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Inspection Lanes: What to Know Before You Invest

Inspection lanes offer a way for shops to identify service opportunities quickly and talk with the customer about their vehicle health. 

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However, before your shop begins the process of shopping around for inspection lane equipment, consider these factors:

  • Inspection lane equipment can vary in cost from $26,000 per lane for a simple tread depth scanner, up to $70,000 for a tread reader and alignment check towers.
  • The location of the equipment is also crucial to consider. If the equipment is placed near the entrance of the service drive, the customer will likely perform the drive-over test. If it is placed near the exit of the service drive, a service advisor or technician will perform the test. Each has its own advantage depending on the shop’s setup.
  • There are typically two options for inspection systems: above-ground or flush-mount systems that are built into the ground. The latter has several advantages: flush-mount systems create a sleek, built-in look, are unobtrusive and don’t create a distraction in the drive aisle. Know that you will have to break ground in the drive aisle to install flush-mount systems and will have to figure out the electrical setup.
  • As a rule of thumb, every drive aisle should have an inspection lane. This allows for 100% inspection of all incoming vehicles. Leaving lanes open allows cars to bypass inspection, and dealers might miss out on potential revenue.
  • Don’t forget about the training that’s involved. A shop’s entire service team, including the service manager, should be familiar with the equipment and how to use it. Training sessions not only teach shop staff how to use the equipment, but, in this case, they’ll also demonstrate how your staff can present the results of an inspection to the customer, how to properly quote it and how to follow up on any work not performed.

With more than 30% of vehicles out on the road today needing an alignment, service opportunities abound for dealers that can identify a vehicle that needs serviced in a matter of seconds. Depending on the shop’s car count, a dealership can pay for an inspection lane in as little as 30 days when properly utilized.

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