FICO Survey: UK Car Buyers Ready for Digital Financing — But Adoption Is Slow

Nearly two-thirds of UK consumers acquired their last auto loan at the dealership


  • In a new FICO survey, only 10 percent of car buyers said they got their auto loan online
  • While only 15 percent of UK consumers applied for their most recent automotive loan online, 48 percent plan to do so next time
  • 50 percent of UK consumers only considered one lender before making their final loan selection

Silicon Valley analytic software firm FICO today announced the findings of its first global survey on automobile financing, which showed that consumers are planning to move to digital lending — but haven’t yet. While 63 percent of UK consumers acquired their most recent automotive loan at a dealership, and just 15 percent got a loan online, only Germans saw a higher rate of online auto lending. In addition, 48 percent of respondents said they would prefer to apply online next time, the highest figure among the nine countries surveyed.

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The research, which looked at how consumers view the financing aspect of their auto purchase for new and used vehicles, showed that convenience and immediacy are important motivators in the loan process. Even though UK consumers experienced the shortest loan application wait time globally, with 63 percent of buyers waiting less than 30 minutes, 86 percent said they would accept or consider an instant loan offer to avoid dealing with a bank or completing additional paperwork.

Consumers in the UK were also less likely to consider multiple lenders than those in Spain and Germany: 67 percent of Spanish and 54 percent of German consumers considered two or more loan offers before making a final decision. In the UK, 50 percent of borrowers considered just one lender.

“The survey results underscore that consumers expect more transparency, personalisation and speed,” said Steve Hadaway, general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at FICO. “There is tremendous opportunity for the industry to move beyond transactional relationships into a long-term, customer-centric relationship by providing personalised experiences that gives customers more control over the auto buying process.”

Other data points of note for the UK:

  • Financing has a meaningful impact on the effectiveness of marketing to auto shoppers. 70 percent said that the level of financing they qualified for had some or a great deal of impact on their selection of a vehicle, make, model or dealership.
  • UK consumers are satisfied with their auto lending experience – 91 percent felt they got a good or excellent deal, four percentage points higher than the global result and nine percentage points higher than Spain

FICO’s independent research surveyed 2,200 adult consumers across nine countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, and the UK. The respondents were between the ages of 18-64 and had acquired a loan on a new or used vehicle within the last three years.

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