This blog shares some essential market research insights into the finance purchasing journey and the key points of influence. The data is taken from ACA Research's Automotive Finance Insights Report. A survey was conducted with consumers who used finance to purchase a vehicle.
Methods Used for Finance Journey
The research identified two main channels vehicle buyers use to complete their finance purchasing process.
Channel 1 - Online
The initial three stages involved in the finance purchasing journey; 'initial research', 'comparing product/lender' and 'obtaining quotes' are predominantly conducted online.
Channel 2 - Dealership
The latter two stages; 'completing the application form' and 'finishing paperwork' are completed at the dealership or in a branch.
Typically, each buyer will use one channel per task. This data highlights the importance of integrating the online and offline experience ensuring a smooth transition for potential customers between the two stages. Those finance lenders who align these two channels will have a much greater chance of generating sales.
Factors Influencing Vehicle Finance Choice
The research identifies five main factors influencing finance choice:
The first factor driving vehicle finance choice is value for money and cost. Respondents indicated that ’lowest interest rate’ (82%), ‘cheapest over length of contract’ (77%) and lowest weekly/fortnightly/monthly repayment (78%) as being most influential on their vehicle finance lender choice.
2. Ease of Purchase
The second major factor is the ease of doing business with finance lenders. 83% of respondents indicated that ‘the lender was easy to do business with’ whilst being the ‘most convenient’ was also influential in their choice of vehicle finance lender.
Thirdly, ‘transparency of terms and conditions’ (79%) and 'the finance was easily understood' (83%) indicate the importance of being upfront when engaging with potential customers.
4. Loan Structure
The ‘most suitable payment terms’ (79%) and the ‘’most flexible payment terms’ (73%) were influential factors surrounding the structure of the loan.
The fifth and final major influencer on lender choice is the reputation of the brand, with 67% of respondents indicating that the ‘existing relationship with brand lender’ influences their finance lender choice.
These five factors are the key influencers when choosing finance for a vehicle. This research gives lenders excellent insights into the drivers behind finance purchase. Structuring offers and communications to appeal to these influence factors will put lenders in a strong position to increase vehicle finance sales.
For more information please download your copy of our free research report on automotive finance here:
ACA Research conducted a total of 802 surveys with consumers who have bought a vehicle using finance costing at least $7,500 since 2009. Research was conducted from the 17th to 29th June 2011.