Industry, Shipper

Car Dealers: How to Make the Most of Used Car Seasonality

by Kacie LaCombe

Car haulers across the country know that the used vehicle market is subject to the whims of the seasons. From a greater demand to move vehicles during the springtime tax refund season to a cool down of movement around the winter months, the used car business follows typical trends based on typical consumer behavior. 

With predictable periods of high activity and downtime, those working in the auto transport sector should make the most out of the seasonal used car business. By aligning key business initiatives with sales trends, auto shippers and car dealers can be better equipped to stay busy and efficient across every page of the calendar. 

Here are five ways to make the most out of used car sales seasonality: 

Anticipate Sales Trends

The market for new and used cars often follow similar seasonal trends. According to Investopedia, demand for vehicles rises up to 15% in the springtime, when weather improves and tax refund gets mailed out, as well as the fall, when manufacturers release new model year vehicles. Winter months are often the most challenging for used car dealers, though December sales events have been helping dealers clear out vehicles at the year’s end. Preparing for these seasonal sales trends can help car haulers avoid disappointing clients when it matters most. 

Make Holiday Plans

December holiday season through the New Year may stand out as well-known times of year consumers expect discounts, but data suggests that sales promotions around Martin Luther King Jr. Day actually offers customers 39% more deals. As holidays like New Year’s Day and Veteran’s Day happen every year, be sure to align business strategies with holidays throughout the calendar in order to anticipate seasonal inventory and sales spikes. 

Adopt E-commerce for Car Dealers

Online sales have greatly disrupted the used car market, with McKinsey finding a high percentage of used car buyers seeking better vehicle data, purchasing capabilities, and unique delivery options. For businesses that haven’t taken advantage of e-commerce for cars, there’s never been a better time to consider adopting an e-commerce solution. By making it easier for customers to research and purchase used cars online, dealers can provide better customer service during peak sales seasons while also making it easier for potential buyers to scope out inventory during slow months.

Onboard a Comprehensive Transport Platform

Taking greater control of vehicle inventory throughout the year is essential for any used car business. During seasonal peaks, it’s crucial to have the right inventory on hand or ready to be transported; likewise, when sales die down, it might not make sense to have excess vehicles taking up space on the lot. No matter the season, a comprehensive transportation management platform (TMS) can help make moving loads a breeze thanks to automation and paperless workflows. 

Used Cars Go Digital

Slow periods of business provide a great opportunity to carry out long-postponed projects, such as adopting paperless workflows. By testing out automation solutions, accounting functions, and other software integrations to a paperless TMS during seasonal downtime, auto shippers can familiarize themselves with new tools during lower-stress time periods. Not only can paperless solutions greatly improve the efficiency of any car dealers by automating billing and reducing transport transactions, but it can also ensure that these new, powerful solutions are ready to go once the busy season resumes.

Syncing business strategies to the seasonality of the used car business can help auto shippers maintain a competitive edge. By better preparing for sales peaks and valleys, implementing new solutions during slower periods, and making it easier to connect customers year-round, used car professionals can better ensure that their business is ready to meet demand no matter if it’s cold, warm, or somewhere in between. 

Carriers and shippers trust Super Dispatch to help move cars faster, 365 days a year. From automated workflows to an industry-leading Super Loadboard, Super Dispatch transforms disparate solutions into a comprehensive, all-in-one auto transport platform. For more information about Super Dispatch, contact us today!

Published on December 27, 2021


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