The finance-and-insurance office is seeing an increased focus on technology.
Keeping customer and vendor information safe from cyberattacks is a challenging but essential reality for dealerships. Retail cybersecurity can be costly, especially for small to midsize dealers, requiring the dealer or a staff member to lead the process. Even though the Federal Trade Commission recently gave dealers a six-month reprieve for meeting some of its safeguarding requirements, it's still a struggle for some.
Vehicle listings company TrueCar is the latest to launch an online credit application for Southern California car shoppers looking to buy or lease a vehicle. The feature means customers won't need to go to a dealership to complete F&I forms and will have access to real-time final pricing information. TrueCar competitor Cars.com launched an instant financing program in early 2022 across its marketplace and Dealer Inspire websites.
With more electronics in vehicles, offering customers insurance that uniquely covers technology is becoming a budget-friendly alternative to comprehensive vehicle service contracts. This insurance covers vehicle technology that's often replaced not repaired. Replacements can cost drivers thousands of dollars. Ally, APCO, JM&A Group and AUL are a few providers offering unique vehicle tech-specific protection plans.
The emphasis on security is designed to help F&I offices run safer and smoother, while these new products offer customers solutions to match the fast-growing use of technology in the vehicle and at the dealership.