COSTA MESA, Calif. — According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study, the number of consumers who research financing options online prior to visiting a dealership is up significantly this year, and overall satisfaction with the consumer finance experience is significantly higher when customers have a good online experience.
“Auto finance customers are more educated than ever and, as a result, they have a much higher expectation for a seamless digital experience that enables them to effortlessly search for vehicle features and local inventory as well as financing options and terms,” said Jim Houston, senior director of automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power.
“The benchmark for a good digital experience is no longer other auto finance companies; rather, it’s consumer-facing sites like Amazon and Netflix that recognize what users are looking for and deliver the right information within one or two clicks,” Houston added.
Analysts found more than half (52%) of consumers research auto financing options prior to visiting a dealership, an increase of 5 percentage points from 2018. Overall satisfaction with the auto financing process is 23 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) when research for auto finance options is conducted online in advance.
Lexus Financial Services, Lincoln Automotive Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services rank highest in a tie among financiers of highline buyers, each with a score of 867.
But Ford Motor Credit ranks highest among all auto finance sources with a score of 873. Capital One Auto Finance (860) ranks second and GM Financial (854) ranks third.
The report is based on a survey of 14,850 customers who financed a new or used vehicle through a loan or lease within the past four years. To review it in full, click here.