What are Google Vehicle Ads, and how do they work?

Google Vehicle Ads and Google Free Listings are essential to any auto dealership's online presence. Sync your on-lot inventory to Google and reach shoppers near your dealership.


Google Vehicle Ads is a performance-focused ad format that allows auto advertisers to promote their entire inventory of vehicles to interested customers shopping for cars on Google. Vehicle ads appear on search results pages, the Google Shopping tab, and other Google surfaces.

Who can use Google Vehicle Ads?

Google Vehicle Ads cater to the automotive industry. If you are an automotive dealership or manage dealership marketing efforts, this ad format is for you. 

What types of vehicles are supported? 

Currently, only non-commercial passenger vehicles such as cars and pick up trucks are supported. We anticipate Google Vehicle Ads opening to additional vehicle types in the future. Here is a current list of accepted vehicle types from Google's help team. 

How do Google's Vehicle Ads work?

Mobile Google Search with vehicle ads shown on carousel.

Google's machine-learning algorithms power vehicle ads to target potential buyers at the bottom of the funnel. This means that vehicle ads are more likely to appear for users actively searching for vehicles to buy.

When a user searches for a vehicle on Google, vehicle ads may appear with an image of the vehicle and critical information such as make, model, price, mileage, and advertiser name. Users can then click on the ad to learn more about the vehicle and contact the advertiser.

What are the benefits of using Google Vehicle Ads?

Leveraging the vehicle advertising opportunities provided by Google comes with a variety of benefits for your dealership. These ads allow your dealership to: 

  • Reach more potential buyers: Google Vehicle Ads can reach a large audience of potential buyers who are actively searching for vehicles to buy.
  • Increase brand awareness: Vehicle ads can help to increase brand awareness for your dealership or manufacturer.
  • Drive traffic to your website: Vehicle ads can drive traffic to your website, where potential buyers can learn more about your vehicles and contact you.
  • Generate leads and sales: Vehicle ads can help you generate leads and sales by making it easy for potential buyers to contact you.

How to set up Google Vehicle Ads

To set up Google Vehicle Ads, you will need to:

  1. Create a Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Create a Google Ads account.
  3. Connect your Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts.
  4. Add your vehicle inventory to your Merchant Center.
  5. Create a vehicle ads campaign.
  6. Set your budget and bidding strategy.
  7. Launch your campaign.

Is Google VA right for you? 

dbaPlatform is a Global Google Partner, and we have helped clients with Google VA since the beta program started. Give us a shout, and we will help you explore if Google VA is a fit for your needs. 

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