5 Motor Trade Money Saving Tips

carwash blog

Tricks and tips to save money and increase profits at your car wash business.

Valet businesses are faced with a tough challenge every day as customer budgets shrink and demands grow ever larger. Customers now expect fast and excellent service for a low cost from their local car wash, putting the businesses in a tight situation to make ends meet.

In order to maintain the low costs for their customers while still supplying them with the best service, car washes need to cut unnecessary outgoings and reduce their maintenance bills.

To help valet businesses to cut those outgoings, we have researched different methods that could save them money. Some ideas will start saving businesses money instantly at no extra cost, but others may require some investment into the business, although the return could become quite lucrative once they have earned the money back.


Lighting your location’s work space can be an especially difficult and costly task. The simple way to save some money is to replace your bulbs with LED lighting.

A traditional fluorescent light bulb has a lifetime that is 5-10 times shorter than the impressive LED fixture. Working for more than 60,000 hours, an LED fixture will give you nearly 7 years life, reducing the cost of maintenance, and because they use less energy they will also cut the cost of your electricity bill dramatically.

LED lighting is perfect for a valet business as it can also be produced as a sealed fixture meaning that the moisture from your washing equipment will not damage them.

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Keeping your location and workspaces clean and tidy will make your car wash run much more efficiently. A messy workplace can make equipment hard to find and it can also put customers off returning to your business. A clean car wash reflects well on your business and will make things run much more smoothly.

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Using the correct equipment such as high pressure nozzles whilst using a controlled amount of water will not only save gallons of water a minute and reduce your water bill, it will also increase the quality of your car wash.

We also recommend you begin recycling your run off water as soon as possible, remember that not only do you get charged for the water you use but also the water that goes down the plughole. With an effective irrigation system in place reclaimed water can be mixed with detergents and be used in the early rinses of your car wash. This could save 50-80% of the water you use altogether, saving you a great deal of money.

This is a huge step for a car wash business that will also result in making your business highly environmentally friendly. Once you have begun recycling water be sure to tell your customers on social media or any print marketing why you are doing it. Being responsible for the environment is excellent publicity and will warm customers to your business.

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Malfunctioning equipment can be costly to repair and if you are unable to carry on washing cars as quickly or at the same high standard, the time that it takes to repair your kit can eat in to your revenue and lose your customers confidence in your business.

If you want your equipment to last for longer without malfunction you need to train your staff on how to use it correctly and how to keep it maintained. Giving staff the correct training with each of the equipment will ensure they do not accidentally cause damage to it. You should also create a daily, weekly and monthly maintenance schedule, which outlines what needs to be done to keep your kit in check.

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If you pay hundreds of pounds for design and print costs when you create flyers or advertisements for your business, you might find that it’s actually cheaper and more effective to start using social media.

Using Facebook and Twitter is free, but if you would like you can pay small amounts to reach large numbers of people who will want to use your service. By uploading occasional limited-time offers, pictures of your location and current business updates, you can increase customer engagement and trust in your business.

Check out our essential guide to social media for motor traders www.think-ins.co.uk/news/the-essential-social-media-guide-for-motor-traders/ for our top tips to improve your brand awareness and business online. 

Think Insurance are a bespoke insurance broker that help customers looking for Motor Trade Insurance or specifically Valet’s insurance, for more information please get in touch with our expert team today!

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How Telematics Insurance Can Save You Money

Benefits of a Black Box: Telematics Insurance Can Save Young Drivers Money

As more people start to see the benefit of Telematics, Think uncover the facts behind the black box being fitted in young drivers’ cars.

Plenty of insurers are now encouraging young drivers to install black boxes in their cars to help monitor their driving performance. The technology is called telematics and it’s aim is to reduce the amount of accidents that young drivers are involved in during their first 12 months of driving, and beyond.

Insurance premiums for young drivers are high because 1 in 5 have an accident within the first 12 months of passing their test. The alluring draw of telematics technology is the discount that insurance brokers are offering in exchange for their installation. Many reports show that drivers who purchase their insurance with a black box in place can get 25-30% discount off their policies, and save up to £1,000.

