Some car dealerships now arrange customer financing for vehicle repairs.
Auto consumers regularly get loans through dealerships to buy vehicles and related aftermarket products. Put service-work loans on that list of financial products.
Provider Confident Financial Solutions (CFS) touts it as an alternative to using credit cards for dealership repair work. The firm claims the availability of such lending can increase optional service work a cash-strapped customer might have declined otherwise.
CFS cites Freedom Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Duncanville, TX, as earning $40,000 per month in previously untapped service revenue by offering auto-repair financing to customers, including people who are financially strapped and in low-income brackets.
“I had one lady that needed $800,” says Tim Brooks, a service adviser at the dealership. “She prayed about it, as she did not think she could get approved. It came back approved, and she was beside herself.”
Customers apply online and receive a credit decision in fewer than five minutes, CFS says.
The process is integrated into the dealership’s website. Customers can view their financing options and get preapproval when scheduling a service appointment online.
“If they don’t have funds then and there to fix it, they now have an alternative to get the car repaired and finance it,” says Dave DeRudder, Freedom Dodge’s service director.
The financial service also is offered at the dealership. Upon arrival, each service customer is greeted by an adviser who uses a computer tablet to do a vehicle walk-around. If the customer needs financing, the service adviser can review options and electronically submit a loan application.
The average CFS service loan is $900-$4,500 for Freedom Dodge. Eighty-two percent of loans approved are for amounts exceeding estimated repair costs, leaving room for additional work that may be needed.
Dealership training expedites the process, Brooks says. “It is all about the customer experience and how to present options in a way that will resonate with the customer in front of you.”
Also important is “how you read the customer’s body language” he says.