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Car dealers aren’t legally required to provide a car return policy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to create one.
A well-written car return policy can help prevent client confusion, and it can help dealers avoid difficulty any time a customer tries to return a vehicle. When someone tries to return a vehicle for a refund, it’s not unusual to deal with frustration or even anger. It’s a lot easier to work with unhappy clients when there are policies in place to help extinguish the flame.
Follow these tips to create a sound car return policy.
1. Assemble a team.
Creating a comprehensive car return policy can be a big responsibility. Assemble a team of essential sales team members to work together to ensure the end product will help prevent dealership return problems, not add to them.
2. Research mandatory state rules and regulations.
Don’t even think about writing until researching, and verifying any regulations that might affect your dealership car return policy. It’s important to make sure any of the rules incorporated comply with state and federal guidelines to ensure compliance.
3. Never settle for the first draft.
A car return policy will only work if it’s written accurately and with enough detail to cover any possible vehicle return situation. If you feel like something is missing, it helps to refer back to former vehicle returns to ensure you’ve included all potential circumstances. Write multiple drafts and have each team member review them for mistakes or changes.
4. Get a lawyer to look at the final product.
Anytime you create a document such as a car return policy or an employee handbook, it’s smart to have a lawyer review it for errors. While a lawyer’s time can be costly, it can help prevent the chance of expensive legal battles.
5. Keep car buyers informed.
Be upfront with each client by including a copy of the return policy with their vehicle closing paperwork. Transparency helps build trust with customers and can further benefit dealership retention efforts.
6. Share the final car return policy with essential staff.
This step may seem silly but why create a car return policy to let it collect dust somewhere? Any time you put a new or revised policy into effect, it’s essential to review it at your next sales meeting. All sales staff should be on the same page when it comes to dealership policies and procedures for them to work effectively and without difficulty.
Remember to review other regulations that impact vehicle returns.
*FTC Buyer’s Guide
This form is posted all over vehicles in the sales lot, but when was the last time your team took a closer look at it? The FTC Buyer’s Guide was created to help consumers make educated decisions by giving them essential vehicle purchasing and warranty information. It’s critical to maintain compliance to avoid massive fines of up to $41,484 per violation. Anytime there’s confusion regarding this form it’s best to visit the FTC website for accurate information.
The Lemon Law can confuse customers and dealers alike, but it’s a law that is too important to ignore. The idea of the Federal Lemon Law isn’t about whether or not a vehicle works, it’s about the warranty a customer buys to protect that purchase. If you have a customer that returns to complain about a lemon, but they did not get a warranty, the Federal Lemon Law doesn’t apply in that case; only consumers with written warranties are covered. Be sure your team is trained on the ins and outs of the Lemon Law so they can adequately respond to customers who claim to have been sold a vehicle that should be covered under these regulations.
If you think a car return policy would be beneficial to your dealership, then it’s imperative to take the time to be sure it’s detailed, compliant, and follows the guidelines of all state and federal dealership regulations. It may seem like a lot of work, but the 2017 Gallop Honesty/Ethics in Professions Poll states that only 10% of car buyers trust dealerships, and this is a great way to show clients you have nothing to hide.
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