Last Updated on October 15, 2020
Considering there are more than 129,000 used car dealers in the United States alone, it’s no surprise settling on a unique name when starting a used car dealership is no easy task.
Picking the right name gives potential customers an idea about what your business does, creates a good first impression, and helps you stand out from the competition.
What used car dealer names are you allowed to use? How do you come up with something the represents your brand best? And what about business name best practices?
If you’re not sure how to answer those questions, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn my top tips for choosing the perfect business name and how to make sure your favorite choices are available to register.
Let’s dive in!
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Used Car Dealer Name
If you’re struggling with coming up with business name ideas for your car dealership, one of the best things during the naming process is just to start brainstorming. As you go through the tips outlined below, make a list of words, phrases, and terms associated with your business.
From there, you can narrow down the list and cross off ideas you don’t like.
Once you have several top considerations, we’ll walk through how to make sure you’re allowed to use them. This last step helps you narrow down your list even more so you can make a final decision.
1. Consider the Products You Plan to Offer
There are several types of services a used car dealer can offer, so it’s worth considering the products you plan to offer when picking a name. Maybe you want to focus on a wide range of vehicles, high-end vehicles, a particular vehicle manufacturer, or easy financing.
Add the different types of services you want to offer to your brainstorming list.
Remember to avoid anything limiting your business’s future growth if you decide to go in another direction down the road.
2. Location-Specific Terms
Many used car dealers are specific to a geographic service area. So, if that’s true for your business, consider adding a location-specific term to your business name.
You can consider things like:
- City nicknames
- Regions or states
- And descriptive terms
However, consider what happens if you expand outside your intended service area. Does the name become limiting? If so, it’s best to avoid it if you plan to expand or change directions later.
3. Avoid Business Names That Are Hard to Pronounce, Hear, or Spell
Despite the technological advances of voice search, assistants like Siri and Alexa struggle to understand slang and other confusing words.
This could limit how often your business shows up in voice (and text-based) search if your name is hard to spell, pronounce, or hear. Because of that, it’s important to avoid complicated words, industry jargon, and using numbers in place of letters. While having a unique used car dealer name is good, being too unique may not be so good.
Keep your business name as simple and easy to remember as possible so potential customers can easily find you.
4. Consider Alliterations and Rhyming Words
Alliterations and rhymes are catchy and easy to remember. Because of that, they make for great business names.
That said, it’s not always easy to come up with them. Start with choosing a few of your favorite words from your master brainstorm list.
Then, you can Google “words that start with C” to come up with a name like Clean Cars or A for Affordable Autos or whatever letter you’re using to create an alliteration. Alternatively, you can search “words that rhyme with _____,” like Deals on Wheels.
It can be time-consuming, but it’s an excellent place to start.
And don’t forget to add any exciting finds to your brainstorm list while you’re at it. Try not to overthink the names you come up with. Just write them all down as some of the more interesting ones may spark better ideas later.
5. Steer Clear of Initials or Obscure Acronyms
Initials and unusual acronyms are hard to remember, so they typically don’t make great business names. They can also be challenging to pronounce and confusing for voice search as well.
Furthermore, there are 325 different two-letter combination possibilities in the English language. And the odds of your customers remembering the specific letters you chose are pretty small.
6. Imagery Words
Another consideration when brainstorming brand name ideas is whether there are industry-related words that could also lend themselves to be used in a logo. For instance, a used car dealer could use an image of a car or car keys and focus the name around the image.
Related: How to create a logo for your business.
7. Try the Owner’s Name
If you’ve made it this far and are still struggling to find the best name, you can always consider using the business owner’s name. Doing so works well if the owner also plans to be the face behind the business.
Something to keep in mind is that using the owner’s name as the business name can make it more challenging to sell the business in the future.
8. Look at Other Car Dealership Names
Here is a list of name suggestions based on existing used car dealership businesses that may help give you some inspiration. While many of these names may be available for you to use, be sure to check first to be sure it can be used.
Tips on how to check business name availability are after the list of names!
