How to Select the Best High Res Car Photos

The process of buying a car has changed drastically over the last several years. The average auto consumer is spending less and less time inside a dealership before buying a car. Now, most of the car buying process occurs online, where consumers can explore the interior and exterior of vehicles from the comfort of their home. 

It’s crucial that your dealership makes a strong first impression on consumers who are shopping online for cars. To do this, you need to use high res car photos to market your dealership and your inventory. 

But there are thousands of high res car photos out there, which can make finding the right ones for your dealership a challenge. How can you select the best images? Where can you find them? Here’s what you need to know to take your dealership to the next level of success:

What Are High Resolution Car Photos?

All stock photos are not created equal. When searching for photos for your dealership, it’s important to look for high resolution images

Every image consists of countless tiny squares of color, which are known as pixels. These pixels blend together to create the image, so you can’t see each individual square unless you zoom in close. 

The termhigh resolution” simply means that there are more pixels per inch. The more pixels there are in an image, the higher quality and clearer the image will appear. 

If you’re looking for stock photos for your dealership, make sure to check the pixels per inch before making a final decision. In general, high resolution images have at least 300 pixels per inch, whereas low resolution images have around 72 pixels per inch. Selecting high resolution images will ensure every image you use to market your dealership is crisp, clear, and high quality.

High Res Car Photos

What Factors to Consider When Choosing High Res Car Photos

There are a number of factors to keep in mind when choosing high res car photos for your dealership, including:

  • Purpose
  • Your Brand
  • Accurate Representation
  • Aesthetics


Every image you select should serve some sort of purpose. Some images should persuade viewers to take a specific action, whereas others may be used to educate consumers on a specific topic.

For example, say you are looking for an image to add to a blog on your website. The image you select should help the reader understand the content of the blog. So if the blog is about the benefits of purchasing an electric vehicle, the images should feature electric vehicles. If you are looking for an image for your homepage, the image you select should be eye-catching and striking enough to keep visitors engaged.

Before paying for an image, ask yourself what purpose it will serve. If you can’t think of a purpose for the image, you probably don’t need to use it.

Your Brand

You also need to keep your brand in mind when choosing images for your car dealership. The images you choose should be consistent with your brand

For example, if you want to be known as a car dealership that sells sleek and sophisticated cars, the images you choose should reflect this brand positioning. Selecting images with rugged vehicles designed for off-roading might not be consistent with your brand in this case. On the other hand, choosing images with high-end sports cars and sedans might fit your brand well.

Accurate Representation

It’s also important to consider whether the vehicles shown in the stock photos are accurately represented. In other words, ask yourself if the vehicles look the same in the pictures as they do in real life.

Remember, auto consumers spend a lot of time shopping online for cars. They rely on pictures to learn more about different vehicles, narrow down their options, and make a purchase decision. This is why it’s so important to make sure the vehicles look the same in the images as they do in real life.


Of course, it’s also important to consider the visual appeal of an image when selecting them from a stock photo library. Look for images that are striking enough to stand out and catch your target audience’s eye.

For example, if you are choosing an image to use on social media, it must be compelling enough to grab the viewer’s attention as they scroll through their newsfeed.

High Res Car Photos

Where to Find High Res Car Photos

There are countless stock photo libraries out there, but if you’re looking for high res car photos, it’s best to go with a stock photo provider that specializes in automotive photography. This way, you won’t need to sort through thousands of irrelevant images to find the ones you need for your dealership.

This narrows down your options, but still leaves you with a number of choices. If you’re on the search for an automotive stock photo library, look for one with these key qualities:

  • Interior and exterior shots: You need access to images of both the interior and exterior of vehicles, so choose a stock photo library that fulfills this need.
  • Consistency: The images in the stock photo library you choose should be consistent, which means the lighting, quality, and angles should be similar in every shot.
  • New releases: You should choose a stock photo library that gives you access to high quality photos of newly released vehicles. This way, you will be able to provide photos of new releases before other dealerships in your community.
  • New and used vehicles: If you sell both used and new vehicles at your dealership, it’s important to find a stock photo library that gives you access to photos of both categories of vehicles. If the library doesn’t have used vehicle images, for example, it will be very difficult to market this part of your business.
  • Wide variety: You also need to find a stock photo library that includes images of a wide variety of vehicles. You shouldn’t choose a library that only includes images of high-end vehicles, for example, unless your dealership specializes in this area.

What Are the Different Types of Stock Photo Licensing Structures?

You need to acquire the rights to use the high res car photos you find in stock photo libraries. The three main types of stock photo licensing structures are:

  • Rights Managed
  • Royalty Free
  • Extended License

Rights Managed

This is the most restrictive type of licensing structure for stock photos. If you choose this licensing structure, you will need to pay a fee every time you use the image.

For example, if you use the image on your website and in an email newsletter, you would be charged two separate fees since you are using it two different times.

The rate you are charged for each use will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type and size of image.

Rights managed licensing structures usually come with expiration dates. If your licensing agreement has an expiration date, you cannot legally use the image after this date. Doing so can result in steep fines.

Sometimes, a rights managed licensing structure will give you the exclusive right to use the image. In other words, no one else will be able to use the image until the expiration date in your agreement has passed.

High Res Car Photos

Royalty Free

This is the most common type of licensing agreement for stock photos. Some people assume that “royalty free” means that they won’t need to pay to use the image, but that’s not the case. You will need to pay to use the image, however, you will not be charged a fee every time you use the image. Instead, the licensor will charge you a flat fee upfront to acquire the rights to use the image.

Unlike a rights managed licensing agreement, a royalty free agreement does not come with an expiration date, so you can continue to use the image for as long as you would like.

Every royalty free agreement is unique. For example, some state that you may be charged an additional fee if the image’s viewership exceeds a specific level. Make sure you read the terms of your agreement to understand if and when you will be charged if you choose this type of licensing structure.

Extended License

It’s best to choose an extended license for your high res car photos. An extended license is similar to a royalty free agreement, but it comes with several additional benefits. Just like a royalty free license, an extended license gives you the right to use an image an unlimited number of times with no expiration date.

An extended license also gives you the right to use the image commercially, which means you will be able to use the image to market your car dealership. You can also legally modify the stock image with this type of licensing agreement. For example, you can add your car dealership’s logo to the images you license.

Now you have all of the information you need to find a stock photo library, choose the right images, and select the best licensing agreement. Use this as a guide to find high res car photos that you can use to grow your car dealership!