Telematics gives young drivers a chance to prove they are responsible drivers, rather than punishing them with high premiums before they’ve even made an error.

Some people may worry that their privacy is being invaded by the technology, and their every move recorded, but this isn’t the case, and in most instances only the information needed to score their driving ability is recorded such as the car’s speed, acceleration, braking, cornering and time of day the car is driven.

The data essentially tells the insurance companies how their customer is driving. Those who drive more safely will score better; those that break the speed limit, accelerate aggressively and break sharply will receive lower scores. Depending upon which insurance broker or company you are with, will determine the impact of these scores; some offer discounts for high scores, while some charge penalties for low scores; some reward good drivers with incentives and prizes, while others can even penalise consistent low scores by cancelling your policy.

We spoke to Michael Fowler, a young driver who in his first year of driving had telematics technology in place.

“When I was driving I was very conscious of my speed, and the way I was braking. I really wanted to reduce the cost of my insurance, knowing that if it went up the next year I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Having telematics in place saved me £700, and in my second year of driving my premium had reduced by more than half of what I paid in my first year.”

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1/8 UK licence holders aged 25 or under.

1/3 road death victims are under 25.

18-year-old drivers are more than 3 times as likely to crash than 48-year-old drivers.

Over 1/4 motor-related injury claims of over £500,000 involve under 25s.

Source: Association of British Insurers (ABI) via BBC.

While the driving performance statistics are against young people, telematics is a great and viable option for reducing their premiums and encouraging safer driving on the roads.

To enquire about a black box telematics insurance policy, please get in touch with us here at Think Insurance.

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Social Media Motor Trade Guide

The Essential Social Media Guide for Motor Traders

72% of adults using the internet have social media accounts, 1.19 billion people actively use Facebook every month and 300,000 people are added to Twitter everyday.

Social media is an active part of customer lives and needs to be understood if businesses want to stand out. It’s not just retail, venues and restaurants that use Twitter and Facebook, many motor trade businesses utilise the medium to help sell their products and services and engage with their customers.

Why Should my Motor Trade Business use Social Media?

If you are running any business in the motor trade today, social media is an essential marketing and customer service tool. Social media can help you engage with your customers and construct valuable community and trust. You can educate them about your business and services, advertise offers and products, whilst also being able to instantly answer any of their questions or concerns.

If you’re a car dealer you can freely advertise your vehicles for sale, if you run a valet service you can promote your offers and it’s a simple way to quickly answer questions and queries from customers.

What Should I Share on Social Media?

Relative News and Content

It’s fine to talk about what’s going on in your garage or showroom every so often, but you don’t need to solely talk about your business on social media. You can also talk about subjects that are different but still relevant to your business. For example if you are a mechanic, you could talk about formula one, new cars being released soon or motoring television shows, they aren’t directly about your business, but people who are interested in you will be interested in similar subjects and will enjoy hearing news.

How To Articles

Revealing some tricks of the trade, car maintenance or vehicle cleaning techniques is a great method for getting your posts shared. If you can include your products or services in the ‘how to’ posts you’ll be even more engaging.

Join Conversations

Social media is unsurprisingly a social environment, imagine it as a 24/7 networking event, with that in mind jump into conversations and engage with anyone who might be relevant to your motor trade business.

Community and Charity

Special events going on in your local community and anything that your business does voluntarily or for charity should be shouted about. Sharing things like this make your business more human and trustworthy to your customers.

Job Openings

Many job seekers are now scouring social media for work. If you have an opening and want to find the best candidate, why not increase your reach by sharing the job through social media accounts.

Guide to Facebook

After signing up with a Facebook account, you’ll want to start a Facebook Page, here you can upload all of your branding and imagery and start promoting your business.

As previously stated Facebook has 1.19 billion active users every month, and of course with a number like that, businesses and brands are flocking to use the site to advertise and post things on their pages.

