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Which Dealership Software Tools Do Successful Dealers Use? Let’s See!

A successful dealership relies on car dealer software solutions and tools to manage its operations, from inventory management to handling relationships with customers. 

Every aspect of a car dealer’s business can benefit from a robust car dealer tool. Here are some of them.

Let’s discuss DMS - Dealership Management Software

Let’s start with the basics! What is dealership management software? In short, a dealership management software system is a comprehensive, one-stop solution that can streamline all aspects of your business. 

A good DMS can help you track your supply chain and inventory, sales, even marketing efforts, as well as create reports, all in one place.

The best part is that it’s cloud-based, so you can access and enter the information you need from anywhere—which is particularly useful if your dealership requires multi-location management.

Features and benefits of a DMS

A good DMS streamlines and automates a number of operations in your car dealership. With this in mind, it’s good to look for the following features:

  • Inventory management: helps you monitor how many vehicles and other items you have in stock, notifying you when new purchases might be necessary, and preventing over-purchasing.
  • Order management and processing: allows your team to place orders from a car auctioning platform like eCarsTrade and track them until delivery.
  • Integrated accounting: a good DMS will be able to integrate with various payment gateways and help you track transactions.
  • Lead and customer relationship management: a good DMS enables you to track your communication with customers from the time you identify them as a lead onwards.
  • Reporting and analytics: a DMS will also generate reports to help you track business performance, from sales trends to your marketing.

The right dealership software solution centralizes information, streamlines and automates processes, increases overall efficiency, and helps you make more informed business decisions. 


Examples of popular DMS

CDK was an industry leader for a long time, and it’s still the top-listed dealer management solution on G2. It promises thorough tracking of inventory, orders, and cash flow, as well as customizability.

However, reviewers report frequent crashes and problems with creating forms, going so far as to call it old-fashioned. You will also have to ask for a quotation, because the price isn’t publicly available.

G2 lists AutoAuction as the best value for money, with pricing starting at 55€. The system offers inventory management, sales and contract management, and other features for easier dealership management. There are also built-in and integrated CRM and web management options.

Source: AutoAuction on YouTube

The reviews for this one are almost overwhelmingly positive, though some G2 reviewers found that the interface needed some getting used to.

Finally, there’s DealerCenter, voted the easiest to use by G2 users. Its entry-level price is also 55€, and it combines a variety of financial functionalities with e-contracting, payment processing, electronic license titling, and Quickbook integration. 

The reviews on this one are also mostly positive, with some users complaining of the responsiveness of the support team.

Source: DealerCenter on YouTube

Now that we’ve covered the top automotive dealer management systems, what are some individual car dealership software solutions your business might need?

Manage your customers with CRM - Customer Relationship Management Software

Perhaps you’ll find that you don’t need all the functionalities of a dealership management tool, but you do need car dealer software that will help you ensure customer loyalty. That’s the purpose of a CRM solution. 

All the information about your clients is saved in a unified database, allowing a dealership to track interactions with customers and later analyze them to gain useful insights. 

With that in mind, here are some features to look for in CRM software for dealerships.

Benefits and features of a CRM

When choosing a CRM solution for your car dealership, ask yourself how well it would fit in with your existing hardware and car dealership software and how scalable it is. 

At the very least, the CRM system should have the following options:

  • Multiple communication channels: a CRM should facilitate email communication and text messaging, at the very least.
  • Appointment scheduling tools: these tools enable your customers to easily schedule viewing appointments, including automated reminders and confirmation options.
  • Lead and sales tracking: your business should be able to follow your leads throughout the sales funnel from that first interaction to the moment they buy the car — and it should be able to keep track of important sales metrics.
  • Email marketing tools: whether you want to offer an upgrade based on their previous purchase or remind your customers of an ongoing sale, you can send targeted, personalized emails with the help of your CRM.
  • Customer service tools: automated response and other support tools that are part of a good CRM help a car dealership team provide the best service to customers.
  • Automated review features: good reviews are important for the reputation of your business, so it’s good to automate the reviewing process with your CRM tool.

A CRM software solution for car dealerships will give you insights into your customers' preferences. This will allow you to serve your customers better and, as a result, foster long-term relationships with them.

As always, it’s important to be mindful of the learning curve required to implement the car dealership CRM tool and the provider’s reputation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular dealer software solutions. 

Examples of popular CRM for dealerships

According to G2, Teamgate is an all-in-one, user-friendly CRM with universal appeal. It’s free for up to 2 users and has two more pricing tiers (37€ and 55€; converted from USD). You can also test it out for two weeks before committing to a purchase. 

In addition to being highly intuitive, it integrates with various solutions, customer support tools, and task management. However, some users report bugs, connectivity issues, and poor customization.

Another such solution is Selly Automotive, a CRM solution created with car dealers in mind. It boasts excellent customer support, and streamlines all customer communication onto a single platform.

