Auto theft is a common problem in the United States, one that affects both individual car and truck owners, and fleet operators like rental companies and auto dealerships.
While the actual number of vehicle thefts varies from state to state, it has been consistently rising nationwide since 2019. According to Car and Driver, auto theft was up 16.5% in 2021.
Some areas of the country are experiencing an even higher increase in vehicle theft, with some states seeing an almost three-digit percentage increase in the first quarter of 2022. These numbers highlight the importance of protecting your most valuable asset — your vehicles — at a dealership.
Dealerships are more likely to be victims of vehicle theft because they own, manage and loan hundreds of vehicles to their customers. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice reported vehicle theft was the number one property crime reported to police. As different customers drive your vehicles every day, loaner fleets are at a greater risk of being stolen every time one leaves the lot.
Unfortunately, you can’t control how your customers treat your loaner cars. They may not always keep the vehicle locked at home or at the mall. Maybe they’re a bit more at ease with leaving a car that isn’t “theirs” running when they go into a restaurant to pay for their carry-out order. Maybe they live or work in high-risk areas, and don’t even know it. These unknowns put your vehicles at risk for theft, and potentially expose you and your dealership to expensive losses and lost revenue, when that vehicle is no longer in your fleet. Not to mention the headaches of working with law enforcement.
Dealerware can help
While we can not reduce the rate of auto theft in the United States, Dealerware and our Connected Car Services can reduce the negative impact of a stolen vehicle to your dealership operations. Dealerships using Dealerware Connected Car Services can use real-time GPS tracking to see the current location of every vehicle in their fleet.
Recovery time is the most important factor when dealing with stolen vehicles, so the exact location data available in Dealerware can help you work with law enforcement to quickly find and successfully recover a vehicle stolen from your dealership.
Faster recovery means less potential damage to the vehicle, which in turn means less work before you can put that car back into loaner service or up for sale.
Quick recovery also helps ensure any customer belongings in the vehicle are recovered and returned as well, which can help reduce additional costs and insurance claims, and also reduce the stress on a customer who is definitely having a bad day. They may not know how bad it could be, either — customers who lose your cars could potentially be held partially responsible for traffic offenses and other crimes committed by the thief, so fast vehicle recovery protects both you and your customer.
Dealerware’s off-lot detection, included with Connected Car Services, also allows users to easily see if any vehicles have left the quarter-mile radius around the dealership without a signed contract.
Whether it’s a porter taking the car to lunch without asking, or a more serious case of theft, dealerships can take action immediately to reduce risk to their vehicles. The best part is GPS tracking, through either native telemetry or a simple OBDII device, can easily be toggled on and off by any authorized user with the appropriate permissions. This allows dealerships to make on-the-spot tracking changes based on any customer privacy concerns.
Dealerware’s simple user interface makes it easy for users to quickly access event history and mapping data if a vehicle is stolen, but if preferred, our industry leading support team is always ready to help.
Dealerware support specialists are prepared to provide any mapping and event history data to help in stolen vehicle investigations. From guiding users through the process themselves, to taking over entirely and providing you all available location information, real people at Dealerware are ready to help in any situation.
Auto theft is a problem without a clear-cut solution, but automotive dealerships using Dealerware with Connected Car Services can mitigate the short and long term effects of having a vehicle stolen. The amount of time, money and stress associated with a stolen vehicle can add up. Dealerware is here to help dealers manage their loaner fleet and customer contracts, while reducing the impact vehicle theft could have on your dealership. Protect your most valuable assets with Dealerware and Connected Car Services today.