Facebook uses algorithms that determine which posts are relevant to the individual users and should appear in their news feeds, and the more popular posts that receive likes, comments or even shares are the ones that last longer and keep popping up.

To make your motor trade business stand out try following in the footsteps of The Motor Trade Club who continually promote their site and engage their audience with funny and interactive posts. They post interesting content about the industry, run a hilarious weekly Caption Competition and a guess the car game called, The Fast and The Blurriest.

Here are some guidelines for creating a stand out Facebook post:

1. Follow our ‘What Should I Share on Social Media’ guidelines.

See above.

2. Slick Content

Ensure that the grammar and spelling is correct before clicking post and to engage more people be sure to notify any other pages or people you mention. You can do this by typing ‘@‘ and then their name them into the post. (@ing may not work if a user is private)

3. Always Post with an Image

Facebook is a much more visual platform than Twitter and images stand out much more than solely text based. Posts with a photograph, video or image get, on average, 39% more engagement.

4.Timing and Scheduling

Posts should be timed to go out when your Page’s ‘fans’ are most active. You can check this by looking at the insights section on your Page. So that you don’t miss the time slots and can do most of your promotion in one sitting, you can schedule posts in advance by clicking the arrow to the right of the ‘Post’ button. There’s no need to schedule all of your posts, spontaneity is part of social media’s charm, but scheduling some will save you a great deal of time.

5. Don’t Overdo it

Spamming your fans with post after post after post will not increase your reach. Too many posts filling up people’s News Feeds will actually put them off your page, and Facebook may penalise the posts as spam. With a small motor trade business, 1-2 posts a day is fine, unless you have something really special happening, then maybe post a few more.

Guide to Twitter

Twitter is perhaps one of the best platforms to gather new customers and engage your current customers. 100 million users actively use Twitter everyday and finding users who have similar interests to your business and relevant conversations to step into is just a search away.

With just 140 characters a post, tweeting can be tricky to get a handle on, but once you’ve cracked it you’ll see it’s a fantastic place to promote your business and find interesting relevant news sources.

We recommend looking at the style of The Ford Motor Company’s twitter account, who post consistently entertaining and newsworthy posts everyday.

Finding Customers

1. Follow Like-Minded Businesses and Users

By following like minded businesses and users, maybe even a few competitors, you’ll find interesting news and information that you can pass onto your own followers. These are also the people that will follow you back and engage with what you have to say. Following users or celebrities that are not relevant to your business will not help you.

Suggestions: @Ford @think_ins @motorhappy @BBC_TopGear

2. Having more Followers than Follows is best

It is extremely difficult to start this way, but this is the level you want to achieve, this is why following irrelevant users is pointless. A twitter profile with less follows than followers looks more trustworthy than a user who follows hundreds more people than they are followed by, the latter just looks spammy.

3. First Impressions

Upon looking at your profile, Twitter users will generally give you one chance before they decide whether they follow you or not. You need to have a good profile picture, cover picture and snappy biography so people commit to the follow.

Make the profile or cover image relevant to your business and branding. Images of your staff, a sparkling clean car or your tools/equipment would be perfect to represent your motor trade business.

4. Hashtags and Searches

Putting a hash before a word like this, #cars, creates a hashtag. Hashtags are easy ways of discovering relevant users and users discovering you. In the motor trade you might want to try simple hashtags like #motoring and then during events or live industry news try and search more niche hashtags.

Try these to get started:  #motorhappy #cardealer  #cdx15 #motorhour

5. Favourite/Retweet

Another interesting way of getting users to notice you and also give yourself interesting things to share is by favouriting and retweeting other user’s tweets. If someone endorses you in a tweet it is polite to favourite it, and if it’s a really good endorsement you should retweet it to show other users your service is fantastic!

Also if someone says something interesting about a subject relevant to your business, a favourite may be enough to make them interested in you.

Posting Tweets

Posting content on twitter is limited to just 140 characters, which means you have to be creative in getting your point across. To stand out on twitter at first can be difficult, as finding your 140 character voice is something that takes time, but with our Tweet guidelines the process will hopefully be much easier.

