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What is a Surety Bond for Used Auto Dealers?
Published on August 7, 2018 by Mike Ramos
One of the most common questions I get is “what is a surety bond for auto dealers“?
It’s an insurance product, but it’s not insurance. Dealer insurance, or typically any type of insurance, has a deductible, which means that you’re going to pay the first dollar up to a certain amount. Let’s say $1,000 deductible. On a car dealer policy, that’s probably average. This means that if you cause a car accident or if your car gets stolen perhaps, you’re going to pay the first $1,000 of that claim.
So if you’ve got a $5,000 claim on your hands, then you would get a $4,000 check because you’re paying the first $1,000 of it. That’s sort of the way that works. They charge you a certain amount of it, you can usually make a down payment, and then make monthly payments after that. That’s used auto dealer insurance.
That’s not a bond. A bond is very different. A surety bond is basically a guarantee from a third party. The guarantee is coming from the surety company on behalf of the surety bond auto dealer.
Potential surety bond claims:
1) the dealer stops making his payments to the auction,
2) dealer to dealer disputes because one of them didn’t pay up;
3) maybe the dealer offered an extended warranty but didn’t pony up the service.
4) maybe they sold a car on suspect pretenses or whatever have you.
5) DMV fees.
All of those bond claims could and do happen. Then once the bond company pays out, they give you a certain amount of time to pay it back. They may charge you a little bit of an admin fee for having to push around the paper.
And then they’re going to turn around and hit your bond with a claim and cancel your bond. If that bond gets canceled, they will inform the DMV. The DMV in turn shuts down your license. You must start everything over. Meaning, going back to the pre-licensing education. You’re going to have to go through the entire process again of getting licensed, taking the DMV test, etc. because your bond got canceled since it was a bond claim.
And they want every penny back. There’s no you pay the first X amount, and then they pick up the tab on the rest. You pay every penny of all surety bond claims. This bond is saying that you are going to fulfill your obligations and if you don’t, this bond is going to step up and protect the public, protect the DMV, which is the state, which is going to protect other dealers from that dealer that’s going out and causing these claims. It’s going to protect the auction. But then the surety company is coming for you afterwards.
That’s what a surety bond is for an auto dealer, used car dealer, motor vehicle dealer, surety bond auto dealer – whatever you want to call it. In different states, the DMV requires a different bond limit.
In California, if you’re a wholesale dealer that’s selling 24 cars or less per year then you can obtain a $10,000 auto dealer bond.
If you’re selling 25 cars or more, that’s a $50,000 bond. If you’re still doing wholesale only. And guess what. If you’re retailer, $50,000 bond. If you’re an auto broker, $50,000 bond. Wholesale dealers selling 25 cars or more per year, $50,000 bond.
Here’s the carve out. If you’re a retail motorcycle only dealer then you also qualify for a $10,000 bond. Every other segment of licensees will have to have the $50,000 bond.
The 80/20 Rule for the Surety Bond Auto Dealer
Awesome Tip for Car Dealers and Salespeople (80-20 Rule)
YCDB makes life simple for our Auto Dealer friends in several ways! We previously reviewed the SWOT analysis and ‘Thinking BIG’. Now Mike Ramos dives into another hack that the best car dealers in the business are doing!
Does this sum up your issue if you are a used car dealer: “I need to sell more cars or increase my Profit Margins this year!” If the answer is yes, then you likely need to employ the 80-20 strategy.
Mike discusses the simple process needed to figure out where your time is going. More importantly, you need to know where your profit is coming from TODAY! Don’t go another day without starting the process of knowing how you get your actual profit, not sales.
You might sell 10 cars at a break-even, 10 at a loss, and the next 7 you sell make you a huge profit and making you think that things are fine. Your job is to identify those 7 transactions and figure out how to do more of them, while starting to eliminate those sales that turn out to be loss-leaders. Once you find out where the profit is coming from, you equate how much of your time you are spending on these activities.
Simple stuff from there – perform more activities that earn the most money and less of the activity that loses money. Do something today that your future self will thank you for and remember to aim for the stars because you just may hit the moon!
