Nearly half of Americans are comfortable completing vehicle purchases online, and one in five car buyers have already secured financing online, according to new research from Chase Auto Finance.
However, more than half of Americans — 53% — remain uncomfortable with online vehicle purchases because 76% of those Americans wish to test drive the vehicle before buying; 47% believe they cannot negotiate online; and 68% think it is too big of a purchase to make online, according to a study conducted by Chase.
“We know Americans spend significant time researching the make and model of their next vehicle purchase, but not necessarily the financing options,” Chase Auto Finance Chief Executive Mark O’Donovan said in the study release. “That’s starting to shift, which is why we launched Chase Auto Direct last year.”
Chase Auto Direct, which launched in August 2016, allows customers to shop for a vehicle and secure financing through the Chase.com website or app before heading to the dealership to test drive and finish the deal.
Additionally, Americans also have a “strong emotional connection” to their vehicles, according to the study, as 78% love or like driving; 67% view their vehicle as an “extension of their personal style;” and 56% said their vehicle is “like a family member.”
Such an emotional connection can explain why car buyers spend more time shopping for a car than other lifestyle activities, such as choosing their significant other’s wedding ring or choosing a band for their big day — 26%.
Chase’s third-quarter loan and lease outstandings reached $80.8 billion, a year-over-year increase of $5.3 billion, according to its earnings report.