Add-on service contracts and protection plans can be important to provide some peace of mind for parents purchasing vehicles with or for their adult children. Experts say dealerships can best help these customers by understanding their situation and personalizing the finance and insurance part of the sales process to meet their needs.
Most F&I products on the market fulfill a financial need of the customer, but buyers are increasingly looking for personalization as part of the value added, according to John Tabar, director of training for United Development Systems. Younger buyers in particular are used to having customized retail experiences, Tabar said.
"I have four grown children, and I've been very diligent about making sure they get out into the world without debt," Tabar said. "They're going to be looking for pre-owned or certified cars out of warranty, which means they have to protect themselves from unexpected expense, and I need to make sure they can afford the car."
To ensure these customers can afford their vehicle and any additional expenses associated with it, F&I presentations should be tailor-made to the situation, according to Ritch Wheeler, vice president of training at F&I product and training company American Financial & Automotive Services Inc.
"We can't just throw down a menu in front of a consumer and try to cram all eight products down their throat just because we think all eight products are valuable," Wheeler said. "They will not be cookie-cuttered into a sales pitch; they're just not going to do it."