New research shows car buyer trust in dealers is vital in driving perception of transparency in the buying experience.
Capital One launched Capital One Navigator Platform, a digital tool that builds on Capital One’s existing products—such as Auto Navigator—with new capabilities that allow dealers to connect with more car buyers, and help them during the vehicle purchase.
These new capabilities help dealers better understand consumers’ buying preferences upfront. Car buyers can customize details like down payment, trade-in, and term length to calculate a payment that works best for them. This enables dealers to work more efficiently and accurately by giving them visibility into what their customer can afford based on available inventory. Navigator Platform enables dealers to provide a more transparent and accurate financing experience to car buyers when and where they shop, whether it is in-person or online.
“The future of car buying requires a simple, seamless integration of digital and physical aspects of the consumer experience, which dealers are uniquely positioned to provide,” says Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Financial Services at Capital One. “By embracing innovative digital tools, dealers have the ability to help meet and best serve car buyers where they are, close gaps in the process and develop a lasting relationship with their customers.”
Car buyer trust in dealers critical to transparency in buying process
Based on recent research from the 2023 Capital One Car Buying Outlook, which captures car buyers’ and dealers’ perceptions of the car buying experience, car buyers indicate trust in dealers is critical and significantly impacts their perception of transparency in the buying process. However, amid a challenging car market, dealers and car buyers report a significant gap in perceived transparency of the car buying process1. At the same time, dealers may underestimate the influential role they play in establishing trust and providing transparency in car buyers’ experiences.
- More than two-thirds of dealers (68%) believe the process is transparent compared to only 21% of car buyers.
- Over the past two years, car buyers’ perceived transparency has decreased by half (from 40% transparent in March 2021 to 21% transparent in January 2023).
- More than half of car buyers (55%) say they’d be willing to pay a little more for a car if it was from a dealership they trust, while dealers are more likely to think car buyers choose a dealership strictly on getting a good deal (52%).
- Car buyers who report trusting dealers are four times more likely to say the buying process is transparent compared to those who distrust dealers (35% vs. 8%).
“Transparency is fundamental to an enjoyable car buying experience. Now more than ever, car buyers look to dealers to be trusted advisers to help them navigate the dynamic market,” says Yajnik. “Dealers who make the jump to offer increased transparency throughout the buying process, such as through the use of straightforward digital tools, will earn the trust of car buyers and improve the overall experience.”
Bridging the Gap with Digital Financing Tools
Car buyer demand for digital tools continues to grow, and digitizing financing can help close the transparency gap by providing enhanced, accurate digital tools2.
- Nearly half of car buyers who use digital tools for financing say the car buying experience has gotten easier (45%) in the past year.
- Car buyers who do not use digital tools for financing say the process has become more difficult (50%).
- Two-thirds (67%) of car buyers want dealers to enhance their digital tools to allow for an easier overall experience.