Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How Electronic Key Control Can Help Your Service Department Get Reimbursed for Shuttle Rides

As margins on vehicle sales grow tighter, fixed ops is claiming a larger share of dealerships’ gross revenue. In 2018, NADA data showed that fixed ops brought in nearly 50 percent of gross profits.

At the same time, 72 percent of dealers say warranty work due to recalls is higher than it was five years ago. While warranty work is often a source of frustration for service departments, there is one way to maximize warranty revenue that you could be missing out on: reimbursement for courtesy shuttle rides.

Claiming Reimbursement for Shuttle Rides


Some OEMs will reimburse dealerships for courtesy shuttle rides provided to customers with warranty service appointments. GM, for example, will reimburse up to $7.50 each way.*

Let’s assume your OEM reimburses you $5-$7.50 per shuttle ride. It doesn’t seem like much, but consider how much that adds up to depending on the number of shuttle rides you offer:

100 rides/month = $500-$750/month = $6,000-$9,000/year  • 250 rides/month = $1,250-$1,875/month = $15,000-$22,500/year  • 500 rides/month = $2,500-$3,750/month = $30,000-$45,000/year


If you’re already offering shuttle rides that are eligible for reimbursements and you’re not claiming those funds, you’re flushing money down the drain. Of course, how do you request those funds if you don’t have records of all the rides?

Using Electronic Key Control to Help Prevent Unrecorded Rides


You may have a log for tracking shuttle rides, but if someone forgets to update the log, you miss out on an opportunity for reimbursement. If you have an electronic key control system in your service department, you can take advantage of that system to help prevent unrecorded shuttle trips.

When you store the shuttle keys in the system, the driver has to check out keys for each shuttle ride. By requiring the user to enter a reason (e.g., “shuttle ride,” “gas refill,” “service”), you can keep track of when you provided shuttle rides. With this method, you could easily recoup hundreds of dollars each month in unrecorded trips.

By using electronic key control to help you capture potential reimbursement opportunities for shuttle rides, you can make the most of your warranty appointments.

* Reimbursement amounts and guidelines are subject to change. Please check with your OEM for more information about courtesy shuttle transportation reimbursement.