Finalizing a vehicle’s title and registration has been streamlined as technology revolutionizes the industry. But with software from leading vendors, dealers today are able to conduct more of that process online, expanding their reach to customers beyond their state’s borders. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Kane McCord, chief executive officer of Automotive Titling Company, a market leader in processing interstate title and registration, to discuss how dealerships can expand their markets with out-of-state sales.
“Consumers today expect more, really across the board in all their purchase types,” begins McCord. Wherever one looks, buying products has gotten faster and less intrusive. However, in the car business, dealers are hampered by the extensive rules governing the title and registration process. These rules can become even more challenging when consumers buy a vehicle from out of state, a practice that is becoming more and more popular. In fact, Automotive Titling Company has seen out-of-state car purchases increase 80% year over year. “The challenge…for dealers is ‘How do I stay relevant not only in my local market but how do I expand my consumer base,’ because, make no bones about it, other online-only dealers and larger dealers from other states: they’re coming for your customers…”
So how can dealers begin branching out into new markets? One of the most complicated aspects of serving out-of-state customers is the title and registration process. Whereas local transactions can be handled by the area’s DMV office, this is not feasible for buyers across state lines, and regulations are constantly changing. “The challenge…for the dealers is that if that car is financed…if you don’t tax, title and register it properly, you as the dealer are potentially on the hook if and when there are problems with that loan.”
Working with vendors like Automotive Titling Company is one way dealers can ensure they remain in compliance with regulations across multiple states and deliver their vehicles quickly and with as little effort on the customer’s part as possible. McCord notes that paying for expert assistance in this area not only makes the process quicker but also saves retailers money. Fees and fines resulting from title and registration errors can cost as much as $79 to $299 on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis, and storefronts are far more likely to incur penalties when they sell out of state. Additionally, McCord explains that dealers are not able to access their cash from the sale until title, tax and registration are completely finalized. This means that stores that sell across state borders may be forced to wait for their income to deposit.
In conclusion, whether working with clients from out of state or simply searching for ways to speed up the overall title and registration process, dealers should be sure to consult with experts and vendors who can guarantee reliability, compliance and fast customer service.