Google Vehicle Ads

What are Google Vehicle Ads?

Google’s Vehicle Ads, initially known as Vehicle Listing Ads (VLAs), have been available in the US for nearly two years and have recently launched in the UK. This advertising format integrates your dealership’s inventory directly into Google search results, targeting potential buyers effectively.

For instance, a search for ‘Tesla Model X near me’ would display visual advertisements, including those from your stock if local, at the top of the search results. These ads showcase essential details like the vehicle’s location, make, model, price, and mileage.

Clicking on an ad redirects users to the corresponding live listing on your website, where they can make an enquiry. Vehicle Ads represent a direct challenge to classified platforms like AutoTrader facilitating a seamless search experience for prospective used car buyers.

Enhanced exposure of your inventory

VLAs enhance the visibility of your inventory, ensuring more potential buyers see your vehicles in their search results.

Showcase visual ads to in-market customers

VLAs are visual advertisements tailored to buyers actively in the market, showcasing your vehicles through compelling images to those already searching.

No need for manual updates

VLAs automate inventory updates, eliminating the need for manual adjustments and ensuring your listings are always current.


Low cost, high return digital marketing for growing businesses!

Overtake the Competition & Drive Sales

Gain early access to start boosting your sales. Vehicle Ads are still in the Alpha phase in the UK, and currently, only a certified Google Trusted Partner can use this new ad format. As one of the few UK trusted partners, we can offer you early access to the Vehicle Ads programme, giving you a head start over the competition.

We’ll manage the entire setup process and any updates, leaving you more time to focus on your dealership. This new ad format offers a fresh approach to online car sales. Getting your vehicles approved early can provide significant benefits for your dealership. Make sure you’re ahead of the competition and visible in search results by using this innovative programme.

As a prominent Google Partner, Limelight Digital has the capacity to provide expert advice and manage Google Ads through a team of skilled and certified experts. We receive ongoing training from Google Agency Development Managers, keeping us ahead in the introduction and implementation of new features.

Additionally, we are Bing Accredited Professionals, guaranteeing that no matter the platform used to promote your website, our team is fully equipped to deliver outstanding results.

A Proven Track Record with Automotive Clients

At Limelight Digital, we pride ourselves on our profound expertise within the automotive industry, having forged a distinguished track record with an impressive roster of clients.
Our portfolio showcases a broad spectrum of esteemed partnerships, including big names such as:

  • Sandicliffe
  • Stephen James
  • Peter Vardy
  • Peter Vardy Carstore
  • Motorpoint
  • CarMoney
  • Forza Finance
  • Saxton 4×4
  • Cargiant
  • PremiumShield
  • Ron Brooks
  • Vehicle Contracts

This extensive experience underpins our success in delivering cutting-edge Search, PPC, and Social Media campaigns, where we have not only achieved remarkable outcomes but continue to foster ongoing, successful relationships with many of these clients.

Our deep-seated knowledge of the automotive sector, combined with our hands-on experience, positions us uniquely to leverage new features like Google’s vehicle listings. This capability enables us to adapt swiftly and efficiently, ensuring our clients consistently stay ahead of the curve in a competitive digital landscape.

Performance Max Campaigns for Automotive

Google’s Performance Max campaigns now stand as the premier choice for advertising across its extensive platforms, particularly for vehicle ads. These campaigns evolve from Smart Shopping campaigns and introduce new features, broader inventory choices, and utilise Google’s sophisticated AI.

Designed to augment keyword-based Search campaigns, Performance Max seeks to draw in more customers likely to convert across Google’s networks, including YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps, through a unified campaign.

Additionally, Performance Max Vehicle Ads provide further metrics for improved oversight and insights into campaign effectiveness. With the inclusion of metrics like cost per action (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS), advertisers gain a fuller view of their campaign’s impact.

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What are Google Vehicle Ads (VLA's)?

Google Vehicle Ads function similarly to AutoTrader listings, but they appear directly on the Google Search results page. These advertisements showcase your inventory to potential car buyers in your vicinity, directing them straight to your website instead of a third-party site. With the integration of Vehicle Ads into Google’s latest Performance Max ad format, which employs Machine Learning to maximise your advertising expenditure across all Google platforms, we suggest dedicating a significant portion of your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) budget to this format.

What's the difference between Vehicle Ads & regular Search Ads?

Vehicle Ads distinguish themselves from traditional Search Ads in several notable ways. They offer distinct benefits in terms of placement, cost-efficiency, and frequency of appearance. Vehicle Ads are prominently displayed at the top of search results, incur lower costs per click, and have the capability to showcase numerous vehicles simultaneously. Hence, for a comprehensive car dealership advertising strategy, Vehicle Ads emerge as the superior option. However, it is highly advisable to utilise a combination of both types of campaigns to attain the best outcomes.

How do I setup Google Vehicle Ads?

Advertisers need to upload their vehicle data to the Merchant Centre, including essential details like make, model, price, mileage, and colour. Google uses this data to connect customers with relevant vehicles.

To advertise vehicles, you must set up Performance Max campaigns with vehicle feeds in Google Ads. You also need to link your Google Ads account to both a Merchant Centre account and a Google Business Profile. If you don’t manage profiles for your dealership locations, there’s an alternative to link to a store feed instead.

Can you display both new and used cars with Google Vehicle Ads?

Vehicle Advertisements are suitable for both new and used vehicles, including cars and pickup trucks available in your inventory. This does not apply to commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles, agricultural vehicles, buses, motorcycles, trains, or boats, etc. All listings must feature genuine images of the vehicle. Also, we can tailor campaigns to your preference, allowing you to exclusively advertise either new or pre-owned cars. As the dealer, you have complete control in this matter.

How many cars are sold online?

21% of buyers bought a car unseen in 2022 and by 2030 online transactions may account for half of all car sales. In 2023 registrations surpassed 1.9 million, so around 1 million cars could be sold online by 2030 in the UK alone.