11 Nov 2019
A major new report looking at changing dealer and car buyer attitudes to motor finance has been launched by Startline Motor Finance.
Called “The Future of Used Car Finance,” it is based on surveys of 300 consumers and 57 motor retailers and runs to more than 70 pages.
The research was carried out for Startline by APD Global and paints a fascinating and detailed picture of the sector. Key findings include:
Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline, said: “We commissioned this research because we believe that the motor finance sector has probably never been more in flux than at this point in time. We wanted to find out more about what was really happening.
“At a macro level, we are threatened by the prospect of recession and the uncertainty of Brexit; consumer behaviour is changing, driven by new digital channels and developing preferences; cars themselves are undergoing a technological shift with the introduction of EVs and more; and the finance products that we offer as an industry are undergoing a period of innovation and the ways in which they are provided are being disrupted.
“The report underlines this. It shows a dynamic sector that is working hard to use new technology and new thinking to meet changing customer needs in an effective manner – but also reveals that there are lot of unknowns about the future that are of concern.”
Paul said that probably the most important and welcome finding was that consumer perception of the motor finance industry is better than how it views itself.
When asked to compare motor finance to other retail sectors in a traditional store-based setting, 39.6% of consumers placed motor finance a long way ahead or slightly ahead of other retail sectors compared to 26.3% of dealers. Only 23.8% of consumers believed that motor finance was slightly or a long way behind other retail sectors compared to 31.6% of dealers – while 42.1% of dealers and 36.0% of consumers rated it around the same.
The picture is similar for online retail, where 36.8% of consumers placed motor finance a long way ahead or slightly ahead of other retail sectors compared to 24.6% of dealers. Again, just 30.3% of consumers believed that motor finance was slightly or a long way behind other retail sectors compared to 45.6% of dealers online – with 29.8% of dealers and 32.9% of consumers rating it around the same.
Paul said: “The motor finance industry tends to give itself quite a hard time about its reputation but these figures from the report show that consumers view it significantly better then how it views itself and pretty well overall.
“Whether looking at store-based or online retail environments, it ranks very competitively against sectors that would generally be perceived as being much more customer-focussed. While there is clearly still work to do to drive forward standards still further, this is very much welcome news.”