Last Updated on November 15, 2022
Before a potential buyer comes to look at a vehicle, they’re going to read the vehicle description. People looking to purchase will perform hours of research online before ever stepping onto a dealership. And for most people, that means reading car descriptions and car reviews. That’s where we can help you. Let’s talk about how to write amazing car descriptions with examples.
Looking for vehicles near you?
We'll email you with vehicles up for auction near you and featured auctions.
A 2019 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study discovered buyers are increasingly making more decisions based on online research. Once they’re at the dealership, there are only a few questions left in the buyer’s journey.
Many people will decide from a five-second partial read of your vehicle description, whether they are interested enough to learn more. You have to grab your audience in the opening line and continually provide more information while also writing in a way that leaves them wanting to know more.
You have a vehicle or vehicles you want to sell. At any given time, numerous people want to buy one. A good vehicle description is what brings those two things together.
Know the Vehicle
The first step is to know the vehicle. What kind of vehicle is it? How old is the vehicle? What are some of the vehicle’s more distinguishable features? What condition is the vehicle in? What’s the driver and maintenance history? Etc.
Having more intimate knowledge of the vehicle is helpful and recommended, and by intimate knowledge, we mean an understanding of the vehicle beyond what the buyer can just read in a manual or report. How does the vehicle handle? How does it decelerate? How smooth is highway driving? How does it feel when going over speed bumps or uneven terrain?
Knowing how the vehicle compares to competitive vehicles is also an asset. This allows you to position the vehicle in a favorable way when compared to others.
Know the Buyer
Potential buyers are the audience for your car description. They are the ones who are going to read it and may consider purchasing the vehicle.
Knowing your audience will help you tailor your description and create buyer profiles. You may have multiple buyer profiles for a single vehicle. Ask yourself questions like, what are your buyer’s demographics? What kind of work do they do? What is their approximate income? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? Are they single? Do they live with their family? What will be the buyer’s primary use for the vehicle? What features do they want in a vehicle? How will they pay for the vehicle?
You can differentiate ads to market the same vehicle to multiple types of buyers. However, on your website, you should only have one description, so choose the one (or sometimes two) buyer profile you believe will convert into the quickest sale.
Types of Car Descriptions
Here are some types of car descriptions with examples:
This is a description that simply lists (in paragraph form) the vehicle’s features. It’s the most basic and least effective way to drive walk-ins, test drives, and sales. If you believe there are a few must-have features (see below), you can include those, but the writing should be more engaging than our example.
This 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate is a blue, four-door sedan with 110,349 miles. It features a gasoline-powered, automatic engine that achieves 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel ABS. Digital keypad power door locks. Simulated wood trim on the dash and interior doors. Leather steering wheel and seats. Height-adjustable and eight-way power driver and passenger seats.
A step up from a features first car description is the must-haves description. This type takes several features that are the vehicle’s true selling points, expands on them, explains why they’re important, and gets people excited for buying vehicles with those features.
This 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate has all the features you need to conquer bad weather on the roads this winter. Traction control will keep you safe by providing better traction during icy road conditions. Heated seats will warm your body faster, so you can concentrate on the road sooner. Heated mirrors melt snow and ice for a clear view of traffic to your sides. And with the optional roadside assistance package, you can guarantee arrival at your destination.
Address the audience
Another example is to address the audience. In this type of description, you write to a specific buyer profile as if you were talking to them. “Do you like adventure?” That could be the start to a sporty or off-road car description. People who don’t like adventure are less likely to want that vehicle, however, car descriptions are about drawing in the right people—not as many people as possible.
Perfect for teens. This 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate four-door sedan has low mileage (110,349 miles) and has been well maintained. Safety features include dual front side-mounted airbags, four-wheel ABS, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, and dusk-sensing and auto-delay off headlamps. The body has had a few parking lot dings, so you don’t have to worry about your teenager ruining a perfectly good car if they get into an accident.
Another way to connect with buyers is to address one of their values. These values could be anything from status to patriotism to carbon emissions to cost savings. Cars are often one of the biggest investments people make. Appeal to a buyer’s apprehension about spending a large sum of cash by showing how a vehicle will be less costly than competitive models.
This blue 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate four-door sedan is competitively priced to make room on our lot for next year’s models. It has been well maintained and major components such as tires, ignition, battery, and exhaust, have been replaced in the last 12 months, so you can expect low maintenance bills. High fuel efficiency (24 highway mpg and 16 city mpg) will lower fuel costs. And so will the vehicle’s efficient heating and ventilation systems. Free winter tires!
Storytelling can be a powerful way to keep someone engaged. People are naturally drawn to stories. They evoke emotion and help us position ourselves in this world. In advertising, there are only seven types of stories: comedy, tragedy, rags to riches, overcoming a monster, going on a quest, coming home again, and rebirth.
My dad is a great father. He has always taken care of his cars as well as he has taken care of his children. But he is now losing his vision and I am taking care of him. And I’m looking for someone who will take care of his blue 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate four-door sedan with leather seating and steering wheel, and simulated wood trim dash and doors.
What to include in a car description
Ensure your car description is easy to read and mentions all the essential details. Avoid unnecessary words. Choose a tone that is conversational and fits the audience. Use verbiage that is congruent with the target market. Avoid using industry jargon, but do use buzzwords buyers understand.
Always write honest descriptions.
The most important vehicle qualities to include are its make, model, and year. If you visit a car search website, such as CarFax, these qualities are always three of the search parameters.
These three are followed by the seller’s location/distance from the buyer and the price range. Transmission type and fuel type are generally make or break features for a buyer. Either you want to shift gears and refuel next to transport trucks or you don’t. Mentioning mileage is important on vehicles more than one year in age or that have more than 5,000 miles on them. Then a vehicle’s physical features, such as body type, exterior color, number of doors, and the number of seats are the next most popular search parameters. Then type of seller and payment options round out the list.
By examining the top search parameters, you can see what qualities are the most important to include in a car description.
Besides the above, highlight essential details about the vehicle’s history, such as the number of previous owners, the number of accidents, the availability of service records, and the history of replaced parts. Vehicle history reports from Carfax and True360 also provide some of this information.
Don’t forget to mention any upgrades, since these can help differentiate a vehicle and increase its perceived value. Also, mention the model’s innovations, industry-leading features, and awards.
Going beyond text descriptions
No matter how enticing your car description, if no pictures are available, buyers will be less confident in your vehicle. Ensure photos are of good to high quality. Some photos are useful for showing the condition of the vehicle. Other photos are helpful for invoking a particular image.
Use extreme close ups, wide-angle, and hero shots (from the ground up). People are more likely to want to view these photos than a straight-forward side profile shot.
You’ll get even more attention by providing video—which people prefer to consume. Video can provide more numerous and more effective options for communicating your vehicle description. Your recording could include audio, text, or both, allowing you to optimize how you communicate your message.
Once you’ve taken the time to understand these tips and think you’re ready, go ahead and give those car descriptions a try. And if you’re looking to add more vehicles to your current line-up, then you’ll be interested in finding good quality and affordable cars with Municibuid. Start your next dealership endeavor too.