Financing the car of the future: Re-imagining the auto finance customer experience

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September 2016


The automotive industry as a whole is facing an unprecedented wave of innovation and potential change, from connected cars to ridesharing to autonomous vehicles. Over the next 5-10 years, the ways in which consumers own and use vehicles may be dramatically reshaped – and so will the ways in which they shop for and finance them.

Some progressive dealers and manufacturers are already beginning to re-think the car-buying experience, offering both new online capabilities and in-dealership tools such as virtual reality. However, at most dealerships, the auto finance process of today looks much like it did several decades ago – paper-based, manual, and completed behind the scenes. But consumers’ expectations are changing, driven both by the increasing number of millennial purchasers and by the ubiquitous ease of digital interactions in so many other industries.

At PwC and AutoFi, we see a significant opportunity for both dealers and lenders to leverage technology to usher in a new era of financial transparency and turn their financing experience into a competitive advantage. Our research has identified a number of potential customer pain points, and solutions to address them.

So, what does the auto financing experience of the future entail?

  • Educating the consumer and empowering them to take ownership of their experience,
  • Turning financing from an afterthought into a key part of the overall customer experience, and
  • Providing customers with options so they have the time and information necessary to make informed financing decisions – on their own schedule.

But this is easier said than done, especially in the indirect lending model. The car purchase and financing processes are so intertwined that significant collaboration is required to effectively transform the end-to-end experience. This is further complicated by the fact that most dealers are working with many different lenders, each with their own program and requirements.

So who should take the lead in improving the customer experience? While the dealer is primarily in control of the financing experience, they’re not the only source of potential innovation. Lenders can also exert influence and offer tools to support their dealer partners. Both auto dealers and indirect lenders have a significant opportunity to gain market share by providing a seamless, customer-centric auto financing experience.

The majority of this paper will focus on indirect lending, because of the increased complexities driven by the dealer model and the need to support omni-channel interactions, including in-person transactions at the dealership. However, many of the same considerations, particularly around the benefits of digital solutions, are also applicable to direct lenders.

Download the paper and read on to find out more about what your customers are looking for, and how dealers and auto lenders can become leaders driving the future of auto finance.

Contact us

Roberto Hernandez

Principal, Consumer Finance Group, PwC US

Martin Touhey

Principal, Consumer Finance Group, PwC US

Doug C. Ekizian

Senior Manager, PwC US

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