Tax Time Strategies for Buy Here, Pay Here Dealerships

Promotions during tax season are nothing new for car dealerships. April 15th has long been considered a day of opportunity for those enterprising dealers who can maximize their profit potential with creative marketing strategies. Buy-here-pay-here (BHPH) dealers are in an especially good position to take advantage of tax refund campaigns as you’re not just selling cars, you’re selling credit, but how best to utilize this advantage? What marketing strategies work best for BHPH operations during tax season? Read on to find out more.

Although most taxpayers dread April 15th, with a little planning and forethought, BHPH dealerships can turn tax season into a lucrative sales period. You may even be able to help potential customers that aren’t expecting a refund by offering customized services and incentives. Here are some pro tips to make tax day work for your business’s bottom line:

  1. Partner with local accounting firms. Reach out to small CPA firms and tax attorneys in your area and inquire about a potential partnership. Cross-promotion is always a good idea for growing your business, and BHPH dealers are no exception. A few cold calls to tax preparation professionals in your area could become a steady source of new leads, not just for this year, but for the foreseeable future.
  2. Match down payments. One of the benefits of BHPH dealerships is that you have capital on hand to use at your discretion, and helping potential buyers to convert by offering to match their down payment can often be the tipping point for a holdout. Set a price cap or condition for the matching so you don’t overextend, such as requiring a maintenance plan or limiting the promotion to first-time buyers.
  3. Tax Time Tips for Used Car DealersHave inventory ready. Throwing your full weight behind a tax time promotion won’t do much good if you don’t have the inventory on your lot. Spend the few months before tax day making sure your lot is stocked with a wide variety of options for different buyers and different price points.
  4. Have processes ready. Here again, planning and forethought is key. Make sure you have all personnel and processes to fulfill your end of the deal ready to go before you begin advertising any tax time promotions. Don’t just put these processes in place, test them, break them, refine them, and test them again. Nothing will dampen a new customer’s spirits faster than hearing they need to wait four hours for the paperwork to be completed before they can drive off.
  5. Include a gift. Everyone loves something for nothing, especially after they’ve just agreed to take on more debt, so sweetening the deal with small gifts is never a bad idea. Consider offering your new customers a free oil change, free car wash, or include a full tank of fuel with their purchase.
  6. Have something for everyone. Not everyone gets a tax refund, but a new lead is a new lead whether they’ve got money now or later. Consider providing discount services to those not getting a refund, such as discounted maintenance. If you’re successful in partnering with a local tax preparation company, consider having them on site to help potential customers prepare and file their tax returns at a discounted rate regardless of whether they spend their return at your business. Building these relationships can be time-consuming, but once they’re established, you’ll have a customer for life.
  7. Start early. Have your advertising campaign planned and prepared to launch when the tax filing season begins. Many taxpayers will file their taxes as soon as they receive their income statements, which can be as early as mid-January. Starting your promotion early in the year can make sure you don’t miss out on these sales opportunities.

These are just a few of the ways BHPH dealerships can make tax time the best time for sales. If you’re interested in learning more about how creative marketing can help your business, consider speaking to the marketing professionals at The Automotive Advertising Agency. Call us at 512-610-7300 or contact us at

About the author

Michelle Camacho is the President of The Automotive Advertising Agency.