Most consumers don’t react well to the idea of a vehicle service contract (VSC) since most vehicles automatically come with a manufacturer warranty. And the concept of making monthly payments towards something they might not use also makes buyers shy away from signing a VSC.
However, a recent survey released by AutoMD is showing a trend in vehicle buyers shopping for used vehicles and considering the cost of replacement parts in their purchase decision. In fact, 74% of vehicle owners polled reported that the cost of replacement parts would be a consideration when buying their next vehicle.
Additionally, over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the length of the vehicle ownership cycle, and factors like longevity (18%) and cost of repair (15%) are falling close behind cost (23%) as the most important decision influencer.
Now more than ever, VSCs have relevance in the marketplace. For vehicle dealerships and F&I manager, this opens up a huge opportunity to push the value of VSC and sell more of them. But, leveraging this opportunity takes a certain level of sales finesse—you have to build awareness and be able to pitch the idea in a way that consumers can really get behind.
EDUCATE THEM ABOUT VSCS
Within the same AutoMD survey, of the 26% who said that the cost of replacement parts was not a consideration, over half of them said it was because it either did not occur to them or that they did not know where to look for that information. Help vehicle buyers envision the full term of their vehicle ownership by encouraging them to consider the cost of potential repairs, parts replacement and maintenance down the road.
Buyers want a car they can rely on long-term, so educating them on all the ways a VSC can make maintaining their vehicle easier when unexpected costs occur is an important part of the sale.
TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Instead of selling a vehicle service contract, consider positioning it as vehicle health insurance to help buyers make a better connection in their mind and more easily comprehend the end value.
With a VSC acting as vehicle health insurance, owners experience discounts on maintenance (or check ups), they pay lower fees (or deductibles) on service and repairs (or treatment) and in the event of a break down (or emergency), they can afford to receive immediate assistance.
This comparison allows buyers to see that when it comes to unexpected vehicle health issues, car insurance doesn’t offer the same type of coverage (car insurance is really more like vehicle life insurance). Using the term vehicle health insurance encourages consumers to recognize VSCs or extended warranties as a long-term investment designed to protect their vehicle asset throughout the longevity of ownership.
In the end, it’s all about giving consumers confidence in their purchasing decision, with added peace of mind. And better yet, VSCs can work with any buyer budget through the assistance of an installment payment plan (IPP)!