What Is a We-Owe & Why Is It Important?

Posted by Insignia Group on Apr 2, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Is the We-Owe what it’s really all about? Sometimes buying a car can feel like the Hokey Pokey, but the We-Owe is what it’s all about. This one document is an invaluable part of the car-buying process.

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History of the We-Owe

The “due bill” (We-Owe) originated from a need to protect both dealerships and customers from making false claims on a car sale. We-Owes date back to the beginning of the dealership world, when the industry had a less savory reputation for swindling people out of their hard-earned money. The ‘We-Owe’ process is fluid; there is no one-way to satisfy the laws.

Sometimes, dealers would sell less than road-worthy cars for a premium price, only for the vehicle to break down on the new owner. A “he said/she said” scenario was born, where the dealership made promises and later backed out. With no proof of prior conversations, the customer found themselves with a lemon and no money. The reverse was also true. An honest dealer sells a car to a consumer, who later returns claiming the large, new scratch on the door was there at the time of purchase.

Documenting for the Good of All Involved

The reputation of the automotive industry is changing for the better, and documentation is king. In the digital age, losing a We-Owe or relying on trust / memory alone is a thing of the past. We-Owe documents ensure no one is being taken advantage of and is a critical part of the process. Even documenting that nothing is owed is a step that can’t be overlooked. Simply documenting “car sold as is, nothing promised” and keeping that signed copy in the deal jacket will prevent future headaches for both parties. The electronic We-Owe serves as legal protection as well. Best practice is to utilize a digital We-Owe that can’t be misplaced, have coffee spilled on it, or get mixed up. Digital documents are easier to share between parts, sales, service, and the customer. 

What kind of We-Owe process is implemented in your store?

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