Is the 13 plate unlucky for car dealers?

All new vehicles registered in Britain between 01st March and 31st August will have the new “13” registration number plate. But will the fear of the unlucky number 13 put people off buying a new car during this period? If so, 13 could prove to be very unlucky for the British motor trade.

Carbuzz.co.uk recently asked just over 2,000 car buyers whether the 13 registration plate would put them off buying a new car between March – August 2013.

The results transpired that 10% of people questioned said that it would put them off because they were indeed superstitious of this unlucky number. (Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.)

A further 17% of the people questioned were worried a 13 plate could damage the resale value of the car when it came to sell their vehicle which proves that non-superstitious people are also anxious about a drop in resale value.

This means a total of 27.1% people said they were put off buying a car with the 13 plate which could indeed be damaging to the British car dealer trade.

The results mean that a reasonably positive 73% of those undertaking the questionnaire said it wouldn’t put them off buying a vehicle during this period at all.
Even so, the results show that over a quarter of potential new car sales that could be affected between March and August 2013, all due to a couple of wrong numbers.

There was some speculation the DVLA would allow the industry to skip the ‘unlucky’ 13 plate altogether and run a continuation of the 62-plate and then move straight to the 62 plate.
Carbuzz contacted the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) for a comment. The DVLA spokesperson commented:
“There are no plans to move away from this series as there are no good reasons for doing so.
“We recognise that some manufacturers are concerned that superstitious motorists may be wary of buying a new car with the number 13, but any change to the current registration system would be costly to the taxpayer and we cannot justify skipping a number because of superstition.”

James Hind, of carbuzz.co.uk, said “The 13 plate applies to cars registered from 1st March to the 31st August 2013. In 2012 this period accounted for 52% of total registrations. These findings show that the car industry should expect to see a large decline in new car sales for 2013, many consumers will either delay buying a new car or choose a used car instead”.

Alternatively, a spokesperson for CAP who are experts in the automotive industry said:
“The key thing to remember is that customers make the decision to buy the car first and what appears on the plate is an afterthought. For this reason we believe retail sales are not likely to be affected in any significant way – either this month for new cars, or in the future for used cars.

“There will also undoubtedly be a few people who will see that the numbers ‘1′ and ‘3′ can be spaced to make the plate appear to read as a ‘B’ even though altering the spacing of letters and numbers is illegal. But in our view, this is more of a quirky story than a significant issue for motor dealers or other automotive operators. We therefore believe that the value of a 13 plate car will not be adversely affected in the future. We will of course monitor the performance of 13 plate cars in the market over the coming months and will report on our findings should evidence emerge to the contrary.”

Car Dealer version 5.1 released

Ok, here’s what we have added in the latest version – build 5.1.

Multi image upload facility

This is now possible when using an HTML 5 compliant web browser (which is all new browsers). A slick new interface enables you to select up to 80 images on your desktop PC, Mac, Tablet or iPad and hit the upload button, while the images upload you can see your real time progress and can continue adding in the vehicle details while the system uploads the images.

Image Rotation

If you take your photos using a digital device such as an iPad or tablet, it’s easy to get your orientation wrong and take the photo in portrait rather than landscape. The Car Dealer build 5.1 allows you to rotate any image that you have uploaded in any direction 90 degrees at a time making your job even easier. Images are rotated real time and it’s fast!

Order Images

After you have uploaded your images, the chances are that you will want to change the order in that they appear. With version 5.1 it’s so simple! Just “drag and drop” your images to where you want them in the grid and they instantly reposition themselves. This is reflected instantly on the front end of your website too!

If you are interested in upgrading to version 5.1 please contact Adrian on 08456 432 110.

Setting up a Facebook page for your Car Sales Business

Don’t under estimate the power of Social Networking, especially Facebook. It’s not just for “hanging out” with friends or catching up with old schoolmates.

Facebook has a huge infrastructure of people, businesses and people who are looking for businesses. The tools available via Facebook to us fellow car dealers are vast and extremely useful.

How can a Facebook Business Page Help?

Easy, people talk, and what better way to promote your business than have people see it and talk about it. We at Car Dealer 5 have come up with a package where we create your Facebook Page for you, using brand-matching images for your profile and Facebook cover photo. We then link your Facebook page to your Car Dealer 5 website and vice-versa.

We also make sure that you have the tools installed on your website to share the cars in your stocklist to your new Facebook pages’ Timeline allowing everyone that knows youand “Likes” your page to see your stock and have the ability to click directly from Facebook to the actual page on your website that is advertising the car. Better still, if one of these people decide to share this car on their own Facebook timeline then the shared item is seen by all their friends and the people that “Like” them if they too have shared from another Facebook page.

It may sound complex but it’s extremely easy after you have shared and posted a few items to your timeline. We even “Like” a few dealers on your behalf including our own Facebook page for Car Dealer 5. We “Like” you back of course, it all helps with the Social Networking side of things and gets your brand and your stock out there.

Anything that we post from Car Dealer 5 then appears in your timeline. Anything you post appears on ours!

How much does it cost?

This is the good bit, you get all this for only £100 + VAT. Yes, we set your page up, link it to your website and vice-versa, then add a “Like” button to your website to accompany your sharing tools.