Source: Selly Automotive on YouTube

However, according to some Capterra reviews, its automation and marketing features leave room for progress. Most reviewers agree it offers great value for money, although its starting price is 120€.

Set your prices correctly - Vehicle Appraisal Tools

Setting the right price is vital for used car dealerships when calculating profit margins. This is where vehicle appraisal tools come in. 

Benefits and features of appraisal software

Here are some features to expect from a vehicle appraisal dealership software, according to Autoraptor:

  • Up-to-date market information: access to real-time sales data and price trends in the market is essential for accurate value appraisals, and solutions are increasingly relying on AI to ensure accuracy.
  • Intuitive interface: user-friendliness minimizes errors, which is especially important with prices.
  • Customizability and integration: enables a car dealership to adapt the appraisal software to its existing dealer software system.

Car dealer tools of this kind help dealers set prices with confidence - whether you’re negotiating with potential buyers or determining the right bid on online car auctions. 

Examples of popular vehicle appraisal tools

Some popular vehicle appraisal tools are Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADAGuides, which rely on market data to help buyers and sellers estimate prices of their vehicles.

Our own website, eCarsTrade, offers a similar service with its market price calculator, which estimates the price of a vehicle based on current market price and various other criteria.

Market Price

eCarsTrade’s bid calculator is a convenient addition to the market price calculator - it tells you how likely it is that your bid on a certain car will win.

Manage your inventory with Inventory Management Software

At eCarsTrade, we’ve already talked about the importance of proper inventory management for car dealerships, and how crucial it is to track metrics like inventory turnover ratio, the time it takes for a car to be sold, or the cost of keeping it on your lot. 

With that in mind, let’s go over some things you should expect from your dealer inventory software.

Benefits and features of inventory management software

A quality car dealer tool for inventory tracking should have the following features:

  • Real-time inventory tracking: letting you know which vehicles you have in stock, in which dealership, and what their status is.
  • Maintenance functionalities: staying on top of a car’s maintenance history and schedule helps you ensure each of your vehicles is in top condition
  • Sales and CRM management integrations: it’s a good idea to integrate your inventory management software with CRM and sales-oriented solutions, as that helps streamline your entire operation

A good car dealer inventory management software will save time by giving up-to-date information about the status of your inventory. 

Examples of inventory management software

Zoho is a cloud-based inventory system suitable for the automotive industry. It offers multi-location inventory optimization, barcoding, kitting, and financial management functionalities. Users like its intuitiveness, though some report that swapping between tabs can be clumsy. Packages start at approx. 190€ per year.

This is what Zoho’s invoicing feature looks like

According to SoftwareSuggest, SOS Inventory is an inventory software solution for the auto dealership industry. It offers three pricing plans starting at 55€ per month, and for that price, it offers barcoding, e-commerce and accounting integration, and inventory control and management.

Source: SOS Inventory on YouTube

Users tend to be satisfied with the features; however, some find it a little complex.


Know your audience - Marketing tools

In today’s digital age, all businesses rely on digital marketing to reach potential customers, but that’s especially true for used car dealerships. 

It’s important to streamline your digital marketing efforts when so many options are around, from social media and email marketing to pay-per-click and auto dealer marketing software.


Benefits and features of digital marketing tools

There’s no real online visibility and customer reach without effective digital marketing tools.


They enhance your brand reputation, help you leverage automotive SEO, boost your targeted advertising and help you measure the results of your campaigns. 

Here are some features you might want to look for:

  • SEO and content management: from determining the right keywords to target to creating content around them.
  • Customizable templates: ensuring that your advertising efforts, from pay-per-click ads to emails and social media content, are unified and in line with your brand.
  • Mobile optimization: according to Statista, 62% of all online advertising takes place on mobile devices.
  • Performance tracking and analytics: campaigns need to produce measurable results, and businesses have to be able to estimate their effectiveness.

Examples of popular digital marketing tools

The tools you use will depend on the channels you focus on. So you might use Moz or SEMRush for search optimization, Google Ads and Bing Ads for PPC, MailChimp for email Marketing, or Hootsuite for social media management.

Nevertheless, there are some specific car dealer marketing platforms, such as Dealer.com, which is an excellent SEO and social media marketing solution for car dealers, though some reviewers find it a bit clunky, or Elead, a CRM with a particularly strong email marketing functionality.

In short, it’s best to assess your needs and do your research on reputable sites like Semrush to determine the best car dealer tools for marketing.


Now that we’ve covered some basic car dealership software solutions that can help dealers manage their operations, we hope we’ve given you the confidence to explore some more software solutions that can help your business.

And if you’re just starting a used car dealership, at eCarsTrade, we can not only help you source great vehicles, but we also provide excellent resources like how to profit from buying damaged cars and how to increase your dealership’s profitability.