Alphera Financial Services, BMW Group’s independent motor finance division, is urging dealers to help make car finance easier to understand after feedback shows customers are ambivalent about discussing their funding options.
Alphera’s own customer research of 1,000 motorists showed 71% say discussing their choice of paint colour is of the same of greater importance.
Over half (53%) said the same about discussing the available selection of alloy wheels, 60% said being shown how to integrate their phone with their new car was more important or as important as discussing how they will finance their car.
Spencer Halil, director of Alphera, said: “Despite the long-term implications of making sound financial decisions, consumers evidently attach the same or greater importance to a host of other factors when transacting.
“For many buyers, car finance can be hard to get their heads around, so dealers need to make the subject as attractive and easy to understand as the more exciting elements of a car purchase.”
Halil said sales staff need to be confident enough to engage customers in an open discussion around finance, and use their expertise to explain finance products in a fully-compliant, transparent way.
The UK-wide survey asked consumers to rank the importance of different aspects of the sales process relative to a detailed discussion of available finance options.
The survey showed that politeness of sales staff is also more important for customers with 82% saying the manners of sales staff are of the same or greater importance compared to having a detailed discussion about their finance options. That figure is 46% when it comes to being offered refreshments by dealer staff, and 88% for being able to take a test drive.
In seeking to improve standards across the industry and enhance transparency in the sale of car finance, Alphera is supporting a new accreditation scheme in partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).
Alphera sees the IMI F&I Accreditation as a significant step towards establishing consistently high standards in the sale of finance products, helping dealers to improve customer satisfaction and confidence in the transaction process.