Motor Vehicle Salesperson
Kaihoko Waka Huarahi
This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Motor vehicle salespeople sell new or used cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
Motor vehicle salespeople usually earn
$33K-$140k per year
Source: Automotive Employment NZ, 2016.
Pay for motor vehicle salespeople varies depending on skills, experience and the dealership you work for.
- New motor vehicle salespeople may start on minimum wage, plus commission.
- Experienced motor vehicle salespeople can earn from $65,000 to $140,000, plus commission.
Commissions can vary depending on the dealership you work for and how often you meet or exceed sales targets. Most motor vehicle salespeople earn at least 10% commission, and also get a company car and fuel costs.
Source: Automotive Employment NZ, 2016.
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Motor vehicle salespeople may do some or all of the following:
- prepare vehicles for sale
- help customers decide which vehicles will best suit their needs
- accompany customers who are test-driving vehicles
- decide on the trade-in value of the customer's used vehicle
- collect payment or arrange finance on vehicles
- arrange vehicle insurance for customers
- organise advertising and promotions
- keep a database of customers and potential customers
- deal with painters, panelbeaters and vehicle parts suppliers.
Skills and knowledge
Motor vehicle salespeople need to have knowledge of:
- the vehicles they sell
- new cars on the market, and market trends
- how vehicle engines work
- finance and payment options, and accounting skills.
Motor vehicle salespeople:
- often work long hours, which may include evenings and weekends, and may also be on call
- work in showrooms and car yards
- may deliver cars locally and nationally, and those with more experience may travel overseas to look at vehicles for the New Zealand market.
What's the job really like?
It’s enthusiasm that sells vehicles, according to Mark Holland.
"It’s nine-tenths of this job. Product knowledge is important but you pick it up as you go along. If you're a people person you'll do well."
You need to be motivated to meet people and targets
"When a customer comes in to the yard, I always go out and say hello. You can't just expect cars to be sold – you have to be proactive and work hard. There are a lot of hours involved and it's not a nine-to-five job."
The goal-setting aspect of selling cars appeals to Mark too. "Sales figures are important, and there's always a sense of achievement when you reach your targets. I sell about 25 cars a month on average.”
It’s about getting around and getting a good reputation
Mark says it’s also good being able to get out and about. “I can be shooting all over the city delivering cars and attending sales meetings, or out on the yard demonstrating vehicles and meeting customers.”
Mark has learned that customer loyalty is vital and word of mouth is the best advertising. “If I'm doing my job well the friends and neighbours of people who have bought cars from me might find the same car at another yard, but prefer to buy it off me because they know I'll look after them."
- Meeting people and helping them find vehicles that suit their needs.
- Getting outdoors in the car yard, and around town.
- Working long hours, which usually includes Saturdays.
- Knowing that you need to meet sales targets every month.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a motor vehicle salesperson, but a driver's licence is usually required.
Motor vehicle salespeople can learn skills through on-the-job training.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a motor vehicle salesperson. However, NCEA Level 1 English and maths may be useful.
Motor vehicle salespeople need to be:
- confident dealing with people
- friendly, polite, helpful and honest
- good listeners, to ensure they understand their clients' needs
- skilled at negotiating and selling
- able to drive
Useful experience for motor vehicle salespeople includes:
- sales work
- customer service experience
- vehicle servicing and grooming work.
Motor vehicle salespeople need to have a neat and tidy appearance.
Motor vehicle salespeople who have their own car dealerships need to be registered on the Motor Vehicle Traders Register (MVTR).
Find out more about training
- 0800 88 2121 - email@example.com - www.mito.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Opportunities for motor vehicle salespeople have increased since 2013, as the number of new and used vehicles registered with the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) has increased markedly and new registrations are at record levels.
However, while there has been a slight increase in the number of motor vehicle salespeople employed, there are still only a limited number of positions.
Most salespeople work for car dealerships
Motor vehicle salespeople usually work for car dealerships that sell new cars, used cars or both. Some run their own business.
- Ministry of Transport, ‘New Zealand Vehicle Fleet Statistics 2015’, 2015.
- Ministry of Transport, ‘Quarterly Vehicle Fleet Statistics July – September quarter 2016’, 2016.
- Motor Industry Association website, accessed December 2016, (www.mia.org.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Experienced motor vehicle salespeople may set up their own car sales yards. They may also move into other retail jobs, or roles where you earn commission, such as real estate agent.
Motor vehicle salespeople may also specialise in selling cars of a particular make.
Last updated 8 June 2017