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Blog > Seven Common Compliance Challenges for Car Dealerships and How VComply Addresses Them

Seven Common Compliance Challenges for Car Dealerships and How VComply Addresses Them

VComply Editorial Team
May 21, 2024
9 minutes

With growing pressure from regulators and constantly changing laws, today’s car dealerships in the US must prioritize compliance more than ever. Ensuring smooth daily operations and protecting their reputation are also equally important in this challenging regulatory environment.

Some of the recent events in the car dealership space underscore the significant consequences of non-compliance. For instance, AutoNation subsidiaries recently settled a lawsuit for $3.38 million with eight California counties, including Alameda and Santa Clara, due to alleged violations of environmental and customer record laws. This settlement highlights the financial and reputational risks that come with non-compliance. 

Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces strict regulations to ensure workplace safety in dealerships and repair shops. Penalties for OSHA violations can be severe, exceeding $16,131 per violation and accruing daily fines until the issue is resolved. For willful or repeated violations, fines can soar to ten times this amount. Such stringent penalties emphasize the importance of adhering to safety standards to avoid dire consequences for both employees and the dealership’s bottom line. 

Given these examples, it is clear that auto dealers must prioritize compliance to avoid substantial fines, legal battles, and damage to their reputation. Implementing robust compliance programs and utilizing comprehensive compliance management tools can help dealerships manage the complex regulatory requirements, safeguard their operations, and build trust with their customers. 

# No. 1 Challenge

Compliance with Federal and State Regulations 

Addressing compliance with a multitude of federal and state regulations presents a major challenge for car dealerships. Regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) mandate stringent data protection and privacy measures, while consumer protection laws enforced by entities like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require dealerships to uphold fair lending standards. Additionally, state Attorney Generals impose their own set of rules, further complicating the regulatory landscape. Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards is also crucial to ensure a safe working environment. Failing to meet these diverse regulatory requirements can result in hefty fines, legal battles, and reputational damage, making it imperative for dealerships to stay vigilant and well-informed about all applicable laws and regulations. 


Ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations is essential for businesses to operate legally and ethically. This process involves understanding and adhering to the complex web of laws and guidelines that govern industry practices and standards. Here are some of the best practices and tips that you can use to meet the compliance requirements of federal and state, FTC and CFPBs.

Implement a Comprehensive Compliance Program 

Develop and maintain a detailed compliance program that covers all federal and state regulations relevant to car dealerships, including consumer protection laws, OSHA, GLBAs, and environmental standards.  

Define Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each department regarding compliance. Make sure everyone understands their contributions to compliance efforts and how they align with overall organizational goals. 

Create Policies and Educate Staff 

Educate your staff on specific regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. 

Tackling the Challenge with VComply  

Leverage VComply’s pre-built regulatory framework library and manage multiple regulations simultaneously. Align frameworks across all compliance and risk management activities, including compliance activities like GLBA, OSHA, and other state and federal regulations reducing the need to create compliance processes from scratch. Promote process standardization, stakeholder accountability, ensuring consistent adherence to regulatory requirements across all your stores. Use the policy management feature to create, manage policies, and train your employees on policies.

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# No. 2 Challenge

Financial Transactions and 8300 Cash Reporting Compliance IRS 

Ensuring financial transparency and integrity in all transactions is crucial for car dealerships, particularly in complying with anti-money laundering laws and IRS 8300 cash reporting requirements. Dealerships must implement robust financial controls and conduct due diligence on customers to detect and prevent money laundering activities. Compliance with the IRS 8300 reporting requirement, which mandates the reporting of cash transactions exceeding $10,000, is essential. This involves accurately documenting and reporting large cash payments to the IRS, thereby enhancing financial transparency and helping prevent illicit activities. Adhering to these regulations not only safeguards the dealership’s financial reputation but also mitigates legal and financial risks associated with non-compliance. 


