Car retailers could drive more customers to their showrooms if car finance options were better presented on their websites.
That’s the message from Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace for buying and selling new and used vehicles. Its experts looked at online buying behaviour, the proportion of cars bought on finance and the number of dealers currently displaying finance offers online.
Paul Harrison, Auto Trader head of motor finance, explained: “The upsurge in PCP agreements in both the new and used car finance markets is making the list price of cars increasingly irrelevant. With 77% of consumer new cars and around 25% of consumer used cars currently sold on dealer finance, monthly payments have become the benchmark information for consumers on affordability.”
“Yet we also know from Auto Trader research that only 15% of dealer websites currently present finance options, albeit 45% say they intend to do so. Given how consumer behaviour is changing – and the tendency of buyers to make all their big decisions while researching online – open and transparent information on car finance will offer dealers a real competitive advantage and ensure consumers properly consider dealer finance versus alternative sources.”
Auto Trader buyer behaviour research underlines this message. Latest data shows that 86% of consumers carry out their research after 6pm when showroom doors are closed. More than half of buyers arrive on a forecourt without making any prior contact with a dealer, having researched all parts of the deal online with 92% of consumers having already decided their payment method before reaching the showroom.
“Of course, it’s vitally important that dealers get finance offers right, so as not to fall foul of the FCA’s financial promotions rules,” cautioned Harrison. “But this is an area in which we can provide support and assistance, and since its increasingly important information it’s worth dealers giving this sufficient attention.”
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Notes to Editors:
- Source: Finance & Leasing Association.
- Source: Experian Automotive.
- Figures from the second Annual Buyer Behaviour Study conducted by GfK for Auto Trader. This pooled the experience of 1,300 car buyers spanning a three month period into quarter one 2015. The sample comprised 16 dealers, four franchise groups (representing more than 250 dealerships with an even split between new and used car purchases), ten independents and two car supermarkets, making this one of the most comprehensive studies of its type in the industry.
About Auto Trader:
Auto Trader Group plc is a 100% digital business having successfully completed the transition from a print title in 2013. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK’s vehicle buying process and operates the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace.
Auto Trader’s primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the Marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. The Marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Autotrader.co.uk attracts around 44.5 million monthly cross-platform visits on its sites, with around 68% of visits coming through mobile devices, with the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing more than 400,000 cars each day). In fact over 80% of all time spent on classified sites is spent on Auto Trader. The Group does not buy or sell any vehicles itself.
Auto Trader has around 92% prompted brand awareness in the UK, with 80% of UK retailer forecourts advertising via the website and around 65% of UK used car transactions involving cars listed on autotrader.co.uk.
Auto Trader’s market-leading position enables it to generate and collect large amounts of data on the UK’s automotive marketplace and leverage it to create a suite of services that allow retailers to:
- BUY – buy the right vehicles, at the right price
- MARKET – market their brands and businesses effectively in the digital world
- SELL- sell more vehicles through advertising on the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace
- MANAGE – optimise their stock turn and vehicle margin.