- 3725 Auto Mall
- 4 Wheel Drive
- A2Z Auto Sales
- Above The Rest Auto
- Ace Motor Co
- Allen Samuels Auto Group
- American Import Auto Group
- America’s Car World
- Apollo Auto Mall
- Asbury Auto
- Atlantic Automall
- Auto Center Of Miami
- Auto Haus USA
- Auto Mall
- Auto Plaza World
- Bay Auto Group
- Best Auto
- Big Mike’s Auto
- Big Reds Auto Wholesale
- Bingo Auto Sales
- Border Auto
- Buy Your Ride
- Capital Motor Cars
- Car Cabana
- Car Connection
- Car Express
- Car Trade
- Carz One
- Cash Ville Auto Showroom
- Champion Auto Sales
- Cherry Auto Group
- Chicago Auto Outlet
- City Motors Miami
- Coastal Auto Co
- Columbus Auto Mall
- Corvette Corral Daytona
- Danny Boy’s Store & Auto Sales
- Destined Motor Sports
- Divinci Motors
- Divine Auto Mall
- Dream Wheels Auto Sales
- Economic Cars
- Eighty Second Auto Mall
- Elite Sales
- Excel Auto Studio
- Exclusive Motors
- Executive Automotive Group
- Fairlight Motorcars
- Family Auto Finance
- Fast Car Automotive
- Firehouse Classic Cars
- First Choice Motor
- Fletcher’s Garage and Auto Sales
- Florida Traders Pre-Owned
- Foreign Cars Wilmington
- Freedom Auto Group
- Gary’s Discount Motors
- Golden State Motorz
- Gordito’s Auto Sales
- Gran Turismo Motors
- Great Lakes Motor Corp
- Hammond Auto Sales
- Harper Motorsports
- Heartland Truck Center
- High Class Auto Imports
- Hoffman Auto Group
- Just Jeeps
- K & J Autoplex
- Killer Jeeps
- Legit Auto Sales
- Lobos Wild Ride
- Low Cost Auto Sales
- Loyal Auto
- Lucky’s Auto Credit
- Magic Auto Center Canoga
- Maplewood Motor Co
- Modern Automotive
- Modi Auto Exotics
- Moore Pre-Owned
- Motor Parkway
- Motorzone Auto Sales
- New Wave Auto
- Next Ride
- No Problem Auto
- North Florida Auto Brokers
- Northern Boulevard Automall
- Pacific Auto Sales
- Paisano Auto Group
- Pat Corbitt & Sons
- Precision Auto Sales
- Premium Cars Of Miami
- Prestige Auto Sales
- Pro Auto Brokers
- Revolution Auto Group
- Ride Away Auto Sales
- Rides Unlimited Chicago
- Riley’s Highway 47 Auto Sales
- Rivera Auto Sales
- Shield Auto Sales
- Sign & Drive Of Raleigh Auto
- Spartan Motors
- Stateline Auto
- Stream Auto Outlet
- Sunshine Auto Mall
- Supreme Motor World
- Top Knotch Auto Sales
- Top Tier Motorcars
- Turbo Auto Sales
- United Auto Mall
- Universal Motors Group
- Used Car Station
- Victory Lane Motors
- Wheel City Auto
- Wheeler Dealer Enterprises
- World Class Exotics
Checking the Availability of Your Top Considerations
At this point, you should have several top considerations to choose from. And the best way to narrow it down further is to check each one for availability.
This step is vital because using a name that someone else is using could be very costly, time-consuming to rebrand your business, and possibly embarrassing. There are several places to look to check whether a name is available to use, so let’s walk through each one.
Trademarks are the most critical, so we’ll start here.
If a name or phrase is trademarked, you’re not allowed to use it in a similar capacity. So, run a trademark search for each business name you’re considering and cross off those that aren’t available.
Learn more about how to do a trademark search before choosing a business name
Just because there isn’t a federal trademark on a name doesn’t mean the name you want is available. That’s because there is a trademark known as a common law trademark. A common law trademark isn’t filed anywhere but provides someone who uses that name in commerce some limited rights in their geographical area to use the name. It can be hard to define how far geographically these rights extend as each industry is different. Still, at a basic level, someone can’t open a business and name it the same or similar name as a competing business in town. If you think the name could potentially create confusion with customers, it is usually best to just find another one to use to avoid potential legal issues down the road.
To do a local search, open up the phone book (if you still have one), and do a Google search to see if there are any local competitors with a similar business name to the one you want to use.
Cross off any similar names from your list and take the rest and let’s keep checking.
State Entity Search (If Applicable)
If you plan to register your used car dealer as a corporation or LLC, you must register with a unique business name. Each state requires every corporation or LLC to register a unique name for their entity. This doesn’t necessarily protect your name from anyone else using it, but nobody can register a corporation or LLC under the same name in your state.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships typically have to register their name (usually referred to as a DBA, Doing Business As, Fictitious Name Registration, or Assumed Name) with the county where the business is located. Unlike the corporation or LLC, there are typically no restrictions with registering a duplicate name.
Related: Is your business name available?
If you find the name is in use, cross it off your list and move on.
Domain Name Availability
Website addresses aren’t as critical as the first three searches, but it’s still worth doing. Typically, you want your domain name to be “yourbusinessname.com” without any numbers, dashes, etc.
It’s easiest for customers to remember, but these are hard to come by.
However, you can explore other configurations and extensions if your preferred domain name isn’t available. Just remember your customers may have a more difficult time finding you online.
You can start with . Type in the domain name you want to use to see if it’s available. The tool also returns other possibilities you may want to consider.
Social Media Profiles
Next, especially if you are stuck between a couple of names, check and see if anyone is already using your potential used car dealer names on social media. Consider which platforms you plan to use and start with those.
Keep in mind you may have to shorten your company name for some platforms. Twitter only allows 15 characters, for example.
Start with your preferred platforms and do a quick search for your name. If nothing pops up, that likely means no one is using it, and you’re good to go.
Example: Someone is using startingyourbusiness on Instagram, so I would have to choose a different handle, making it more difficult for customers to find me.
Hopefully, you now have some good name some ideas for naming your used car dealer. Once you have this list narrowed down to just a few and researched that they are all available, start asking friends, family, and potential customers their thoughts to get feedback, and then pick your perfect used car dealership name!
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