Car dealers need to rethink their F&I strategy as car buyers are more likely to shop around on a much wider scale for the best finance deal in much the same way as they would for the car itself, warns Grant Thornton’s Leasing & Consumer Finance advisory team.

Peter Landers, consumer finance expert with the company commented: “Just as car-buyers are arriving at dealers with a very good of idea of the exact vehicle they are considering, the price they want to pay and the value of their part-exchange, increasingly they are more likely to have pre-arranged finance so reducing the car dealer’s opportunity to sustain F&I earnings. This is compounded by the increasing concerns around regulation and the constant need to ensure that sales processes stand up to scrutiny.”

Landers draws on his 25 years’ experience in automotive finance to deliver an insight into the current market as well as looking at the future when he speaks at this year’s AM Used Car Market Conference which takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on October 9.

Dealers are facing even greater challenges as we all know. Despite pressure from government on banks to increase lending to consumers and SMEs, this is not borne out in recent data.”  he continued.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, according to Landers: “Dealers need to simply re-evaluate their F&I strategy, continue to put pressure on partner finance companies to develop innovative products and solutions and consider new funding options to uphold finance penetration and earnings.”