The need for accurate and timely motor vehicle information is what led to the founding of Florida-based Auto Data Direct almost 20 years ago. The company provides real-time access to motor vehicle records and offers electronic lien and title, and tag services. It also can provide vehicle history reports, and salvage and end-of-life data.
Frank Toms, manager of dealer services at Auto Data Direct, told Mega Dealer News at this spring's NADA Show in Las Vegas that the information can help in a variety of situations.
“If you’re taking a trade in, you want to verify ownership, make sure that the person actually owns the vehicle, make sure there’s no lien holders on the vehicle,” Toms said. “It’s a quick and easy way to do that.”
The data could also be useful when putting together a financing contract.
“You want to make sure the address information their providing you is accurate,” Toms said. “It’s a cheap insurance policy to make sure you’re not having a problem on the back end.”
Auto Data Direct has relationships with 34 state DMVs and works with a few thousand dealerships across the country.
“We’re targeting any dealer or financial institution that has a use for motor vehicle record,” Toms said. “Whether you are a dealer or a financier, having information is always a powerful tool.”
Toms said while about 2,000 dealers in Florida use the company’s temporary tag and metal plate services, dealers nationwide use their records. Toms said access to the information is web-based an doesn’t require any software.
“Anyone can log on and we also have no contract or monthly fees,” he said. “Everything is pay as you go. We found that to be the best business model for picking up anywhere from your small independent guy up to your big franchise customer.”