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Here’s How Every Dealership Should Handle Condition Reporting for Everyone’s Protection

According to an article published in Auto Dealer Today magazine, each service drive visit costs dealerships about 0.007% of the vehicle’s market value. Though it may not seem like much at first, these costs can really add up. This is why condition reporting is so very important. If your dealership does not have a solid condition reporting process, or if you are still utilizing pen and paper reports, digital is the way to go. 

How Much Each Visit Really Costs Your Dealership

The average damage cost you will accrue in your dealership for every single service visit is 0.007% of the value of the asset (car, boat, truck, or even RV). If the average value of the vehicles you service is $50,000, you’re losing $3.50 per vehicle. If you service 25 vehicles a day, that’s $105 a day. Over the course of a month, it comes to $3,150, and over the course of a full year, it totals a whopping $37,800. The good news is that with proper condition reporting, you can save most of this money and put it back into your business where it belongs. 

How Today’s Condition Reporting Works

Condition reporting is a process via which a service center technician documents the condition of the vehicle prior to its entering the repair or service area. Ideally, a condition report should be completed with the customer still present to ensure that both the service center and the customer agree when it comes to the condition of the vehicle. The report should include a few basic things, such as:

  • The interior condition. This includes things like the condition of the upholstery, the seat and mirror mechanisms, any latches that may be present, and more. 
  • The exterior condition. The exterior condition should note any scuffs, scratches, dings, dents, paint transfer areas, rust spots, and things of this nature. It should also include a mention of cracked glass, missing accessories (antennas, etc.) and any other abnormality with the exterior of the vehicle. 
  • The vehicle’s contents. The contents of the glove compartment, console, trunk, seat backs, and more should be clearly documented. 
  • The vehicle’s mechanical condition. Many dealerships will also note any mechanical issues they see or hear. This includes knocks and pings, a clearly visible suspension or exhaust issue, and other things of this nature. 

Why the Digital Route is Best

Many dealerships still use pen and paper to document condition reports, and even though many perform the inspection with the customer present – and many even have the customer sign off on the report in agreement – this is not the best protection for your company. It’s far too easy for a customer to argue that something was unclear or that they forgot to include an item that was in the trunk, for example. When you choose to make the switch to digital condition reporting, and ideally in the form of video, you will have all the evidence you need to prevent an argument when your customers retrieve their vehicles from your service center. 

Condition reporting is an important step that all service centers should be utilizing. If your dealership still relies on pen-and-paper reporting, though, your attempts at protecting yourself may be futile. Utilizing a video platform that makes it incredibly easy to not only thoroughly document a vehicles condition, but also to share that video with customers is by far the best option for dealerships in today’s high-tech world.