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In this Help Centre, you can find content for both Merchant Center Next and the classic Merchant Center experience. Look for the logo at the top of each article to make sure that you're using the article for the Merchant Center version that applies to you. 

Vehicle ads overview

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Note: While vehicle ads aren't available yet in Merchant Center Next, you can promote these ads in the classic Merchant Center experience. Vehicle ads are currently available only in select countries. Vehicle ads are in open beta in the US, Canada and Australia. Refer to the 'Availability' section below for more information regarding participation in this programme.

Vehicle ads are a performance-focused, lower funnel ad format which allows auto advertisers to promote their entire inventory of vehicles to interested customers shopping for vehicles on Google. This format shows customers an image of the vehicle with important information such as make, model, price, mileage and advertiser name. Showing inventory of available vehicles enriches the customer's purchase experience and provides more qualified leads for auto advertisers.

Vehicle ads help advertisers drive sales by optimising for both online conversions (leads) and offline conversions (shop visits).

Clicking on a vehicle ad will take the customer to the vehicle description page (VDP) on your website. From there, they can perform additional actions such as contacting the dealer, filling in a lead form, etc. before visiting the dealership. If you’re a US, Canadian or Australian auto advertiser and interested in participating, contact us here.

Vehicle listing ads hero image

Benefits

Vehicle ads help you get in front of vehicle shoppers online at the right moment, with the right listings and information to move them closer to a purchase. Key benefits include:

  • More qualified leads: Showing customers key information and visuals about the car before they click, helps provide more qualified leads
  • Omnichannel goals: Optimise for both online conversions (leads) and offline conversions (shop visits)
  • Automated targeting: Vehicle ads show your most relevant listings for a related user query

Availability

Vehicle ads support both new and used vehicle inventory from dealer, retailer stock, aggregators or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Vehicle ads from private sellers, individuals or auto brokers aren't permitted.

Vehicle ads may be used to promote only non-commercial passenger vehicles, such as cars or pickup lorries (utes in AU).

Examples of not-allowed vehicle types are recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles, farm vehicles, buses, 2-wheelers, trains, boats, aeroplanes or outdoor utility vehicles.

Vehicle ads are currently available in the US, Canada, Australia and in a limited beta in select countries. If you’re a US, Canadian or Australian auto advertiser and interested in participating, contact us here.

How vehicle ads work

Advertisers are required to upload their vehicle data feed to Merchant Center. The advertiser’s feed must contain pertinent details about their vehicles, including make, model, price, mileage, colour and more. Google uses these details to match a customer's search to the most relevant cars.

To use vehicle ads, you must create Performance Max campaigns with vehicle feeds on Google Ads You must also link your Google Ads account to a Merchant Center account and a Google Business Profile. A shop feed alternative to Business Profile linking is available if you don’t own or manage the profiles for your dealer locations.

Performance Max with vehicle feeds is a cross-channel performance focused format powered by Google AI to help drive vehicle sales for advertisers.

Google will test different combinations of the assets available to create high-performing ads across formats and networks that work best for your goals and the audiences that you want to reach. If you attach a vehicle feed without separately adding other assets such as descriptions, headlines and images, by adding them under asset groups or by opting into automatic asset creation under campaign settings, your Performance Max campaign will show your vehicle ads only on Google Search.

Note: We are gradually rolling out the capability to show vehicle feed based ads on Google Display Network. Currently, this is available only for advertisers in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Performance Max campaigns with a vehicle feed attached will be able to show ads on the Display Network without the need for separate addition of assets such as headlines, descriptions, images, etc.

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