The SWOT Analysis
Attention Surety Bond Auto Dealer: Sell More and Increase your ROI in 4 easy steps
Published on YouTube on Jul 20, 2018 8:23 AM
Every Used Car Dealer in America wants to do 2 things, sell more cars (or trucks) and increase their return on investment (ROI). The hard part is figuring out how to get to the next level once you get stuck in the rut. Watch this video and we show you how, step-by-step. California Used Auto Dealers have so many moving parts as a business and competing with the new car stores or peer-to-peer outlets like TrueCar. That’s not even to mention that nice dealership around the corner that is trying to steal all your clients into their sales funnel.
Step 1 and 2 – Strengths and Weaknesses
The SWOT analysis requires you to put pen to paper and list out things that are very simple but profound when the data is looked at together. Watch the video to see the exact steps but the “S” in SWOT stands for Strengths. This is an area where you want to list your best tools for competing for market share against the best car dealers in your area. Do you have the gift of gab, are you great with social media, do you really know how to make stunning graphics, or do you have the best location in town? What makes you unique and relevant?
The next step can be painful for some of my used car dealer friends but the juice is worth the squeeze here. Now to list your weaknesses and be honest. If you don’t identify the areas that you could improve in, then the chance of turning those weaknesses into strengths drops dramatically. Perhaps you are not good with a computer, or don’t understand social media at all, or don’t have enough of a marketing budget to advertise the business the way you believe you should be. List all of those weaknesses, don’t judge yourself in the process, and let’s create a teachable moment here to build on for your future!
Steps 3 and 4 – Opportunities and Threats
The next step is exciting to most auto dealers and takes a lot of the detail you have listed as strengths and weaknesses. This step is to create a list of your opportunities for your dealer business. You can prioritize later into a logical phase-in plan but the idea here is to set aside time to focus on your opportunities.
Now to list the (T)threats to your auto dealership or wholesale operation. Again, every list will be different but some threats could be that your credit rating has decreased and your bond is coming up for expiration within the next few months. It’s possible that your rate will jump from $750 per year to $5,000 which could be a huge threat to your business. Let YCDB shop around and we will get you our best rate for your $10,000 bond of $50,000 used auto dealer bond.
Other threats could be that your lease is running out and you need to move soon. Perhaps you see that foot traffic has dried up over the years and don’t know other ways to promote your business.
What do you do with the info collected through this SWOT Analysis?
Now you have a list of all your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your used car dealership. Look at the scariest area first which are the threats. Allocate a certain amount of time every week to creating processes to protect your dealership from those threats.
Then focus on your weaknesses and pick some low-hanging fruit. What are those weaknesses that you could convert into strengths in the least amount of time? Set a timeline for yourself and let’s get cranking to turn what you are not good at into things that can make you more money! Most of your strengths will create your opportunities but let’s look at both lists and figure out how you can start increasing the number of vehicles you are selling every month. Set reasonable targets and start slow.
Now take another look at your strengths list and let’s see how any of those can help your weaknesses. Most times, your strengths can be leveraged to help you use your weaknesses if you are creative enough. For instance, I have a little weakness keeping my attention on something for long periods of time. After trying to change it for years and getting nowhere, I started to focus on allowing that tendency to help me.
Now I set myself with 2 – 3 projects that I can bounce back and forth between so when I get sick of looking at one for too long, I pivot to something else that will renew my interest. This keeps me engaged and able to sprint through my next task with fresh legs.
The YCDB Backstory
How did Your Car Dealer Bond (YCDB) get Started?
If you can appreciate how this company came together, please give a thumbs up to this video. It would also make my year if you press that button and subscribe to the Your Car Dealer Bond Youtube channel.
This is an interesting backstory about how YCDB began. Your Car Dealer Bond was founded in late 2011 while maintaining a full-time job. 80-hour work-weeks were normal and necessary to build this small, family-owned surety bond agency to around 750 California used car dealers within 4 years.
Best rates on California Motor Vehicle Dealer Bonds! Never pay retail again on your car dealer bond. Let us save you money and time on your $10,000 bond or your $50,000 bond today! Please visit us at the button below.
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