Managing financial transactions and 8300 cash reporting compliance with the IRS is crucial for businesses handling large cash transactions. This ensures adherence to federal requirements, preventing legal issues and promoting transparency in financial dealings. Here are the top strategies to ensure compliance with IRS 8300 Cash Reporting Compliance. Follow these best practices and tips to stay compliant effectively.

Implement Robust Internal Controls 

Create internal controls to file the IRS 8300 form. Use IRS Form 8300 to report these transactions. This form collects information about the individual or entity making the payment, including name, address, taxpayer identification number (TIN), and the amount and date of the transaction. 

Provide Employee Training 

Educate employees about the importance of cash reporting and the specifics of Form 8300. Ensure they understand what constitutes a reportable transaction and how to handle them. 


Maintain detailed records of all transactions, especially those involving large sums of cash. This includes logs, receipts, and copies of filed forms. 

Regular Audits 

Regularly audit your cash transactions and reporting processes to ensure compliance. This can help identify any discrepancies or areas where procedures need improvement. 

Tackling the Challenge with VComply 

VComply lets you establish robust controls for managing of financial transactions and IRS 8300 cash reporting and centralizes the entire process. it provides real-time monitoring and alerts for controls that are due or nearing the reporting threshold, helping businesses stay proactive. Comprehensive record-keeping features ensure that all necessary documentation is securely stored and easily accessible for audits.

# No. 3 Challenge

TCPA and Adverting Compliance 

Auto dealerships face significant compliance challenges, particularly in adhering to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This law requires dealerships to obtain explicit written consent from customers for all forms of communication, including text messages. Non-compliance can lead to substantial fines and reputational damage, making it imperative for dealerships to manage and document customer consent effectively. Additionally, ensuring that all advertisements are truthful, non-deceptive, and substantiated is critical. Dealerships must provide accurate vehicle descriptions, model years, images, and detailed disclosures for financing terms.

Maintaining advertising compliance across various media platforms presents another significant challenge. Dealerships must ensure their advertisements are accurate, transparent, and comply with local and national regulations. This involves providing precise information about vehicles, pricing, and promotional offers while avoiding misleading tactics. The complexity of managing compliance across multiple channels necessitates comprehensive review processes and continuous monitoring to ensure adherence to regulatory standards and to build and maintain customer trust. 


Here are the top strategies to ensure compliance with IRS 8300 Cash Reporting Compliance. Follow these best practices and tips to stay compliant effectively.

Establish TCPA Process and Controls 

Before making any telemarketing calls or sending text messages, ensure you have obtained prior express written consent from the recipient. 

Manage Documentation and Evidence 

Keep detailed records of all consents, including the date and method by which consent was obtained. This documentation is crucial in case of any disputes or regulatory audits. 

Clear Disclosures

Make sure all advertising materials, including online and offline content, provide clear and truthful information.

Establish a Policy and Review Process 

Establish a policy and review process for all advertising content to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. 

Tackling the Challenge with VComply 

VComply helps car dealerships establish TCPA processes and controls by automating consent management and tracking customer communications to ensure compliance. It provides tools for documenting and maintaining explicit customer consents, integrating do-not-call lists, and setting up automated alerts for compliance violations. The platform also facilitates regular audits and generates compliance reports, ensuring adherence to TCPA regulations. This comprehensive approach minimizes the risk of non-compliance and enhances operational efficiency.

# No. 4 Challenge

Managing Inventory and Operational Processes  

Managing inventory and operational processes efficiently is a significant compliance challenge for car dealerships. Ensuring that all inventory records are accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with relevant regulations is crucial for operational integrity. Dealerships must implement standardized procedures for tracking vehicle inventory, managing customer disputes, and handling operational tasks to avoid discrepancies and inefficiencies. Non-compliance in these areas can lead to financial losses, legal issues, and damage to the dealership’s reputation, making it imperative to streamline these processes with robust compliance tools and practices.


Here are some of the strategies to manage inventory and operational processes. Follow these best practices and tips to stay compliant effectively.

Optimize Operational Processes 

Develop and document SOPs for all key processes, including vehicle check-in, sales, service, and delivery. Ensure that all employees are trained on these procedures to maintain consistency and efficiency. 

