CarGurus is looking to be more than just a place where vehicle shoppers can find dealership listings. The site wants to be a conduit for how potential buyers secure financing, too.
“We want to be integral to the car shopping process for consumers, and for many car buyers that is increasingly occurring online. Some shoppers value the convenience and ease of online buying and are showing a willingness to conduct even a major purchase, such as a vehicle, digitally,” CarGurus chief product officer Tom Caputo told Auto Fin Journal via email.
“This partnership with Capital One enables consumers on CarGurus to go beyond just shopping for a car by enabling them to initiate the buying process online. In doing so, the consumer becomes more educated about financing options and saves time at the dealership, while the dealers gains introductions to more ready-to-buy shoppers,” Caputo continued.
As Caputo referenced, CarGurus announced a partnership with Capital One Auto Finance aimed at being a benefit to both consumers and dealers. The partnership will enable eligible shoppers on CarGurus.com to pre-qualify for financing before visiting the dealership in an effort to create a more transparent and efficient process for buying a vehicle.
“CarGurus’ partnership with Capital One Auto Finance allows car shoppers to expedite their purchase from their mobile device or computer, before they walk into the dealership,” Caputo said in a news release. “As a trusted automotive shopping leader to both shoppers and dealers, CarGurus believes that providing visibility into financing not only gives consumers the information they need to make a purchase decision, but also creates a more seamless, efficient experience at the dealership.
“We understand that financing is critical to dealerships, and we believe that this partnership will bring qualified shoppers, while still enabling dealerships to offer additional financing options,” he added.
The “View Financing Options” button can allow eligible CarGurus shoppers to see if they pre-qualify, with no impact to their credit score, on vehicles from dealerships that already offer Capital One financing.
Pre-qualified vehicle shoppers can see their rate and monthly payment on any eligible vehicle listed on CarGurus, then complete a credit application at the dealership to finalize the financing terms for that vehicle in-store.
“CarGurus and Capital One have had an advertising relationship going back a number of years, and this partnership is an opportunity for us to deepen that relationship by providing a great finance shopping experience for both car shoppers and dealers,” Caputo shared in his message to Auto Fin Journal.
“The online car shopping experience and credit approval process are both data-intensive, so the biggest challenge to overcome was building a VDP-integrated, pre-approval user experiences that was quick and intuitive,” he went on to say.
Caputo also mentioned CarGurus shoppers who are pre-qualified for financing through this partnership will now know more about purchasing their vehicle before they go to the dealership. He added dealerships will also benefit with better prepared customers who have more data about financing options and are ultimately closer to their decision on buying a vehicle.
“Our customers prefer transparency and efficiency when shopping for a car, and we understand that more of the car shopping process is occurring before they visit one of our locations,” said Adam Moore, director of pre-owned vehicle operations at McDonald Automotive Group.
“Our sales and finance teams believe that combining CarGurus, one of our most powerful used car lead sources, with the ability to market Capital One, one of our approved financing lenders, will not only create a better customer experience, but will also help us grow our business,” Moore continued in the news release.
Officials indicated the program will roll out nationwide in the coming weeks to the more than 10,000 dealerships that work with both CarGurus.com and Capital One. For these dealerships, financing through this partnership will be currently available for most new and used vehicles on CarGurus.com.
“Capital One has long been a leader in auto financing as well as digital banking, and we understand the challenges faced by both consumers and dealers,” said Jeffrey Rabinowitz, head of consumer auto finance at Capital One. “This capability helps bring transparency to the car buying process, and we’re excited to offer it to CarGurus shoppers.”
Dealerships that have questions about the CarGurus partnership with Capital One Auto Finance can contact their CarGurus account representative or email FAQ@cargurus.com.