Coopers Solutions invests in new talent with the appointment of Sam Smith

We’re really pleased to welcome Sam Smith to our team.

Sam has joined as an Account Manager, focussing on FullCover and FullCompliance.  Sam previously worked for Rybrook BMW in Warwick, starting his career as a weekend receptionist and working his way to a full-time sales role where he gained valuable experience in digital and trade sales.

Having worked with a number of our products, Sam is a great ambassador for sharing how our solutions can benefit customers.

Sam told us: ‘I’ve been made to feel really welcome, and feel as though I’ve joined a family environment where I can really help make a difference.  I’m looking forward to sitting on the other side of the desk and helping our customers use our products efficiently to help them work smarter – especially as retailers have had such a challenging time.’

James Cooper commented: ‘With his strong automotive background, Sam can help us strengthen the way we work with our customers as he has such a great understanding of how our products enable retailers to improves their processes.’

Sam keeps himself busy when he’s away from looking after our customers by walking his dog, and watching and taking part in motorsports.


Karzoom announces partnership with PIB Group and Cooper Solutions

Karzoom Ltd, is pleased to announce the launch of their car rental solution from UK Car Dealers. The solution is backed by an Aviva Insurance Ltd car insurance policy brokered by PIB Insurance Brokers in partnership with Cooper Solutions Ltd which provides digital solutions to the automotive industry, both of which are part of PIB Group.  Karzoom will initially offer car rentals services across 15 locations on the south coast and is in discussions with several other dealer groups as part of a strategy to deliver dealer backed car rental services to all corners of the UK.

Melanie Fazal, Karzoom Co-Founder and Director, said “We are delighted to launch our new service with such reputable partners as PIB Insurance Brokers, Cooper Solutions Ltd and Aviva. We are very much looking forward to revolutionising car hire across the UK, starting with the South Coast region. With so much potential for fantastic days out, family trips, and staycations as the UK re-opens, we can’t wait to get our customers moving.”

When you hire a car today it is typically from a travel hub such as airport or train station.  With Karzoom, every dealer has the opportunity to join the Karzoom solution to make “Car Hire Available where You Need It!” Given the changing mobility landscape and ever-changing travel needs, Karzoom aims to provide you with the flexibility you need around differing vehicle needs alongside traditional car ownership.

James Cooper from Cooper Solutions Ltd commented: “We are really excited to be partnering with Karzoom and their newly launched, dealer backed, car rental service. With customers in the automotive sector, we are well placed to collaborate with them, and share insights to keep pace with current trends.  We are proud to share the same principle of delivering high levels of service and look forward to seeing Karzoom go from strength to strength.”

Michael Yabantu from Aviva Insurance Ltd commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Karzoom and the team at PIB Insurance Brokers and Cooper Solutions on what we see as an innovative and exciting development in the car hire space.”

Through the Karzoom website, a hirer can choose the type of vehicle they want, including selecting the manufacturer and model, where available, subject to dealer availability.  With the added knowledge that all of these cars will typically be less than one year old, provided on a fully inclusive basis with no upsell at the check-in counter and no long check-in queues to worry about – now isn’t that novel?

With Karzoom, where will the car hire revolution take you?

Customer satisfaction steps up a gear for Chorley Group with FullCover

Cooper Solutions’ short-term insurance solution and licence checking simplifies vehicle handovers and delivers extra income stream

Award winning Chorley Group, operating six key dealerships and four franchises across the North-West of England, has chosen FullCover from Cooper Solutions as its preferred fleet management system and short-term insurance provider.

The business initially adopted FullCover at Chorley Nissan, the UK’s largest volume, single Nissan dealership, but quickly established that its ability to streamline the car handover process for its customers, and the additional income revenue it delivers through collision damage waiver (CDW), would an invaluable addition to the Group as a whole.  The system has now been rolled out to encompass its dealerships across Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Operating five of the world’s largest motor franchises incorporating Nissan, Hyundai, Kia and MG Motors, the Chorley Group’s fleet management task is potentially complex.  However, FullCover has enabled the Chorley Group’s network of locations to efficiently manage all current, future and historic appointments for sales, aftersales and bodyshop loans, while incorporating instant online driving licence checking.