Regular Audits

Conduct regular audits of operational processes to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. Use these audits to refine SOPs and enhance overall productivity. 

Communication and collaboration

Make communication and task management features to facilitate real-time communication among staff. This helps in quickly addressing issues and coordinating activities. 

Tackling the Challenge with VComply 

VComply improves operational efficiency by streamlining task management and enabling seamless collaboration. It centralizes controls and policies, ensuring consistency and compliance across the organization. standardized procedures for tracking vehicle inventory Task management features help assign, track, and prioritize tasks, improving workflow and productivity. Collaboration tools facilitate communication and coordination among team members, while assessment modules provide real-time insights and performance tracking. This integrated approach optimizes processes and drives operational effectiveness., handles customer disputes effectively and transparently with control management tools, and eliminating repetitive tasks with automated workflows and redundancy across departments and teams. 

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# No. 5 Challenge 

Customer Privacy and Cyber Security Compliance 

Protecting customer privacy and ensuring robust cyber security are critical compliance challenges for car dealerships. With access to vast amounts of sensitive personal and financial information, dealerships must adhere to stringent privacy laws and cybersecurity regulations to safeguard this data. Compliance with regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires dealerships to implement comprehensive data protection measures, conduct regular risk assessments, and establish clear protocols for data handling and breach response. Failure to comply can result in severe financial penalties, legal repercussions, and loss of customer trust, making it essential for dealerships to prioritize customer privacy and cyber security in their operations. 


Ensuring customer privacy and cybersecurity compliance is essential for protecting sensitive information and maintaining trust. This involves implementing robust security measures and adhering to regulatory standards to safeguard data against breaches and cyber threats. Implement privacy and security processes, and follow these best practices and tips to stay compliant effectively.

Implement Strong Data Protection Measures 

Restrict access to sensitive information to only those employees who need it to perform their job functions. Use role-based access control (RBAC) systems to manage permissions. 

Regular Audits

Conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities and ensure that data protection measures are being followed consistently. 

Adopt Comprehensive Privacy Policies

Develop and prominently display a clear privacy policy that explains how customer data is collected, used, and protected. Ensure that this policy complies with relevant regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Tackling the Challenge with VComply 

VComply helps manage privacy and cybersecurity by centralizing policy management and automating compliance tracking. It ensures role-based access control (RBAC) systems are properly implemented and maintained, restricting access to sensitive data. The platform facilitates regular security audits and generates reports to identify and address vulnerabilities. VComply also aids in developing and displaying comprehensive privacy policies, ensuring they comply with regulations like GDPR and CCPA. This comprehensive approach helps car dealerships maintain robust data protection and regulatory compliance. Test the controls, ensure compliance with auto dealership regulations and take corrective actions. Streamline your auto dealership’s internal audit procedures with seamless planning, scheduling, collaboration, and execution. 

# No. 6 Challenge

Buyer’s Guide Compliance and Customer Trust 

Ensuring Buyer’s Guide compliance is a major challenge for car dealerships, directly impacting customer trust and transparency. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates that dealerships provide a Buyer’s Guide with every used car, detailing crucial information about the vehicle’s warranty and condition. Non-compliance can lead to significant penalties and erode consumer confidence. Dealerships must diligently prepare and present these guides, ensuring accuracy and clarity to help customers make informed decisions. By prioritizing Buyer’s Guide compliance, dealerships can enhance transparency, build trust with customers, and avoid legal and financial repercussions. 


Here are the top strategies to ensure buyer’s guide requirements and ensure customer trust. Follow these best practices and tips to stay compliant effectively.

Implement a robust compliance program for Buyer’s Guide compliance

Ensure that the buyer’s guide includes all required information such as warranty details, vehicle condition, and any known defects. Display this guide prominently on every vehicle as mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

Ensure communication

Clearly explain the terms of the buyer’s guide to customers, highlighting important aspects like the warranty coverage and any “as-is” conditions. The transparency builds trust and helps customers make informed decisions. 

