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Insight: The best route to warranty renewal

Nick Plevey, managing director of the Skurrays Group, which utilises the Safe and Sound product across its Vauxhall dealerships, said: “In only a handful of months, our level of warranty products sold has already risen by 40% at the Swindon branch.

“To aid penetration, we decided to offer our customers a bundle of products when they upgrade to a longer term warranty.

This includes a three-year wear and tear warranty, three-year recovery, three-year MoT cover and three-year tyre cover, which we sell for a very competitive price that still leaves room for a good margin.

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Eric Stone, business development director at WMS, which also operates a specialist aftersales team that canvasses customers without a warranty, said: “Many dealers are also capitalising on cross-selling or upselling F&I products after the vehicle has been repaired as the customer will have already seen the benefit in having a warranty, especially if the repair costs were substantial.

“A vehicle in the workshop is a prime time to introduce a warranty extension, especially if the policy is due to expire shortly, but it is important to remember that unexpected repairs and vehicle downtime can be stressful, so remove the sales pressure and make the experience as pleasant as possible.

“The customer is at this point likely to be left with a positive image of the dealership and the warranty company, so taking out other protection products should be a natural progression.”

The best way to operate a warranty renewals scheme is very much the preserve of the individual dealer or dealer group although the more supportive the warranty provider and the more open-minded the dealer, the more likely a better result.

Mapfre Warranty’s Burgess said: “It’s the dealer’s choice on whether to sell warranties directly through aftersales or whether they prefer to operate a referral system back to the sales team. Both can work and both processes should be supported by the warranty provider.

“A proactive warranty company should be working with their dealer partners to assist them in finding and implementing the right model for their warranty business including ongoing performance management.

"In addition, a good supplier will be able to remain flexible to the needs of the dealer and offer added value services such as call centre campaign capability to help dealers utilise their warranty customer database.”

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