Give us a call today on 08456 432 110 to get your page set up and start networking!

Setting up a Motor Trader Website – What to Consider

Let’s face it, there are hundreds of solutions available on the internet to allow you to set up a car sales website. If you are reading this post, then you are most probably a small to medium sized business looking to list anything from around 5 to 100 vehicles.

Do I need to register a domain name?

No, we do it all for you. You simply choose the domain name you require (we can assist with this). If you already have a domain namewe can also help you point it to our servers or transfer it over to us, it’s your choice.

The cost of the domain and web hosting for 12 months is included in the price of £300 + VAT per year.

Do I need VRML (Vehicle Registration Mark Lookup)?

Well, that’s something you need to consider. VRML or Vehicle Registration Mark Lookup costs money. Every time you enter a registration and the details for that car are called, you pay a set fee. In short, the more vehicles you list, the more expensive it becomes.

Car Dealer 5 does not use VRML in order to keep costs down. Customers save well over £1000 + VAT per year by using our solution rather than those integrated with VRML.

Do I need to get my website built from scratch?

That’s up to you, but there’s no point reinventing the wheel. We have been putting car sales websites together for over 7 years now and have included everything you need in Car Dealer 5.

Contract length

Some companies that offer motor trader websites tie you into minimum term contracts. All we ask is you pay £300 + VAT per year. Should you decide to close shop or move your domain that you control during this 12 month period you are free to do so.

How many cars will I need to list?

Car Dealer 5 allows you to list as many vehicles as you need giving you plenty of flexibility with adding content to your website too.

I want to add videos as well as photos

Car Dealer 5 allows you to add an introduction video to the home page as well as a video per car added to the stock system. The video code is simply embed code available from your YouTube account.

Call 08456 432 110 today to speak to one of our trained staff who can get you up and running within a few hours.

The HMRC (Taxman) vs Motor Traders

It came to our attention that during 2012 the HMRC or Taxman as more commonly known had created around thirty more taskforces to catch tax evaders in the UK. One of these taskforces were apparently directly targetting the motor trader.

When the news came about we had one or two car dealers pull out of their rolling contract which they are perfectly entitled to do. Although wiping your website, pulling your stock and crossing your fingers that the HMRC won’t come knocking on your door is not an ideal solution.

How can I reduce my Tax Liability

Firstly, keep records of everything you buy as well as every car you sell. Remember that all money on items you spend related to the business can be offset against your profit such as:

  • car valeting
  • advertising
  • your car dealer website
  • search engine optimisation
  • fuel expenses
  • phone charges / internet connections
  • insurance
  • utilities (gas / electric / water / rates / rent

The above list isn’t a comprehensive list but gives you a general idea of what you should be able to offset against your motor trade business. By offsetting the above expenses against your income will certainly help get your profit margin down to help reduce your tax bill.

Important – Always set up a business account OR a separate account which enables you to put all transactions and expenses through. Using your personal account will only confuse matters and make it difficult for you to separate and explain transactions to the HMRC should you ever have a tax investigation.

How else can a motor trader reduce their tax liability?

Also remember that by partnering with your spouse on a 50/50 basis (for example they may do all the paperwork) will also double your tax allowance pre-profit and therefore reduce your end of year tax liability.

If you are considering in starting a business in the motor trade, remember to do it properly and don’t forget to give us a call on 08456 432 110 regarding your new car sales website – we won’t let you down!

Websites for Auto Traders all over the UK

Auto traders throughout the UK are having a tough time right now with the current economic climate in 2012 and 2013.

Having a website put together to list your cars by a specialist company can cost you thousands of pounds to have built, especially when you need all the features to show your stock not only to customers sat at home on their computer, but to potential customers on the move using their mobile phone.

Car Dealer 5 screenshot

Our solution enables you to list your cars easily and more importantly for a great price of only £25 + VAT per month! Check out some of our rivals in the auto trade website industry and you will find we are hands down the cheapest saving you on average over £1000 + VAT per year!

Why are we so cheap?

Simple! Because we don’t have to be expensive! Our marketing strategy is simply our website which allows us to keep costs to an absolute minimum.

Bet you’re thinking “This is too good to be true..”

Well you are 100% wrong!

  • There are NO HIDDEN FEES
  • It really is ONLY £300 + VAT per year!

A big problem with auto traders is that many of them are bombarded with phone calls and marketing strategies from companies such as us; this, in short loses their trust in website design companies who promise the earth and don’t deliver on their promises.

This is where we’re different, we simply promise you a solid, robust, good looking mobile-ready website which is fast and extremely easy to use. Speak to any of our customers and they will tell you themselves that the system does exactly what it should, all the time!

How long does it take to get set up?

For customers without an existing domain name we can have you up and running the same day. For customers transferring from a company such as the Autotrader™, they need to allow 28 days for their contract to be cancelled so the domain name can be released.

Well, what are you waiting for? Call 08456 432 110

Why not give us a call on the above number, you won’t get any pressure sales at all, just honesty because with a product like Car Dealer 5, that’s all you need as it really does sell itself..