Audit Trails and Reporting 

Maintain detailed records of all buyer’s guide-related activities, including updates and customer acknowledgments. Regular audits and reporting help ensure ongoing compliance and provide a clear trail in case of disputes or regulatory reviews. 

Tackling the Challenge with VComply 

VComply helps you establish a strong compliance program and controls for car dealerships manage and maintain buyer’s guide requirements The platform sends automated alerts for any upcoming compliance deadlines or changes in regulations, helping dealerships stay proactive in their compliance efforts. The platform helps create, distribute, and enforce compliance policies across the dealership. This ensures that all staff members adhere to standardized procedures and practices. maintains detailed audit trails of all compliance activities, including updates and employee interactions with buyer’s guides. This transparency helps in regulatory reviews and dispute resolution. 

# No. 7 Challenge 

 Customer Review Management and Protecting Brand Reputation 

Managing customer reviews and protecting the brand’s reputation are significant challenges for car dealerships. In today’s digital age, online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and social media have a profound impact on a dealership’s image. Negative reviews, whether justified or not, can deter potential customers and damage trust. Dealerships must actively monitor and respond to reviews, addressing customer complaints promptly and professionally to demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction. Implementing strategies to encourage positive reviews and resolve issues amicably is essential. Failing to manage customer feedback effectively can lead to a tarnished reputation, decreased customer loyalty, and ultimately, a decline in sales. 


Managing customer reviews and protecting brand reputation is crucial for maintaining a positive public image and customer trust. This involves monitoring feedback, addressing concerns promptly, and implementing strategies to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Actively Monitor and Respond to Reviews 

Keep track of customer reviews across multiple platforms such as Google, Yelp, and social media. Set up alerts to stay informed of new reviews in real-time. Respond to all reviews, positive and negative, promptly and professionally.  

Transparency and Accountability 

 Be transparent in your business practices and take accountability for any mistakes. If a customer’s complaint is valid, acknowledge it and outline the steps you’re taking to prevent similar issues in the future.

Customer Service Training

Train your staff to provide excellent customer service consistently. A positive in-store experience often translates into positive online reviews. Empower employees to handle issues promptly and effectively to prevent negative reviews. 

Tackling the Challenge with VComply 

VComply aids in managing review management by centralizing all customer feedback, allowing for real-time monitoring and quick responses to reviews. It assesses reviews to identify patterns or recurring issues, enabling data-driven improvements. The software implements controls to ensure consistent and compliant responses across all platforms. It facilitates issue management by tracking resolutions and maintaining records of interactions, ensuring accountability and continuous improvement. This comprehensive approach helps protect and enhance the dealership’s brand reputation.

VComply Empowers Car Dealers Across the States

VComply serves as a comprehensive compliance software solution that empowers auto dealerships in numerous critical aspects of compliance management. The platform excels in establishing a robust compliance framework by offering tools for defining roles, assigning responsibilities, and implementing controls. With VComply, tracking compliance activities becomes a streamlined process, ensuring that each task is accounted for and completed on time. This is further reinforced by the assignment of responsibilities to stakeholders, enhancing accountability and transparency across the compliance landscape.

VComply’s versatile workflows facilitate seamless collaboration between departments, while its due diligence scoring and compliance assessment capabilities provide a systematic approach to evaluating adherence to regulations. Risk assessment is made more effective through the platform’s insightful tools, allowing organizations to identify and prioritize potential compliance risks. Document sharing and evidence management become effortless with VComply, enabling easy access to necessary information. The platform’s dashboard reports offer a comprehensive overview of compliance activities, supported by alerts and notifications that keep teams informed in real time. With its multifaceted capabilities, VComply stands as a vital ally in the pursuit of comprehensive compliance management.

So, why wait? Consider implementing VComply to effectively identify and manage potential compliance management challenges, ensuring the compliance and success of your organization in the long run.

Request a demo today to learn more about how VComply can help your business.