Consumers are finding the search for car finance more confusing than ever – with many spending more time researching their next phone than finding the best option for motor finance.
A survey from BMW Group Financial Services has found that around three quarters (73%) of those questioned admitted to taking up to two months to research finance options for their phones, compared with 45% who spent the same time looking for their mortgage.
The survey also showed that 60% of people spend up to two months exploring different finance options when buying a car.
Men spent slightly longer on their car finance search, with almost two thirds (62%) researching for up to two months, compared to 57% of women.
The findings highlight that people are spending a disproportionate length of time trying to achieve savings on smaller spends, compared to large purchases.
Suzanne Gray, general manager, group customer strategy, BMW Group Financial Services, said: “With most of us looking after the pennies and doing what we can to make the pound in our pocket go as far as possible, our findings suggest that we aren’t prioritising the time we spend on research to get the finance options that can work best for us.
“As a nation now focused on purchasing items as a monthly spend – be this phone contracts, gym memberships, mortgages or car finance – we need to make sure we’re armed with all the facts before signing on the dotted line and committing to additional finance.”
The importance of thoroughly researching finance is evident when looking at purchasing a car.
More than a third (76%) of new car sales are now made on dealer-sourced finance*.
However, with new car sales increasing at a record rate and wages on the rise, this figure could well increase further.
Gray said: “Researching finance options for any purchase – large or small – can be a daunting task.
“Providers have an important role to play in making their terms clear and simple so the customer knows exactly what their obligations are. My top tip for securing motor finance is to seek simplicity. If you have to dig around to find those all important details then the offer isn’t transparent enough.”
* Figure from the Finance & Leasing Association (April 10, 2015)