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15 Steps How To Start An Online Car Dealership In California

(doylc.com) How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California - In California, all dealers must be licensed. Even if you plan to only sell your vehicles online, you still need a qualified physical location to sell cars. Opening an online car dealership is an expensive, time-consuming process, but you can achieve your goal by following a few simple steps.

How To Start An Online Car Dealership In California

  • How to become a dealer

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

1. Decide whether you are selling new or used cars. In California, you can be either a new car dealer or a used car dealer. In order to trade, sell or broker, you must be licensed as either a new car dealer or a used car dealer. Think about the types of vehicles you will be selling. Licensed new car dealers are allowed to sell new and used cars, while used car dealers are only allowed to sell used cars.

New car dealerships must be licensed through a manufacturer. If you plan to sell new cars, you need to check with the manufacturer of the new cars you're selling to make sure you're following their guidelines. New car dealers can also sell used cars.

Used car dealers are only allowed to sell used cars and not new cars.

Remember that selling a car online still requires some personal paperwork. This is because the paperwork required to buy a car has to be done in ink.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

2. Take a pre-licensing course if you want to become a used car dealer. All used car dealers are required to complete a six-hour pre-licensing course with a licensed car dealer education provider. New car dealers must contact their franchise manufacturer to determine what specific manufacturer registration requirements apply. Manufacturers have their own educational standards for car dealers.

A list of used car dealer course providers can be found on the DMV website: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/vehindustry/ol/dlr_edu_provider

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

3. Contact your local inspection body. These are the people responsible for evaluating your application. They will be able to answer all your questions about the merchant licensing process.

If you have questions about the dealer licensing process, you can call (916) 229-3126.

You can also visit the DMV website to find a list of inspectors who can evaluate your application: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv /fo/inspector_office

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

4. Get the dealer's manual. The Dealer Handbook contains a lot of important information for anyone wanting to become a car dealer in California. Get hold of this guide and read it as it can help you navigate the entire process.

The dealer manual can be found at: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/reg_hdbk_pdf/toc/

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

5. Subject to a criminal investigation. To obtain a dealer license, all applicants must complete a background check, which can take up to four months. This investigation is conducted to prevent licenses from being granted to those who may be found to be unethical traders.

If you are concerned that you may not pass a background check because of a criminal record, you can submit what is known as an "abbreviated application". You still have to pay a $175 fee, but this option lets you wait and see if you pass the background check instead of paying all the other associated costs up front.

Remember that all dealers and sellers are required to provide fingerprints.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

6. Apply for a dealer license. There are different forms you need to submit depending on what type of dealership you want to run. Make sure you submit all required documents. If you have any questions about the correct forms, contact the regulatory office. The DMV recommends you:

If you are planning to open a new dealership, you can download the required forms from: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/aa0a7d1c-8084-40d2-9266-7801a9f498e8/ol248n.pdf ? MOD=AJPERES

If you are planning to open a used car dealership, you can download the necessary forms from: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/forms/ol /ol248u

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

7. Pay all fees associated with licensing. If you don't pay all the fees, you won't get a license to operate. Manufacturer fees and government fees may vary. Paying for your license in full can cost up to $800. These include :

- $175 non-refundable initial application fee

- Family Assistance Program fee of $1

- $100 auto agent fee (in addition to application fee)

- $70 per branch

- $300 meal fee for new motor vehicles

- $71 per car dealer plate, plus county fees

- $73 per motorcycle dealer plate, plus county fees

  • How to become a seller

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

8. Decide on a physical location. Even if you're selling your vehicles online, you also need to have a physical location for people to come and see your cars. This is called the display area. The exhibition space must be large enough to accommodate all of the vehicles you have listed on your website, so you may need to find commercial space to rent.

Remember that your showroom needs to be inspected before you can open your online retailer.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

9. Pay the fees. These fees can be around $116. Make sure no new charges have been added. You can call your local inspector's office to make sure. These fees may include:

- A $5 non-refundable registration fee

- A $50 reinstatement fee

- A $15 duplicate or transfer license fee

- A $1 family support program fee

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

10. Wait about 120 days for feedback. The DMV must review your application, location, and other aspects of your business before approving your license. If your application is approved, you can start selling cars.

Note that it is illegal to sell cars without your driver's license.

Remember that you will also need to renew your license every two years and provide proof of dealer training.

  • Go online

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

11. Create your website . Decide what kind of online retailer you want to be. Some online dealers find customers and sell them vehicles from dealer-only auctions. Others can refurbish used vehicles. Or you use your website to advertise your new car dealership.

Think about how you will use the website to sell your cars and then start building your website to serve that purpose.

If you've never built a website and aren't happy with the idea, you can always hire someone to build it for you. Professional website builders will talk to you to find out what you want and create a website that meets your needs and expectations.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

12. Offer a live chat feature. Many online dealerships have a live chat feature that potential customers can use to ask questions about the cars you have for sale. When you include a live chat feature, you (or someone else) must be available to reply to messages that come in day or night.

A live chat feature can be a great way for you to connect with potential customers and close a sale, but it can also be a big time commitment depending on how many messages you get in a day.

You should consider limiting your live chat times to normal business hours, e.g. E.g. Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, or arrange for someone to manage the live chat if that is not possible.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

13. Post lots of photos of your vehicles. Lots of great, high-quality photos are essential for an online car dealership. Your website visitors will expect to look at many photos of a car before deciding to buy it, so you might want to invest in a good camera.

Take photos of your vehicles from many different angles and also add interior photos. Your website visitors should be able to see the vehicles on your website from every angle.

Clean your vehicles inside and out before photographing them. Dust and dirt can make a car look less attractive to your online visitors, so you should take the time to thoroughly clean each of your cars before photographing them.

Take photos of your vehicles outdoors when the sun is setting or rising to get the best light. Natural light makes your photos look more professional and you can see the details of the car better.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

14. Write detailed descriptions. Since you cannot show website visitors all the features of your vehicles, you need to add some detailed descriptions. Make your descriptions as detailed as possible. Add information about each vehicle's characteristics and other information that site visitors may want to know. Some things you might want to include are :

- Year, make and model

- Mileage

- Details of how the vehicle drives

- Basic characteristics such as horsepower, whether automatic or manual transmission, whether two-wheel or four-wheel drive, etc.

- Special equipment such as electric windows, electric locks, sound system, etc.

How to Start an Online Car Dealership in California: 15 Steps

15. Enter the prices for all your vehicles. One of the reasons people look for cars online is to compare prices before deciding to buy. If you don't price your cars, your website visitors are less likely to consider your vehicles.

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