July 29, 2021

Customers want to buy in the store but finance online

The vast majority of customers want and expect to work with dealerships to buy their vehicle. But less than half plan to discuss how to finance their car at the store.

In a recent Capital One survey of about 1,000 consumers, just 6 percent of respondents indicated they plan to purchase their next vehicle without the assistance of a dealership. When finances enter the conversation, however, deals tend to fall apart.

Nearly 7 out of 10 customers said car deals break down when discussing financing. Negotiations on the car price had the most issues and was cited by 34 percent of customers. Discussions over finances came in second with 20 percent, and negotiations on the vehicle trade-in price was the third most-cited reason customers said they walked away from a car deal.

Part of the problem is transparency. Slightly more than 8 out of 10 respondents said dealerships should provide more details about financing up front in their buying journey, echoing other recent industry studies about consumer financing satisfaction.

Customers trust the dealership experience, but honest online prices and a clear process to purchase is still missing from the experience. It’s an area where dealerships, in general, have the most room to improve.