In the age of Social Distancing, car dealers are bringing the Dealership to the Customer

When dealership showrooms and Service drives first began to experience temporary closures back in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, they had to quickly adapt to keep bringing in business and save their employees’ jobs.

As we experienced back in 2008, those who adapted quickly have not only succeeded in saving their business but have thrived in ways they couldn’t have imagined before.

We spoke with our dealerships about what they did and what they are currently doing, and here’s what they had to say.

Vehicle Pickup & Delivery 

Since most dealers’ insurance plans cover basic off-site activities, this was the first process that they set up quickly. While the processes may vary from store to store, the sentiments were the same.

  • “If they weren’t able to come to me or felt uncomfortable leaving their homes, then we had to go to them.”
  • “We laid off or furloughed over 40% of our staff, so we enabled anyone and everyone available in the service drive to pick up and deliver vehicles.”
  • “[Our manufacturer] started advertising that dealers were going to do it, so we set up a process in-house quickly.”
  • “I’ve been calling our customers who need warranty work and offering to pick up their car and they say ‘yes’ more often than not because they’re stuck at home anyway.”
  • “I am glad I got this up and running and we’re going to keep doing this even after COVID.”

What they found was that customers who used this new service were more likely to spend more on an RO, making it a profitable operation.

Over time, we expect this service to become a mainstay at dealerships across the country as customers become more aware of it and used to the ease and convenience of it.

To learn more about Quickride’s Pickup & Delivery software, click here.

Mobile Mechanics

Many OEMs like Ford and Mercedes-Benz have empowered their dealerships to perform off-site work. While this may require additional insurance or specialized vehicles, dealerships are still seeing a variety of benefits from this process:

  • “I was able to free up a few service bays at a time by having a mobile service van go out and do quick oil changes in customers’ driveways.”
  • “I purchased a pre-built vehicle from [OEM] and was able to perform a lot of off-site work. I initially focused on warranty work and oil changes. This freed up my bays for more higher value RO work.”

To download a case study on how dealers are using Quickride’s Jobs platform to manage their mobile mechanics, click here.

Mobile Service Advisors

Using the technology provided by their manufacturer or their DMS, a dealer shared their process of sending out advisors to specific parts of town each day of the week. This allowed them to reduce the need for a chase vehicle and created off-site experts.

“When the stay-at-home order took effect, I needed to make sure people kept their appointments. I was initially getting a lot of cancellations. I decided to target one part of town each day of the week and put a Service Advisor in our now-empty shuttle along with 4 or 5 porters. They would drive to the customer’s house together. Upon arriving, using our [intake tool] on the tablet, my Service Advisor is able to do the intake straight from the customer’s driveway. A porter would hop out and drive the customer’s car back to the dealership, and then the Service Advisor would get back in the shuttle with the remaining porters to the next customers’ house.”

To learn more about the Quickride Shuttles platform, which can help manage this process even more efficiently, click here.

…and more!

“I have enabled our sales staff to do off-site selling using well-equipped demo cars or loaners.”

“I partnered up with a company to do equity mining on vehicles in our service bay. With used car prices going up at auctions, it’s been easier to acquire inventory from our customers than ever before using instant appraisal tools.”

“I’ve created a ‘Pickup & Delivery Service Package’ that I sell to new customers in F&I. This is creating a lot of loyalty and customers will start getting used to this as the new normal.”

To learn more about how your dealership can benefit from starting some of these off-site services, call us at (888) 570-6807 or email us at