‘Fully Inclusive’ – A Lesson Motor Retailing Can Learn

Dealers can benefit from an ‘all-inclusive’ pricing and marketing approach that provides greater lifetime cost certainty to today’s car buyers against an uncertain operating environment.

Value for money has become increasingly important for car buyers as the social and economic impact of Covid-19 continues to create uncertainty for much of the UK population. It is why Martin Hill, Group Director Of Strategic Partnerships at AutoProtect Group, is calling on dealers to consider a price packaging change to their used vehicles and market cars on a ‘fully-inclusive’ basis. Martin observes:

“A drive to offer the lowest price for cars carries unhealthy risks. Create the lowest ‘sticker price’ is too often linked with back-end fees of varying types for car buyers that risk undermining trust and can be related with a ‘push’ approach to ‘stack’ added value services. The travel industry has addressed a similar situation to develop fully-inclusive deals and I believe there is real potential to follow their lead.”

In the travel trade, around twenty per cent of all holidays are now booked on a fully inclusive basis. Research shows that around half of people value this model because, with everything included, customers can budget more effectively and avoid unwanted extra costs that they cannot anticipate (1). Greater cost certainty is at the heart of Martin’s thinking.

Promoting a fully inclusive or ‘concierge’ service provides a distinctive marketing edge for dealers and enables a different type of service-led conversation to take place. Such a discussion need not be reserved for the showroom. Online people could build their own inclusive car buying package. As Martin concludes;

“What we are suggesting is a transparent value-led approach an all-inclusive price that moves the conversation from price and towards service that includes greater transparency. The fully inclusive package can be pared back to match customer needs, while chassis profit can be sustained on a fair and realistic basis.

“An all-inclusive offer that, for example, includes Smart, Gap and key cover, priced fairly and clearly identified in promotional activity changes the dialogue and lets the customer build a package that suits their circumstances. Crucially, it changes the dialogue from price to service. As one of my favourite quotes notes; ‘Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.’ (2). Pivoting the dialogue towards service and supporting the customer’s ownership journey can only be good for reputation and retention.”