Stephen Mellett, Group Aftersales Director says: “Using FullCover has had a number of benefits for us. Being able to check driving licences in real time means we can process the handover of loan cars quickly, so customers can get on their way without having to wait around as paperwork and forms are completed. We’re also able to process any Motability customers through the system efficiently, so all customer usage is recorded in one place. FullCover integrates with our existing dealer platform, meaning we can book straight into our diary screen, which has streamlined our booking process.”

Chorley Nissan Blackpool was the first adopter of CDW; now utilised by the whole group. Traditionally, customers have to shoulder a high insurance excess if they want to drive a loan car, but this is no longer the case as Stephen Mellett explains: “We also benefit from the additional revenue provided through CDW, which means that the customer is fully insured with a very low excess, with the added benefit of this having a positive impact on customer satisfaction. We currently recover between 70% and 110% of our insurance premium spend by offering CDW to our customers.”

The Cooper Solutions team has collaborated closely with Chorley Group to unravel some areas which were not working for them or their customers.  Crucially, the partnership with Cooper Solutions and FullCover has turned what were headaches for the dealership, into a profit-making opportunity for them whilst enhancing customer satisfaction.   

“Dealers need to be on top of their forecourt fleet and courtesy cars at all times to  boost profitability and of course, make life better for customers.  Whether customers are test driving cars for sale or returning for servicing or aftersales care, FullCover supports dealers in meeting their needs. By working in partnership with dealerships like Chorley Group, we can tailor our solutions to maximise return on investment for them.  It also means we can ensure their customers reap the benefits and reward dealers with their on-going custom for years to come,” concludes Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions.

Allen Ford utilises FullCover to streamline fleet management

Cooper Solutions brings improved customer experience and additional revenue

Allen Ford, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Ford cars and vans to both businesses and private motorists, has streamlined its entire loan fleet management process through FullCover from Cooper Solutions. FullCover allows Allen Ford’s network of 30 locations across the south of England and the Midlands to efficiently manage current, future and historic appointments for all sales, aftersales and bodyshop loans.

Having used FullCover in previous roles with other dealerships, Allen Ford Group’s Southern Service Director, Bill Davies, introduced FullCover to the group last year. He commented: “FullCover takes away all the hassle of loan fleet management. It has been specifically and expertly developed so that all of the information is easy to see. We can now accurately monitor performance at user, dealer and group level. This is possible through the extraction of customer loan charges from CDK using an ODBC licence, allowing us to make the best decisions to improve efficiency and increase profitability.”

The integrated FullCover solution includes instant online licence checking and cost-effective daily rate insurance for drivers aged between 18 and 85 to ensure dealerships can easily fulfil their duty of care obligations and provide financial protection for Allen Ford in the event of an accident.  Cooper Solutions data shows that 1 in every 50 service customers do not meet the criteria for courtesy loan insurance and should in fact not be driving. FullCover instantly identifies these drivers.

Bill Davies continued: “FullCover gives us the opportunity to generate revenue from the CDW offering, which pays for our insurance cost, whilst also providing a valuable additional service to our customers. Initially we were concerned that a higher level of cover might encourage drivers to perhaps act recklessly but we aren’t experiencing that at all. It’s a genuine win-win for both the driver and the dealership.”

Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions added: “The other dealer groups in the Allen Motor Group, SMC Cars and Essex Auto Group, have used FullCover for many years. Now, with Allen Ford Group also utilising the solution, the entire Group is seeing the benefits, as are its customers. Arriving at the service desk, Allen Ford customers now find that their car has been booked in, in advance, making the courtesy car changeover slick and efficient.  Their driving licence is checked quickly, enabling the customer to drive away within minutes. This improvement in customer experience is invaluable, even without the added benefits of improved efficiencies, lower cost and increased profitability.”

Are your customers doing their shopping on a test drive?

The test drive process is a vital element of the customer purchase journey and substantially increases the chance of securing a sale. Well, that’s the perceived wisdom among dealers, at least. The idea is that once a customer is behind the wheel, the benefits of the vehicle speak for themselves, especially when it comes to considering an upgrade.

We conducted a survey of 200 used car buyers and the results show just how important extended and unaccompanied test drives are. In fact, 49% of respondents said they would feel more positively about a dealer if they were offered an extended or unaccompanied test drive and would welcome the opportunity to make a more informed purchase decision.

