F&I Survey Shows Generational Differences in Research, Shopping

F&I Survey Shows Generational Differences in Research, Shopping

Price, availability and budget remain top of mind for consumers, but convenience in research and selection are growing in importance.

Protective Asset Protection, a provider of F&I programs and services, announced the results of a recent survey conducted to better understand consumer perspectives on automotive F&I products, as well as the factors that impact F&I purchase decisions when shopping for a vehicle at a dealership.

The online survey was conducted in April 2024, and over 300 recent car shoppers participated. Consumers across all pertinent car-shopping age groups were surveyed, including Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. Across all generations, 82% of all respondents indicated they are either very familiar or somewhat familiar with F&I products at a dealership.

Among those surveyed, 16.8% purchased maintenance service plans, 16.5% purchased Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), and 18.1% purchased a vehicle service contract (VSC) or mechanical breakdown protection for their vehicle.

Across all age groups, approximately 55% noted they needed to utilize their F&I benefits because they either needed major repairs on their vehicle and the product benefits helped save significant money, or they only needed minor repairs and the additional benefits were somewhat helpful.

When asked what factors influenced their decision to purchase F&I products across all generations, 18.5% selected price/monthly payment of products, 18.2% selected overall budget, and 16.2% selected cost of vehicle repairs.

However, when looking at individual generations, Millennials and Gen X mentioned those three items as the top factors that influenced their purchasing decision. In addition, Gen Z participants selected the convenience of research/shopping for F&I products as their most influential factor (34.9%). This would indicate that while budget and cost are key considerations, the ways in which F&I products are made available for research and purchase is becoming increasingly important.

Across all generations, 57% of participants would prefer to research F&I products online and purchase in the store, while 30% would prefer to both research and purchase F&I products online.

“Empowering car shoppers with the ability to research and purchase automotive F&I products online improves the consumer experience, providing an array of options at their fingertips,” said Travis Wools, vice president of marketing and communications for Protective Asset Protection. “By embracing the digital landscape, we ensure convenience and accessibility, empowering our dealers’ customers to make informed decisions on their terms. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is paramount, and offering online F&I solutions aligns with our commitment to helping dealers enhance the car buying journey. It’s not just about selling cars. It’s about providing comprehensive solutions and peace of mind every step of the way in a method that’s amenable to all shoppers regardless of age.”

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