Google Vehicle Ads: A Complete Guide for Car Dealerships

Published on
Mar 1, 2024
Written by
Lara-Alina Plieschnig

Google Vehicle Ads supports dealerships and retailer stores by automatically targeting their customers online and leading them from Google directly to your website and further to your lot – basically showing the right listings and right information at the right time. Don’t worry if you haven’t quite grasped the concept yet: that’s why we’re here to tell you everything you need to know to get started. You’ll find out:

  • What are Google VAs?
  • Why you should use Google VA?
  • Most common mistakes (and how to avoid them)
  • How CarCutter helps you with listing on Google VA

What are Google Vehicle Ads?

Does this situation ring a bell with you: You’re looking for a specific product on Google and typing its name in the search bar and suddenly a window pops up next to your search results showing you exactly what you were looking for? It’s the same for Google Vehicle Ads, except they -naturally- focus on cars only. With this tool Google wants to help dealers and retailers to reach highly interested users which are bound to be customers and might only need that one ad to click on your page. Besides that, it supports people in finding exactly what they are looking for, which means they don’t have to click through hundreds of websites to find a car, but can actually look at a car directly, since Google Vehicle Ads displays a picture of the car as well as key information such as make, model, pricing or color for example.

Source: Google

Another great thing is that Google Vehicle Ads only show cars from dealerships nearby, which means that if the person decides to click on the Ad, it takes them directly to your website and they can even come by for a test drive! This not only drives online but also offline conversions! In fact, in an article about Google Vehicle Ads, Google claims that dealers participating in a beta study found their conversions increased by 25% and generated a ROI of about 15%.

Now, how exactly do these Ads work? As already mentioned, these Ads target people who are bound to become customers. This means that they have proven to be highly interested in buying a car before or make inquiries indicating a high car shopping intent. By only showing exactly the model of a car that the customer has been looking for, Google Vehicle Ads make it almost impossible not to click on this Ad – who wants to scroll through ten websites before finding a car, if they can just click on this window in their screen and get what they want?

Now, let’s say a client looks for a 2019 SUV – as seen in the image above – and types this in the bar at the top. Google will show our customer results containing: a key visual of the car, pricing, mileage as well as location of the car. Assuming the second car really catches their attention, and they click on it, Google takes them to the dealer’s website or the VDP to be exact. The Vehicle Detail Page is also generated by the retailer, only showing important information such as pricing and exact location of the car. On the dealer’s website the customer then has the option to either buy or reserve the car online to pick it up at the retailer.

Why you should use Google VA?

Google Vehicle Ads specifically focuses on your target audience, since their search results are matched with the product data you need to upload (more on that later). Because of that feature, you’ll lure more clients onto your website that actually want to buy a car and don’t just browse through your offers or accidentally land on your page, which means that Google Ads attract qualified leads only. Now, these leads click on your website which drives online conversions and then visits your dealership to complete the purchase, increasing offline conversions as well.

Because the customers are shown exactly what they want to buy and then just need to click on the ad, you increase efficiency and exposure due to the fact that you can advertise all of your cars at once. You can also add actions such as contacting the dealer or filling out lead forms to draw them even closer.

How to get started

Just like with every other service, there are certain regulations and policies you need to keep in mind, if you want to use Google Vehicle Ads. First of all, for now this service is only available in the US and as a beta version in Canada and Australia. Besides that, Google only allows non-commercial cars to be advertised, meaning vehicles that’s sole purpose is to drive from location A to location B. Vehicles that are not allowed include: two wheelers, farm vehicles, busses, trains boats or any other kind that require an additional license.
Read more on that here:

Concerning sellers, Google only takes dealerships and retailer stores into account, which means brokers, private sellers and individuals are not permitted to use this service this far and only pre-owned cars that are for sale can be advertised. Cars that have to be leased or will be auctioned off cannot be advertised as well as parts of a car, accessories or services related to vehicles.

If you keep this in mind, you’re good to go. Now you will need to create three different accounts: a Google Merchant Account for your vehicle data, a Google Business Account for your dealership information and a Google Ads Account to manage your advertisements.
If you want to learn more about the process and how to enable Google Vehicle Ads, please visit:

9 critical regulations + rules to consider before listing

Since Google takes over your responsibility of reaching your target audience, all you have to focus on is displaying your product the best way possible. Just like CarCutter, Google noticed the importance of high-quality images in the car industry and states that the pictures have to be a clean image with high-quality and a minimal background. Google mentioned 5 Regulations that need to be followed & 4 recommendations, that will favor your listing, if you follow them.


You need to follow these strictly to avoid getting banned.

1. no overlaid watermarks

2. no superimposed logos or banners

3. no placeholder images

4. No images where the car is only partly shown

5. Maximum 10 images


Not mandatory, but the algorithm will favor your listings if you follow them

1. Avoid logos or branding in the background

2. Avoid modification of license plate

3. Avoid disruptive background

4. Avoid rear angle as main image


Concerning specifications:

Important: All your vehicles must have attributes, like VIN, vehicle type, engine etc.,  attached.

What you need for the Google Main Feed:

1. Create a text file with separators or an XML file or use an API.

2. Write information about the vehicles into the inventory:

Here is a detailed list of requirements:

List on Google Vehicle Ads with CarCutter

If you're looking for the easiest and safest way to list on Google then look no further: While we are backgrounding your images into your branded customizable showroom, we can create a second image result that is 100% Google Vehicle Ads Compliant, meaning no logo, no watermark, automatic sorting of the best 10 images and many other features.

More specifically you’ll get:

1. images for Google Vehicle Ads:

  • receive clean, high-quality images – completely compliant with Google standards!
  • automatically get the ten best images from us – you don’t have to sort through them!
  • upload your images to Google Vehicle Ads without worrying about getting under review!

2. pictures for your website in accord with your CI:

  • get a unique, digital showroom for professional images – no need for professional equipment or a photographer
  • create a homogeneous website and boost your click rate by up to 52%
  • get results within seconds – don’t worry about long hours of editing the images!
  • test the App – in just 5 steps to your finished images!

Contact us via to get started today!