Want to be a Finance Manager for a Car Dealership

by Tom

Question: I want to be a Finance Manager for a Car Dealership and I know most dealerships want you to have auto sales experience first, which I don't want to do. If I where to go into sales how long would it take me to get into finance, and how would I?

Answer: Hi Tom,

Becoming a Finance Manager for a car dealership is really going to vary dealer to dealer and will also be based on your performance as a car salesman.

Here are a few factors that will play a role:

  1. Size of dealership

    I've found that smaller dealerships are a bit easier to get promoted to Finance in. This is due to a higher likely hood of knowing the one in charge of making these decisions better.

    A General Manager (GM) at a dealership with 6 sales people will know their staff better than a GM at a store with 60 sales people.

    Only down side at a smaller store is that there is typically only one Finance Manager for every 60-80 vehicles sold per month.

    That means it all comes down to when that person decides to move on and the spot opens up. If this person is a lifer, then it could take a while.

  2. Dealership advancement policies

    Again, will vary dealer to dealer, but some dealers may absolutely not put someone in Finance without at least two years experience and/or some other factor.

  3. How did you perform as a salesman

    Finance Managers were typically very good sales people and performance in sales will play a big role.

  4. What have you done for you lately

    I had been in finance for 5 years at a smaller independent lot, but couldn't break into a larger new car store until I went out and proved my desire to advance.

    I did this by spending close to $13,000 putting myself through a 5 week Finance and Insurance course. It wasn't so much what I learned in the course, but the fact that I was willing to go out and do what I needed to do to get the "big" job.

    This impressed the boss and I beat out 20+ other candidates (some with much more experience) to get the job.

One way or the other you're more than likely going to have to pay to play. Either pound the pavement in sales and/or get some schooling in the field of finance and insurance.

I would say though that the schooling will not guarantee you a job as a Finance Manger for a car dealership with no experience. Be aware of that before you shell out any money to get the training.

Hope this helps,

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