05 May 2020
Startline has started working on motor finance processes with dealers who are intending to offer online-based home delivery used car sales.
CEO Paul Burgess said that, with finance being an element of the vast majority of sales, there needed to be fast, easy-to-use, robust and compliant hire purchase and personal contract purchase solutions to make this kind of retail model viable.
“We have long offered the capability to carry out the entire task of processing motor finance online from both a car buyer and retailer point of view but, pre-lockdown, some dealers chose to maintain traditional processes.
“It is these retailers that we are now helping. When it comes to the vehicle handover, point of contacts needs to be minimised or eliminated, of course, including signing a paper motor finance agreement. Everything has to be online for home delivery and, if click-and-collect becomes widely adopted in the near future, the approach will be essentially the same.”
Paul said that Startline had seen a significant increase in activity from dealers in recent days and that many, especially larger dealer groups and car supermarkets, were gearing up to adopt quite comprehensive online sales models.
“There is a definite intention to try and make online sales work among perhaps half of the dealers with which we have relationships. We undertook some research last year that said more than half of used car buyers would be comfortable buying and financing online, so there may be quite a substantial potential market but, at this point, no-one knows.
“However, it is important to bear in mind that, while many people are facing a difficult time financially, others have disposable income, especially because they are not spending on all kinds of things – from restaurants to concerts – that are currently unavailable to them.
“Also, anecdotally, there is a new, potential group of car buyers who are currently keen to enter the market because they no longer feel comfortable using public transport. Again, it is very difficult to say how large this market may be but there are certainly possibilities.”