Consumers are getting auto loans online before they hit the dealership, new survey finds

Buying a car these days is often not the process your parents are used to. More and more consumers are doing part or all of the process online. One area that has seen growth in recent years is auto loans. Buyers obtain auto financing online before heading to the dealership.

More and more buyers are getting car loans online

Online car loans are gaining popularity | Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

WardsAuto has taken a look at the growing trend of potential car buyers completing the auto finance process online before heading to the dealership and recently shared the results of the Cox Automotive study on the finance journey of car buyers. cars. The results show that consumers are increasingly open to the idea of ​​getting car financing online so they don’t have to go through the process in person at the dealership.

The Cox Automotive study reveals that some consumers are starting to finance their car earlier than ever. And while only 29% of buyers applied for financing online for their last vehicle purchase, 96% of respondents indicated they would be willing to go this route.

It’s also important to note that while a minority of buyers actually completed the auto finance process online, 87% said they investigated their financing options before heading to the dealership. It saved them a lot of time once they were ready to make a purchase.

Consumers have also shifted to buying cars online

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The Cox Automotive study also revealed some interesting data on consumer attitudes towards buying vehicles entirely online. For one thing, more than 75% of survey respondents indicated they were willing to consider buying a car completely online.

“We will eventually reach a point where more cars will be purchased online,” Angela Drake, senior director of marketing research at Cox Automotive, told WardsAuto. “It’s definitely the future and will continue to grow as more digital tools become available.”

In fact, a growing number of online retailers are aiming to make it easier than ever to buy a car entirely through the internet.

Here are some of the best online car buying sites

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If you want to follow the trend of buying cars online, you’ll want to check out the retailers that have been named the best online car buying sites according to Consumer Affairs.

Number one on the list is Carvana, which is widely known for its innovative vending machine-style service. Carvana has the advantage of allowing a seven day return window if you are unhappy with your purchase. He also offers the assurance that he will never sell wrecked cars. However, keep in mind that frequently delayed deliveries have been the subject of some consumer complaints against Carvana.

A popular alternative is CarMax, which gets high marks for its customer service. CarMax also offers fast car financing, but its prices may be higher and you may have to wait up to three days for delivery of your vehicle, even if you are local. Another thing to keep in mind: CarMax only sells used vehicles.

Autotrader is another site where you can buy vehicles online, but it works by connecting you directly with dealerships. It can also connect you with potential lenders through LendingTree.

For those who do not wish to work with dealerships, Tred can put you in touch with private sellers. Tred offers its customers secure payments and a 60-day money-back guarantee. It also performs background checks on sellers and thoroughly reviews vehicle histories before agreeing to list them.

Finally, there’s TrueCar, which, like AutoTrader, compiles vehicle listings directly from dealerships. TrueCar will tell you the list price as well as the MSRP of each vehicle so you can clearly see the potential savings.

Online car loans and car buying are the wave of the future. The more you learn about all your options, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to hit the keypad for your next vehicle purchase.

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