FampI often misunderstood Burgiss says

F&I often misunderstood, Burgiss says.

Study Looks at Easing Car Dealership F&I Pain Points

Customers are conflicted when it comes to the finance and insurance process at dealerships. 

Auto shoppers seem conflicted in their perception of finance and insurance products and how dealerships sell them, according to a survey focusing on easing pain points.

More than 60% of those polled say they believe F&I add-on products are just ways for stores to make more money. Nearly half say they would never buy anything other than a car from a dealership, according to the study by MakeMyDeal, a Cox Automotive company.

But the firm says deeper questioning of respondents gets to the root of the problem: Resistance felt in the F&I office is not about the products themselves, but about the experience.

Despite misgivings, 84% of respondents say they believe F&I products may have real value, with 66% thinking aftermarket offerings such as extended warranties and vehicle protection plans may save money in the long run.

Shifting F&I product information online could abate negativity, says Mike Burgiss, MakeMyDeal’s founder and vice president. “By changing when and how the shopper is introduced to F&I products, dealers could see a dramatic change in consumers’ likelihood to buy F&I products.”

According to the study, 54% of people polled say they prefer to complete their vehicle purchase and leave the dealership as quickly as possible.

One third of respondents say they find lists of F&I product choices confusing. 

Currently, most consumers are first exposed to F&I offerings after the vehicle price and trade-in have been negotiated at the dealership, but 83% of those polled say they prefer to learn about F&I products beforehand and on their own.

“When F&I product information and pricing is brought online, dealers not only provides an exceptional buying experience, but they also help more shoppers realize the value these products provide,” Burgiss says.

Once a consumer has a better understanding of the offerings, they are more open to hearing about them from the F&I manager. That includes even the most skeptical shoppers, says the study.

The polling was of people who purchased a vehicle from a dealer within the previous six months or were in the market to purchase a vehicle from a dealer within the following six months. Five hundred buyers and shoppers were polled.

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