Nearly half of all motor finance applications made this year will take place online.
That’s according to new figures compiled by motor retail tech firm iVendi.
The company said it expected to see 45 per cent of customer applications across its vehicle retailer user base made digitally and remotely, rather than in the showroom.
That’s up from 35 per cent in 2021, 30 per cent in 2020 and 22 per cent in 2019, which chief executive James Tew said very much indicated an acceleration in the trend.
‘The obvious question is why are we seeing this marked increase and the answer is that there are a number of converging factors.
‘The first is probably the most obvious. The pandemic has made a relatively large section of the car-buying public more comfortable about online processes.
‘While the overwhelming majority will combine elements of a showroom and digital journey, there has probably been a permanent shift towards the latter.
‘Secondly, dealers have moved to meet that need.
‘Many have upgraded their online presence substantially over the past two years and the motor finance journey they are offering digitally is simply better and easier to use, hence more consumers are opting to adopt it.
‘Lastly, the technology on offer has continued to improve at a rate that is much better than incremental.
‘The online journeys now offered by companies such as iVendi are more effective and easier to adopt for dealers and to use for car buyers, plus they’re better integrated into the whole purchasing process.’
He added that there was now a degree of flexibility allowing customers to ‘play’ with the main variables behind each deal more effectively than ever until getting the offer they wanted.
‘Once they have made a choice, before they make an application the potential buyer can even check the likelihood of approval online without leaving a footprint on their credit file that is visible to lenders, which is a major plus point for many.
‘For all of these reasons, we expect the swing towards online applications to continue not just this year but to continue to rise substantially for the foreseeable future.
‘While there will always be a place for showroom-based applications, we believe increasing numbers of car buyers will choose the digital option.’