If you own a used car business, then you know how important it is to provide clear, descriptive, and accurate invoices to your customers. Invoices do more than just request payment. They are a communication tool between you and your customers. An array of issues can affect a used car's price. A quality invoice outlines everything a vehicle has been through and allows you the transparency any good used car dealer needs.

Great invoices also help you keep accurate accounting records, track payments, and manage your business finances. In this article, we will explain the parts every used car invoice should have and show you how to use Skynova's free template to create your own used car invoices quickly and easily.

How Do Car Dealerships Invoice Customers?

Used car dealerships give invoices to customers when they sell a vehicle. The primary purpose of the invoice is to collect payment, but it can also serve as a receipt for the sale. It will include things like details about the car and a description of the parties involved in the sale (dealer and buyer). It will also specify things like how a buyer will pay for the vehicle and outline the total cost.

Finding the right price for a used car can be more complex than finding one for a new car. As a used car dealer, you likely will not get your vehicles directly from a car manufacturer or automaker (like Toyota or Ford). This means you will not have an invoice price (also known as dealer cost or dealer price), which is the price a dealer pays a manufacturer for a new vehicle. You also will not have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) to use as a starting point for your pricing.

As a used car salesperson, you have to do your own research when it comes to car buying and car pricing. You will have to figure out how much you have to markup your inventory and what final price (the lowest price you will sell a car for) you can accept for a vehicle to keep your profit margin healthy. You can use a site like Edmunds.com or CarsDirect to find the true market value of a vehicle and see what cars are selling for.

When calculating what to charge for a new car, make sure your prices cover things like your advertising fees and your employee's salaries. Remember to give yourself some negotiation room in your sticker price. Consumers are always looking to get the best car deal possible.

Free Car Invoice Template

Creating your own invoices can be extremely time-consuming. It is much easier and faster to use a template optimized to take care of all the organization, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Skynova's free printable invoice template is the perfect product for creating great professional-looking invoices quickly.

Fill out your company name and information in the "From" section and your car buyer's name and information in the "To" section. Then, add an "Invoice #." Your finances will be easier to track if you have a system. Fortunately, Skynova makes it easy to add unique invoice numbers to each invoice. All you need to do is choose the number on your first invoice, and Skynova will automatically increment subsequent invoices, ensuring you have a unique invoice number for each one. However, the system will not allow you to save a non-unique invoice number.

The "Invoice Date" is the day you actually create your invoice, and your "Due Date" will depend on your payment terms. Typically, if a customer buys a car in cash or has repairs done at your shop, they will need to pay in full before they can take possession of their vehicle.

Often, a customer will choose to finance a vehicle through a bank you partner with. Here, the customer will set up a leasing plan with the bank, and you might need to create a special invoice to show the interest rate they'll pay on their monthly payment (based on their credit score and financial history).

Click the drop-down menu under "Items" to choose whether you are charging for a service (like extended warranties or destination charges), a product (like a used car or an add-on), or labor hours. Under "Description," type in an explanation of the product. Here are a few things you should include in your description of a used vehicle:

  • Who the manufacturer is
  • The particular model of the car
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The model year
  • The color of the vehicle
  • Notation about the vehicle's history, including any repairs performed

Then, type in the "Unit Price" of your product and the "Quantity" you will be selling. The template will automatically calculate the total "Amount" due. You can also add discounts or rebates to your invoice. Under "Items," choose "Discount" and fill out the "Unit Price" and "Quantity" sections. You might use the discount feature if a customer has a trade-in vehicle. Skynova's template will immediately subtract the amount of your discount from the total price.

You can use the notes section to call a customer's attention to any details you would like them to be aware of. Let's say a customer purchased a windshield protection plan when you sold them a 2012 Subaru Outback. When they come in to have their windshield replaced, you notice the car's brake pads are just above a certain measurement. You can add a note about the upcoming replacement of the brake pads.

How to Create a Custom Car Invoice

In addition to the basic elements, you may need to add a few things to your invoice to make it work for your business. Skynova's template gives you the ability to add customizations to meet your company's invoicing needs.

To get started, click "Show Customizations Options" in blue right above your invoice. Check the box for the option you would like to choose. Below is a list of your choices.

  • Logo: A unique and appealing logo helps your brand stand out. Click "Browse" to add a logo from your computer. Make sure the image is of a high quality. You may need to resize or alter it. If you do not have a logo, you can use a site like Taylor Brands to create one.
  • P.O.#: Sometimes, customers will send you a purchase order (P.O.) to request your services before you send them an invoice. This is common for business-to-business (B2B) transactions. Adding a corresponding P.O. number to an invoice helps you keep all your accounting documents organized.
  • Sales tax: Skynova lets you add a sales tax percentage to your invoice. Different states have different regulations when it comes to sales tax. Do some research to find the rates in your state.

Car Invoicing Is Easy With Skynova

A lot of work goes into running a used car dealership. Used car dealers cannot rely on things like dealer holdbacks (manufacturer payments) to pad their income. If you are going to be successful, you need to spend the bulk of your time and energy making car sales and increasing your bottom line — not worrying about administrative tasks.

Skynova's invoice template helps you create polished invoices representative of your brand quickly, so you can get back to sending customers out the door with desirable cars and growing your business.

Notice to the Reader

The information in this article is intended to be a broad guide for creating invoices for used cars. It may not work for your particular business circumstances. Always seek the advice of an expert in your industry before making potentially impactful changes to your existing business processes.