May, 11 2020

The Dangers of Unauthorized Vehicle Usage: How to Protect Inventory

Vitaly Baum
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That burnt rubber smell, flecks of tire sticking to the fender — a clear sign that one of the cars in your fleet has not been treated the way it should have been.

One of the biggest challenges dealerships face as they grow is managing their vehicle inventory. With hundreds or even thousands of vehicles, manually keeping track of vehicle locations and status can become a headache for your salespeople or inventory managers.

Additionally, poor dealer inventory management practices could be costing you thousands of dollars each year from unplanned expenses. One expense that dealerships rarely plan for is unauthorized usage of dealership vehicles by employees or other third parties. This is a risk for your business and good dealer inventory management is an easy solution to protect your business for the case this happens.

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joy rides can lead to unexpected expenses

Why Unauthorized Usage is Costly

Unauthorized vehicle usage can negatively impact vehicle availability and it can increase the risk of unexpected dealership expenses.

Even if no accidents occur, your dealership could incur other expenses and challenges, like refueling costs, unplanned vehicle unavailability due to low fuel or battery levels, vehicle depreciation incurred from additional mileage, and possibly speeding and toll fees if an unauthorized person commits violations in your vehicle.

Not to mention costs on wear items like oil, tires, and interior finishes from added use.

Unfortunately, unauthorized usage is difficult to track manually when you have hundreds or thousands of cars to account for. So, what can you do to reduce risk and prevent unplanned losses?

Minimize Unauthorized Usage with Connected Car Inventory Management

One way to prevent unwanted expenses from unauthorized usage of your vehicles is to install an effective inventory tracking system like Zurich Connected Cars. Our system allows you to monitor vehicle location and status of your entire inventory at all times and get alerted instantly of suspicious activity. Here are a few key features that could help prevent unauthorized usage.

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Define Normal Business Hours

When you log into our system, you can enter the acceptable days and times when your business is operating and when vehicles are expected to be operational. If someone starts a vehicle outside of normal operating hours, Zurich Connected Cars can send you an instant notification to your mobile phone, through our web app, or to your email. Knowing exactly when vehicles are being used for unofficial purposes can allow you to take immediate action and help identify the person responsible.

Set a Geo-Fence Boundary

Perhaps your vehicles normally operate within a set geographic area — like within 20 miles of your lot. You can specify a geo-fence boundary and get alerts if one of your vehicles leaves the geo-fence area. GPS tracking allows you to track your vehicles in real-time so you know where all of your vehicles are at any time.

Vehicle activity history can also be viewed through the Zurich Connected Cars platform, so if a vehicle has mysteriously high miles, worn tires, or other signs of extended use, you can find out what happened.

Track Vehicle Activity with Instant Notifications

With our mobile app, you can get instant notifications of suspicious activity straight to your phone. You can also look up specific vehicles and view their travel history, including where they have been, mileage or other key indicators, like fuel and battery.

So, you’ll immediately know when one of your vehicles is operated outside normal specifications and be able to look up any vehicle, at any time, to make sure it's where it should be.

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Inventory management combined with smart hiring and training reduces risk

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Unauthorized usage detection and notification is just one of many reasons dealerships choose us to handle their inventory management needs. Zurich Connected Cars also offers useful features like the ability to instantly locate and track vehicles, fuel and battery level monitoring, and real-time alerts sent straight to your mobile phone.

Best of all, Zurich Connected Cars is affordably priced and it’s easy to get setup and started. Ready to learn more? Get in touch if you have any questions or want to learn more about how we can help your business.

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