A case for providing an online finance tool

Consumers prefer having access to an online car-buying and finance process because they want a clear view of the monthly payment and financing, price, down payment and trade in.

Consumers are much more satisfied when they can view and adjust vehicle payment terms online vs. starting the process at the dealership, a MakeMyDeal survey found.

When 100 consumers surveyed from June to September were asked how satisfied they were after receiving price or payment quotes without using MakeMyDeal’s online platform, they gave their experience a ranking of four, or neutral, on a scale of one to seven.

After using the online tool, the same consumers rated the process a 5.29, which is between somewhat positive and positive.

Mike Burgiss, general manager for MakeMyDeal, told Automotive News that consumers prefer having access to an online process because they want a clear view of the monthly payment and financing, price, down payment and trade in.

With the MakeMyDeal tool, vehicle price and interest rate are set by the dealership. But consumers can adjust their down payment or loan term to get to a monthly payment they’re comfortable with. Determining their own payments, makes consumers feel empowered and involved, Burgiss said.

“When consumers can see that and it’s not somebody else coming up with [the payment plan], they trust the process more and they’re more satisfied,” he said.

The dealership still has a say, though, Burgiss said. With the company’s tool, after the consumer sets the terms to his or her preference, the dealer can respond and send a proposal to the consumer.

“It’s really the virtual version of sitting across the table from a dealer,” Burgiss said.

But consumers prefer the online process, he said, because it makes them feel like they have control, it’s more convenient and it saves them time.

You can reach Hannah Lutz at hlutz@crain.com -- Follow Hannah on Twitter: @hm_lutz

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