 cost to recondition a vehicle will cover many repairs and cleaning services. In many cases, it will cover everything you need. You are saving time and money by forgoing the approval process for every detail, like replacing windshield wiper blades or touching up the paint.

Larger reconditioning investments, like replacing tires or bodywork, can be approved on a per-vehicle basis. This will also ensure that only the best vehicles get the most work.

3. Have a Dedicated Team For Reconditioning

You should have a dedicated team for reconditioning your used vehicles. This team would work on cleaning and detailing the vehicle and replacing minor parts. Motivate your team by creating bonuses for moving the vehicles through the detailing process within a goal time period.

Only use your service team to do necessary repairs on a used vehicle. Replacing brake pads and tires should be handled in your service center. This will help reduce the time and money spent on each vehicle.


Improve Your Dealership's Reconditioning Process

4. Lower Your Overall Reconditioning Costs

You can increase your used vehicle’s profits by planning what you will replace on a car with OEM parts and what can be replaced with aftermarket parts.

For example, replacing the windshield wipers with OEM parts is unnecessary when you can do it for half the price with after-market ones. The same goes for many of the smaller detailing parts on a vehicle.

If you are replacing the tires on a car, you do not have to put high-end tires on the vehicle. New tires should be new, not pricey.

You can also take this approach to the cleaning products you use for reconditioning the cars. Do you really need to buy the name-brand car wash product, or will a store-brand cleaner safe for vehicle surfaces that you buy in bulk at a warehouse store do the job?

5. Motivate Your Staff

Used vehicles are very profitable for any dealership. To get the most profit from these vehicles, it will be important to get everyone on board to move them out the door. This means your sales staff needs to be encouraged to include these vehicles as part of their sales pitch, service needs to ensure that these vehicles are ready to sell, and your detailing team quickly gets these vehicles in tip-top shape.

Set a goal for 24 hours for detailing and up to 48 more hours if service issues need to be addressed before the vehicle is ready for sale. As soon as the vehicle is ready to sell, make sure to let your sales staff know it’s available.

Create incentives for your staff to embrace these goals, and you will see that your used car sales and profits will begin to increase.

Dealerships Benefit When They Have a Great Selection of Used Vehicles

Not every buyer is looking for a brand-new vehicle. Some people prefer older vehicles, while some may have a hard time qualifying for new car financing. Having a good selection of used vehicles ensures that you meet the needs of these clients. Set goals for your dealership so that you always have quality used vehicles available.

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are purchasing a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you make a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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