1.Think About Your Voice

As we said, your voice will take time to develop, but at all times you need to be aware of what you are writing and whether your audience will appreciate your tweets.

2. Follow our ‘What Should I Share on Social Media’ guidelines

See above

3. @mentions and #hashtags

Engage with existing users and become more discoverable to new users by @ mentioning and making use of popular hashtags. If you are talking about another twitter user, be polite and mention them by including their twitter profile, for example @Think_Ins.  If you are talking about a subject see if there’s a hashtag you could use, users may search for the same thing and find you.

4. Use Pictures and Videos

Its not necessary for all of your tweets to have images as text based tweets can be just as engaging, but a picture or video here and there does make your profile much more interesting.

5. Don’t Spam

Same as Facebook, don’t overdo it. Too many tweets in people’s news feeds will put them off you, also if you are @ mentioning and hashtagging too many times within one tweet people will unfollow you. Around 5 tweets a day should be enough to entertain your followers, though this doesn’t have to be so strict.

6. Times and Scheduling

Your Facebook insights will be similar to your tweet times, so use that to calculate your best times to tweet. Twitter won’t allow you to schedule tweets through its own site, but you can use sites like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule tweets when you want to.

Guide to LinkedIn

LinkedIn is social media designed for the business world. Where Twitter and Facebook were designed for shared social interests and interaction between friends, LinkedIn was made to bring businesses, clients and new employees together.

LinkedIn gets 78 million unique visits to it site everyday, as well as customers, many of the visitors to your page will be like minded businesses and business people. It is also the best social media platform for seeking new employees, you can advertise the job and also see the employment history and qualifications of prospective candidates.

cars.com have a very successful LinkedIn page with over 10,000 followers, they regularly post interesting content and advertise jobs. Though they are a large company, they have the type of profile you should be aspiring for.

How to Make Interact and Make Connections

Encourage Employee Interaction

Once you have set up your business page, you should encourage your employees to sign up too and tell the rest of LinkedIn where they work, this way your business can be advertised to all of their current and future connections.

Join Groups and Interact

On LinkedIn you can join business groups, which can inform you of current news in your field and may lead to new opportunities.

To make the most of LinkedIn you should try to post, or get involved in, relevant discussions regularly and update what’s happening within your business so people are aware of you. If people in the group find you interesting you will make more connections and your business will get noticed.

Some motor trade groups you may wish to join:

Motor Trader / Motor Trade Jobs and Discussion / Mobile Car Wash Owners & Other Similar Mobile Businesses / Mechanical Engineers Network


Recommendations are what makes LinkedIn stand out, they allow you to highlight a skill or talent of a connection to other users, in return your connection might do the same for you.

You shouldn’t ever do recommendations for people you don’t know, it’s just not appropriate and your recommendation won’t mean anything, especially if they are not good at something you say they are. Recommend people you know and are confident in endorsing.

You can also request that your connections recommend you, but if you do this, let them know why you would like the recommendation and don’t be too pushy about it, you don’t want to put them off!

Be Yourself

When interacting with new people on LinkedIn, be yourself and not just an automated business card for your company. If you send standard unpersonalised messages when connecting with new people they will likely ignore you, or worse, they might mark you as spam.

Picking a subject that they might find interesting and creating a personalised message will show them that you care about them and are interested in what they are doing.

For example: “Hi Steve, Hope you’re well. Like you, I’m also a car dealer and I used to work at Jaguar Land Rover too. It’d be great to join your LinkedIn Network. All the best, Tina”

Never let the reason you are getting in touch with someone be purely commercial, they won’t trust you and won’t be interested in what you are selling.

Think Insurance have worked closely with the Motor Trade for many years and are experts at creating policies that suit our customers. We are on all the social media sites, so if you have found this piece interesting go ahead and give us a follow, like or connection!

https://www.facebook.com/thinkins / https://twitter.com/think_ins / https://www.linkedin.com/company/think-insurance

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