Intelligent Environments has released new research suggesting that half of consumers are left scratching their heads thanks to the complex processes they have to go through to apply for vehicle financing.

The research identified that:

  • 50 per cent of drivers think vehicle finance agreements are complicated and difficult to understand
  • 29 per cent believe it is harder to apply for vehicle finance than to buy insurance
  • 26 per cent have avoided applying for auto finance due to lengthy, paper-based processes
  • 32 per cent of consumers would rather take out a personal loan to cover the costs than apply for vehicle finance
  • 34 per cent felt that having access to digital application tools would play a big part in choosing their vehicle finance provider

These findings suggest that if vehicle finance lenders are to succeed, digital disruption is needed in the industry. Consumers are used to doing everything online, where everything is as simple as a swipe of a finger – and they expect the vehicle finance application process to be no different. Customer expectations are rising, and the automotive industry needs to do more to meet them.

Digital investment is the first step to success, with over a third (36 per cent) of consumers asking for the introduction of more digital applications and management tools that can help them navigate the labyrinthian processes of vehicle financing. The benefits of digitising are obvious, with two in five (39 per cent) consumers declaring they would look to upgrade their vehicle if they could get a good financing deal.

 David Webber, Managing Director at Intelligent Environments, said “The answer is clear: businesses must digitise. If half of consumers agree that the vehicle finance application process is too complex, then something must change. And once a change has been made, both the consumer and business benefits are obvious. Of course, a commitment to change is easier said than done. Moving to a digital-first approach requires a significant shift in the way an organisation operates and can be a daunting experience. However, no one is expecting you to go alone; with the right partner alongside, investing in the digital tools and processes that today’s consumers are demanding is a much simpler prospect.

“Ultimately, as more and more vehicle financing companies begin to embrace change and digitise their processes, those who fail to invest will quickly find themselves being overtaken by more agile rivals. Right now, businesses have a choice: start their engine early and accelerate ahead of the competition, or wait and risk being left behind.”