The car-buying habits of Australians are rapidly changing gear, with more now buying their cars online. And it’s providing brokers with massive opportunities.
Platform Finance owns a virtual car-buying service, Fleet Avenue, and they have experienced 96 per cent growth in the past 12 months.
“Over the past three years, we’ve noticed a spike in people doing their entire car-buying research online – from reviewing specifications, pricing and delivery – and then ordering their cars online,” says Damian Mantini Platform Finance’s Director Aggregation and Strategic Partnerships. “Buying a car is a big decision and many people prefer to do it from the comfort of their own home. Convenience is king and Fleet Avenue’s statistics show that around 40 per cent of car buyers don’t even drive the car before they buy it.”
Brokers are now playing a greater role in the purchasing process, says Mantini. According to a KPMG Motor Industry Services white paper, more cars are financed by a broker/aggregator than a car dealership.
“The KPMG report also shows that 93 per cent of buyers need to borrow money to buy cars,” he says. “Dealerships are struggling to get loans approved through their prime lender because of tighter credit policies, and they are being encouraged to seek alternatives such as brokers and aggregators.”
Mantini adds, because of this and consumers’ changing habits, mortgage brokers now have new opportunities to diversify and grow their businesses. “We have noticed a rise in the number of people using brokers to source their cars and arrange finance,” he says. “And that’s why we established Fleet Avenue. It’s like a virtual dealership – a ‘one-stop shop’ that makes it easy for brokers to provide value-added services for their clients to further build relationships.
“Fleet Avenue makes it easy for brokers to chat with their clients about the new car and allow the broker to seamlessly arrange finance. It lets brokers market finance in a very different way.”
The Fleet Avenue service provides brokers with a range of benefits to help build stronger client relationships including:
- Providing buyers with more flexible finance terms (than those offered by the dealers)
- Tools to manage the sales process
- Discounted fleet prices
- Competitive trade-in prices
- Concierge buying service with updates throughout the buying process
Fleet Avenue is a car-buying service that uses a unique tendering system across 1,300 fleet dealers around Australia. “We research, tender, locate and receive discounted pricing from various dealers for the new vehicle,” explains Mantini. “Our experienced consultants then negotiate with the selected dealer and offer a concierge service for the client.”
Visit our Car Buying page for more information.