Shops can begin to plan for April National Car Care Month
Bethesda, Md.—The upcoming April National Car Care Month is an opportunity for shops to promote vehicle maintenance, safety and their businesses at the same time, and the Car Care Council is ready to assist shops in hosting the events.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating motorists about the importance of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair through its “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign.
“They are great community relations venues and build employee moral and technician image. Community colleges and automotive program students can also become involved,” he said.
The council has produced a variety of resources and marketing and promotional materials to help repair shops and other aftermarket businesses participate in National Car Care Month in April or October, though an event can also be held any time, White said. There is no one-size-fits-all template for participating.
A full-scale event can include free vehicle inspections hosted by a repair shop, parts store, distributor or a combination of sponsors. “They’re free events for consumers — not selling-orientated — that can range from a simple vehicle checkup to incorporating tables and displays of Car Care Guides, examples of new and old oil, windshield wipers, educational demonstrations and local law enforcement installing children’s car seats,” White said.
“We have all the tools and resources, content, copy and promotional materials for shops at carcare.org, including banners, marketing pieces, logos, Car Care Guides, press releases, social media clips and more. We have everything a shop owner would need to get involved in consumer education and participate in Car Care months.”
The website has a “test-drive” video that shows various sizes of events and shop owners explaining how they planned and executed their events. “It could be as simple a banner across the front of a shop that promotes free vehicle inspections on a particular day of the week in celebration of April National Car Care Month — or any month — while handing out free Car Care Guides. We’ve made it as ‘turn key’ as possible for shops to get involved,” he said.
Feedback from shops that hold the events has been overwhelmingly positive and they usually become part of a shop’s annual calendar and marketing plans. “They are not ‘selling’ events, but many shops ultimately see a nice bump in business with increased traffic and new customers.”
In addition to Car Care Events, the Be Car Care Aware campaign also includes women’s Car Care Clinics, where they are taught general automotive functions and maintenance, such as how to perform oil changes and change tires, in a shop setting. “They are very popular and many shops have them regularly,” he said.
Car Care Events
Repair shops can hang a banner from the council celebrating Car Care Month and invite current and prospective customers to come by for a free inspection or pick up a free Car Care Guide. They can also partner with other shops or retailers to host an event with free vehicle inspections.
Events can include:
• A local radio station remote
• A custom/race/antique car show
• Police child safety seat demos
• Refreshments from a local restaurant
• Moonbounce and face painting for children
• Demo tables showing worn out wiper blades, hoses, dirty filters, worn tires, dirty engine oil and other vehicle maintenance education.