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Russell Bryant

RESEARCH by independent car financier, Macquarie Leasing, is showing that customers choosing to finance their car are seeking greater transparency during the entire finance process, and that dealers need to put customers front and centre when selling car finance.

As highlighted in GoAutoNews Premium last week, research by Macquarie Leasing and other industry experts shows that to buy car finance with confidence, customers want transparency around the application process.

Macquarie Leasing believes the new regulations coming later this year will deliver that transparency as part of the showroom experience, and boost the appeal of dealerships as point-of-sale car finance providers.

To enhance the transparency and customer experience of buying cars, we have developed a suite of online systems and tools for car buyers and dealers. These aim to further help dealers to grow point-of-sale loan volumes from approximately 35 per cent of total market sales today.

This month, Macquarie Leasing started testing a new quoting tool with a Sydney dealer group whose salespeople use Notebooks and iPads on the showroom floor. They’ve already seen a significant increase in quotes as a result.

The tool engages customers by allowing them to create their own finance quotes, operating within the new regulatory requirements coming this November. It also lets showroom staff demonstrate to buyers how paying a deposit, for example, can enable a move to a lower risk category that attracts a lower interest rate.

Significantly, the tool reduces interest rates by adjusting customer risk profiles only – not dealer margins. It also supports dealers, offering an opportunity to boost used- car stock by promoting the benefits of trading in.

With this tool, we’re actually showing customers the outcome of their risk position through their interest rate. If they pay a deposit, the interest rate might be 6.5 per cent. If they don’t pay a deposit, it might be seven per cent, for example.

It’s all about transparency and showing customers how to get a more competitive rate in the dealership. Even if they don’t take up a deal, the dealership will have shown them how to get a more competitive rate – engendering trust and building engagement.

If a quote is accepted, a business manager will conduct the loan application, as per the existing process.

Being an online tool, another advantage is that rate process will be consistent for all customers within the dealership. The system calculates everything, so the rate calculation process is always the same, regardless of salesperson.

Our research shows customers want more control over how they buy cars. We’re helping dealerships deliver that.

Russell Bryant is the division director – national manager, strategy & transformation at Macquarie Leasing. Continued next week.

Mr Bryant will be presenting a workshop entitled “Drive Sustainable F&I Growth in a Regulated Dynamic Market” at the AADA Convention next Tuesday September 4 at 1.30 pm.

By Russell Bryant

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