Whilst 43% said they would use the opportunity to show the car to friends and family to gauge their opinion, the vast majority (89%) admitted that a positive response would likely swing a sale. A further 15% would take it to show off to colleagues at work, for that all important second opinion, with more men (18%) than women (13%) saying they would do this. Nearly a third (32%) said an extended test drive would increase the chances of them ‘falling in love’ with the car they were test driving and 20% said it would increase the probability of them buying that make and model of vehicle.

Women (25%) are more likely to do day-to-day errands in an unaccompanied test drive car, compared to 23% of men. However, it’s clear that both genders like to test a car to make sure it fits their lifestyle, whether it’s doing the supermarket shop, packing for a trip or fitting in the golf clubs and yoga mat.

When it comes to testing the driving of the vehicle itself, overall performance was rated the most important factor, closely followed by visibility and ease of parking. Whilst 42% of men tested a car for motorway driving, women were more likely (38%) to make sure there’s enough space in the boot.

That time alone in a car allows potential buyers to test a car for comfort, equipment and handling, as well as lifestyle features, such as space and in-car gadgets. It also takes the pressure off customers, without the salesperson accompanying them. However, our survey suggests that some customers may be tempted to take liberties with a test drive, when it comes to speeding or driving on a motorway. Dealers need to consider both quality short term insurance cover, in the event of an incident, as well as the tracking of traffic offences or charges, enabling them to offer unaccompanied test drives with confidence. Crucially, this means dealers can enhance the customer experience and boost their bottom line, by making the most of new sales opportunities.

Test drives drive sales

Cooper Solutions highlights the power of the unaccompanied test drive as EV and Hybrid popularity rises

Cooper Solutions is calling upon dealers to recognise the power of an unaccompanied or 48 hour test drive as new research from What Car? reveals more and more consumers expect to test drive more than two models the next time they buy a car. Nearly 32% of car buyers surveyed by daily rate insurance provider, Cooper Solutions, said that an extended test drive would increase the chances of them ‘falling in love’ with the vehicle they were test driving. Despite this, data from Cooper Solutions shows the average test drive offered by dealers lasts just 46 minutes.

Of particular interest to dealers will be the view of What Car? that the rise in choice and popularity of electric or hybrid vehicles will increase demand for test drives of these vehicles, but that it will be a new experience for millions of drivers and they will want to understand what they are buying. This is supported by the findings of the Cooper Solutions survey that revealed 1 in 4 car buyers like to test a car to make sure it fits their lifestyle, which is all the more important if a customer is considering switching from a petrol or diesel vehicle to an electric or hybrid model.

The study also shows that the all-important test drive is more likely to seal the deal, with 43% of buyers saying they would use an extended test drive as an opportunity to show off a potential purchase to friends and family to gauge their opinion and a staggering 89% – admitted that a positive response from loved ones would likely rubberstamp their decision.

Dealers will be concerned to learn that the study by What Car? also showed that 62% of buyers still find contact with dealers difficult. However, the good news is that half of car buyers surveyed by Cooper Solutions said they would feel more positively about a dealer if they were offered an extended or unaccompanied test drive which would help them make a better informed purchase decision.

Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions explains: “Those dealers allowing their customers to fully immerse themselves in the driving experience over an extended period of time, are much more likely to benefit. Dealers need to actively encourage customers to go beyond trying out the comfort and the way the vehicle handles in terms of performance, instead focusing on how the car can satisfy their daily needs. Most importantly, it’s the opportunity for other people to admire and envy a potential purchase, particularly if this is an upgrade, where the test drive process substantially increases the chances of a sale.”

*The Cooper Solutions survey results are based on 200 responses from consumers aged 18-55+ conducted by Gorkana Surveys.

Keep more of the profits yourself

Just moving from physical to an online auction platform could more than double trade sales profits

Looking at over 71,000 car sales, our research confirms that physical auction fees are usually bigger than the profits that selling retailers make. That ratio simply isn’t good for business for today’s retailer.

Retailers using physical auctions are usually happy as the results are better than they were used to getting when dealing with local traders, and the transaction is transparent and secure.

What they don’t realise is the stark difference in transaction costs between the physical and online auction route, and this will always reflect in the profits made. Given their business model, the physical auction houses need a high transaction cost to pay for their overheads. With lower buyers fees, sellers tend to see bigger profits as buyers have ‘more in the pot’ to bid with.

FullAuction has sold over 69,000 franchised retailers’ trade cars since it was launched – savvy retailers already use the platform as part of their core disposal strategy.