The Best Products to Offer Rural Customers

Urban and rural car buyers have different lifestyles and driving patterns. Rural car owners spend more time on the road because distances between Point A and Point B are farther. For example, a Canadian living in a rural area will travel 33 kilometres more to a supermarket than their city counterpart. Rural car owners need to keep their vehicles in good shape for long commutes and protect themselves from specific factors that could decrease performance and debilitate their vehicle.  

Roads away from urban centres are less well-maintained and frequently unpaved. Construction dollars concentrate where the population is densest, leaving country roads in a poorer state of repair than in urban areas. Country roads can have many pits and potholes before they are mended. Gravel roads kick up dust, dirt and rocks, reducing visibility and scarring paint finishes, leading to rust. Reduced road maintenance and longer travel times means more exposure to adverse driving conditions that cause harm to rural vehicles – to glass, rims and paint. With increased time on rough roadways, the rural driver has greater challenges to vehicle safety. This means their Finance and Insurance (F & I) needs must provide durable, no-nonsense coverage.

SmartProgram offers F & I products that protect a rural driver’s safety and investment. Here are our recommended top three F & I coverages:

Ceramx glass protection

Ceramx is a powerful ceramic coating that strengthens and shields glass from harsh elements. With the average Albertan replacing one window per year due to severe weather, Ceramx protection guarantees windows, repairing chips and cracks in the windshield, back windows, side windows and sunroof and, if necessary, replacing the damaged window of the automobile. Not only that, with winter creating darkness upwards of 16 hours per day, summer serving up increasingly heavy rains, and tow trucks and roadside assistance far away in time and distance, the improved visibility that Ceramx provides is crucial to rural road safety. 

Rim repair

The encounters on a rural roadway are myriad - potholes, road cracks, glass, rocks, animals, animal carcasses, tree limbs, wood and other debris are regularly encountered during the course of driving on rural sideroads and highways. Each blow sustained by the wheels and rims breaks the air seal, decreasing the car or truck’s grip on the road. If rims or tires are too damaged to repair, they are replaced with SmartProgram’s coverage. There is no occurrence limit and no KM limit.

Paint and dent repair

Rural vehicles aren’t just about getting from A to B, they also function as workhorses, pulling and hauling. Extending the vehicle lifespan is a goal, keeping that automotive workhorse functioning for years to come. SmartProgram provides unlimited dent, chip and scratch repair in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 -year terms. This reduces wear and tear on the vehicle exterior, with repairs usually done while customers wait. As one client said, “I live in a small, rural town and had no issues setting up my appointment in Grande Prairie. The local agent in Grande Prairie did an amazing job and I was in and out in 3 hours. I can keep my truck dent free!!!”

In small towns, it’s important that dealerships maintain a good relationship with the community at large. Rural Canadians will visit car dealerships 40% more often than urban Canadians. Repeat customers are common and long-standing relationships often span generations. 

With only 20% of Canada’s population living rurally, sales volumes are lower in rural areas, making the need to sell aftermarket products a financial necessity. Mark-ups are high on SmartProgram packages, increasing your dealership’s average. Offsetting lower sales volumes is the fact that rural car owners spend more money per vehicle purchase and own more vehicles. It is important to keep these customers served with products best-suited to their needs, protecting them for durable, long-term driving. 

Statistics and data from Newspapers Canada 

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