When to Use an Actual Vehicle Photo vs. Stock Images Car Dealerships Purchase

Car dealerships might have a vast inventory of new and used cars. To advertise their inventory, stock images car dealerships purchase might be chosen for their high-resolution and extensive options. For example, stock images typically offer an array of options that display a specific vehicle model’s interior and exterior design and features.

Yet, there are some instances when stock photos aren’t the best option or might even be inappropriate or misleading to consumers. Here’s when to use an actual vehicle photo vs. stock images car dealerships purchase online.

For Used Inventory, an Actual Photo is the Best Option

Used or pre-owned inventory could have unique issues that vastly differ from stock photos available in a vehicle image library. For example, an older car might have a few scratches on its paint, rust spots or even just worn carpeting inside.

None of these flaws can or will be captured with car stock images that dealerships purchase online. In fact, using a stock photo of an old model might lead customers to incorrectly assume that the inventory used car is in perfect shape.

To ensure that customers gain full insight about the design, flaws and unique features of used or pre-owned models, dealerships should choose to use an actual vehicle photo. However, dealerships can consider custom photo shoots from EVOX Images for pre-owned inventory that is particularly unique or high-end.

Custom photography allows for dealerships to have the high-resolution quality of stock images but actual photos of the vehicle that is on the lot. Dealerships can choose the background and theme for their custom photo shoots.

The close-up details that dealerships might want to capture in custom shoots include:

  • Tires / rims
  • Instrument panel
  • Odometer reading
  • Unique seat details (if there are custom enhancements, show them)
  • Stereo system and/or infotainment system/screen
  • Moonroof / sunroof
  • Trunk space
  • Gear shift

DIY Photos of Used Inventory are an Inexpensive Image Option

Custom photo shoots are an investment. For this reason, dealerships won’t choose a custom shoot for all used or pre-owned inventory on the lot. Older models and lower-priced used inventory might be ideal for DIY photography.

Some dealerships have a designated photographer on their sales team who might be the best at snapping photos of the inventory. DIY photos need to focus on all the pertinent details of used and pre-owned models for shoppers trying to research their options and make a decision.

Choose a photogenic background for the imagery. Dealerships might choose to simply photograph the vehicle on the space in the lot, or they might drive the vehicle to the front of the dealership for a branded background.

Regardless of the backdrop, dealerships should include the following photos of used and pre-owned models:

  • Exterior shots (front, rear and both sides)
  • Close-up shots of any damage or flaws (dents, rust, chipped paint, etc.)
  • Interior photos showing the driver’s seat, passenger’s seat and the back seat spaces
  • Close-up shot of the instrument panel
  • A photo of the odometer reading
  • Images of the stereo system or infotainment screen/system
  • The interior of the trunk
  • Close-up shots of the tires and rims

If an older model has any interior flaws, these should be mentioned or photographed, too. In addition, if the vehicle has some unique customized features, make sure potential buyers see these features in the photographs.

Actual Vehicle Photo vs. Stock Images Car Dealerships

Stock Photos are Ideal for New Models

When dealerships want to create excitement around new models hitting the showroom floor, stock photos are the best option. These photos are taken in a professional studio with background details that further accentuate the drama, elegance or rugged nature of a particular model.

EVOX Images offers numerous options for stock photos. Dealerships can choose to use 360 spin photos that allow customers to interact with a 3D image of a vehicle model; customers can use a fingertip or a mouse to spin the car around and view its exterior design from any angle. Spin photos also include panorama interior photos that work in the same manner as the exterior spin shots; however, panorama photos let customers explore the interior of the car.

While the most popular car colors include white, black and grey, manufacturers often include more creative paint options for customers that are a little more adventurous. Three-angle color set photos from EVOX Images let dealerships showcase the different color options for a particular model.

In addition, EVOX Images also offers base trim photos. Dealerships might include photos of a model with upgrades and a more expensive price point online. However, buyers might simply want to see photos of the base trim. Use these photos to help buyers on a budget to understand what the base trim includes and how it really looks.

Motorbiscuit notes that the sole reason for choosing a base model might simply be to keep the price low. Base model might be basic, but choosing the base also could be the only option for a buyer’s budget. Show this trim online.

Video Tours Can Be Ideal for Used & Pre-Owned Models

Dealerships that want to give potential buyers a full look at a used car on the lot also could post a video tour of the vehicle. This is a video that narrates and explores the interior and exterior of all the features of the vehicle.

The dealership will show details of the car up close on the tour and talk about the features, too. If there are any flaws, the dealerships can outline this for potential buyers.

Video tours are a great option to add to the website to increase user interaction and engagement. If the car is particularly unique, the dealership also can include some historical details about the model.

Actual Vehicle Photo vs. Stock Images Car Dealerships

EVOX Images Offers Stock Videos

For newer models, dealerships can use EVOX Images’ stock video database on their website to enhance the user experience and encourage on-page interaction. The database features different content options accessible to dealerships; video content options include:

  • Editorial video
  • Exterior video spin sets
  • Fly-around video
  • Video clip sets
  • Showroom video
  • Editorial Video

These videos serve as a tour of the vehicle. Videos include narration that focuses on key features of the vehicle and showcases the exterior and interior design elements. These videos can help buyers gain insight about a specific model.

Exterior Video Spin Sets

Video spin sets focus on the exterior design of the vehicle. They will let shoppers see the model from all vantage points. These videos are a bit like 360 spin photos, except shoppers just need to hit play instead of interacting independently with an image.

Fly-Around Video

The fly-around video adds a unique component to a dealership’s website experience. Shoppers can see the video from a distance, up close, etc. These videos give the illusion of zooming in and zooming out on an automobile.

Video Clip Sets

Many dealerships offer slideshows of vehicle models. Video clip sets serve as a movie version of the slideshow experience. Instead of clicking through images, shoppers just hit play and watch a video that displays all the key elements of the vehicle.

Showroom Video

These videos are an immersive showroom experience displayed in video format. Showroom videos enable shoppers to have the dealership showroom visit without leaving their home. These videos highlight key features of the car and show details up close to help buyers understand the most important elements of the model.

When Should Dealerships Use an Actual Vehicle Photo vs. Stock Images Dealerships Purchase?

For used and pre-owned models that aren’t particularly unique or high-end, dealerships might opt to take on the photography of these inventory options for online marketing purposes. Stock images won’t capture any of the flaws or wear and tear that might be present in older vehicles, and using stock photos could give potential buyers little insight about the model that’s sitting on the lot.

However, to build excitement about new vehicles and newer models about to be introduced, dealerships can use stock images from EVOX Images. Choose from a variety of images via the image library for each model to enhance the engagement and user experience of the dealership’s website and social media pages.