September 29, 2020

CarGurus expands consumer finance platform with RouteOne integration

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized how consumers can secure pre-qualification for an auto loan online. 

Vehicle listings company CarGurus is expanding the financing component of its vehicle shopping platform through an integration with RouteOne, CarGurus said last week during a call with analysts.

The feature, which is in pilot testing, would allow customers who are pre-qualified for auto loans to share those details from the site to the dealership’s RouteOne software.

“With this program, a dealer can retrieve a consumer’s application through their dealer management system and immediately resume the credit application and financing process,” CarGurus CEO Langley Steinert told investors Aug. 6. “This integration allows the dealer to streamline the purchasing process in store and creating a seamless online to offline purchase experience for the consumer.”

The Cambridge, Mass., company launched a financing component in May 2019 in partnership with Capital One Auto Finance and has since onboarded Westlake Financial and Global Lending Services. Tom Caputo, CarGurus’ chief product officer, said that 85 percent of the company’s U.S. vehicle listings allow pre-qualifications between the three lenders on the site.

“At RouteOne, we believe the dealer is central to the car buying experience, and we are happy to provide dealers that utilize our platform another point of integration that strengthens their engagement with the online consumer,” said John Earles, RouteOne’s director of key accounts, in an emailed statement.

The pilot with RouteOne allows consumers to secure pre-qualification online with one of three lenders and then share it with a dealer. When the customer enters a dealership, a finance-and-insurance manager can search for their credit application and pre-qualification offer inside RouteOne using the customers’ Social Security number or their pre-qualification ID. From there, the F&I manager can continue the process within their software.

“That shopper now has the ability to engage digitally with a dealer around financing to understand more about what they can afford and to find the right vehicle,” Caputo said. “When the shopper walks into the dealership, there is a higher likelihood that that shopper converts to a sale … while preserving the dealers’ F&I profit streams.”

Roughly 10 percent of the leads submitted to U.S. dealers with vehicles listed on the CarGurus site in the second half of July came in with an active pre-qualification offer secured through the financing platform.