What does it take to open a car dealership?

In planning a car dealership, you have plenty to consider. The outset, layout of the venue, the potential for earning, and permissions you need. 

If you've always dreamed of running a business and have a passion for cars, then starting a dealership may be a match made in heaven. People will always need high-quality automobiles to drive, so owning a dealership is a great business idea. Here are some recommendations to help you in your journey to becoming your own boss. 

Do you sell new or used cars?

Before purchasing or renting a space to build the showroom, decide whether you want to sell used or new cars because the route you choose sets the framework for your entire business. Supposing that you choose to sell new cars, the initial investment will be substantially higher, and you'll need to carefully build a venue that accommodates their needs and maintains their features. Starting a used car dealership doesn't require such a significant initial investment because you don't need to build a covered space to shield the vehicles from weather, and they also cost less to purchase. 

Formulate a business plan

Now that you know what kind of vehicles you want to sell, you can formulate a suitable business plan. It's essential if you need to acquire financing. Here are some aspects you should include in the business plan. 

- The brand/brands of cars you intend to sell

- If you want to sell both used and new cars

- Business equipment costs

- Employee salaries

- Leads and sales agreement expenses

- Advertising budget

Pick the location

You need to consider a couple of factors when you pick your dealership's location. First, ensure that the site can support your business. Choose a place with a large population to have higher sales. And it would help if you did not forget about the location's visibility because it would prove useful for people to easily spot it from the street. You don't need a venue located on an obscure road or hidden behind a tall building. A place close to a major intersection is ideal. 

When looking for dealership venues, don't forget to consider the competition because some locations are more appealing to car showroom owners than others. It would be wise not to start a dealership next to another car showroom because it gives buyers the opportunity to walk away and find alternatives. 

Keep the following recommendations in mind when planning the showroom

If you decided to sell new vehicles, you have to build a car showroom, which can be a lavish enterprise because it implies installing stone floors, double-height glazing, and blazing lights to draw attention toward the cars and highlight their appearance. And let's not forget about integrating a café space into the showroom where the clients can relax while deciding which one of the cars they want to purchase. 

Gather information

You need to know how the dealership will look before you start building it. Here is a list of questions you should answer when designing it. 

- How do the clients and employees use the space for their daily activities?

- Can the clients see the entire collection of cars without obstruction?

- Do the clients have a clear route to the service area?

- Where is the guest bathroom located?

- How large does the showroom have to be to accommodate the number of cars you want to sell?

- How many employees have officed on-site?

It's essential to create a showroom that reflects your public's preferences because, in present days, vehicles and lifestyles overlap. You don't have to limit the scheme of the dealership to sales; you can also use it as a part or workshop facility. 

Factors to keep in mind when you design the showroom

As stated before, you should choose a showroom location obvious to the public and with excellent access from main routes and streets. Displaying products is essential, and the orientation and layout of the showroom have a significant impact on sales. These factors affect the environmental control strategies because not all locations are oriented to mitigate solar gain. At the moment, double-height windows are in trend because they provide access to the showroom's interior and allow you to make a design statement. When building a showroom with tall walls and windows, you may need to hire a crane to provide you with access on the upper side of the building to install the sign with the name and logo. 

The showroom should also include comfortable spaces for your customers to relax and reflect on their decisions because buying a car is an important step. Use the showroom lighting to reinforce the brand identity and display the cars you want to draw attention upon. 

While speaking of showroom design, we shouldn't forget that you should make the space as eco-friendly as possible. And as sustainability may not be your priority, it can provide you with great benefits. Here is a list of measures you can adopt if you want to lower energy use and cut carbon emissions. 

- Use canopies, extended eaves, and brise-soleil to cut on solar gain, especially on the front side

- Use skylights and roof lights to provide illumination

- Install insulation on the roofs and walls

- Use a lighting control system to detect presence in private areas like bathrooms and offices and enable you to save energy

Get planning permission

It can be challenging to get planning permission for your business. The primary concerns can be

- Traffic movement – you need to determine how the cars are dropped off at the showroom and picked up for delivery

- Location – because you want the venue to be highly visible, you may purchase or rent a site that isn't in the correct local planning zone

- Lighting – you may want the showroom to be illuminated permanently, which can be an issue in some areas

- Drainage – adequate drainage implies using products to treat the waste and ensure it doesn't pose a danger to the community. 

And here is what it takes to start a dealership. Are you ready for the adventure of your life?

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