Consumers Lack Confidence in the Car Buying Process, Study Finds

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As car buyers start their search for year-end deals, Capital One Auto Finance has released a study that found most consumers are not confident when it comes to understanding the purchasing process.

Only 20% of consumers feel sure of themselves when buying a car, according to the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults. In addition, just 16% of respondents say they are “a boss” when it comes to negotiating and only 6% say they find car buying to be a transparent process.

In addition, 62% of consumers feel they didn’t get the best price on their last car. Finding a deal was noted as the most important part of the car buying process by 47% of consumers, with 82% believing negotiating price is still necessary.

“The car-buying process does not need to be a source of stress,” Jeff Rabinowitz, managing vice president, Capital One Auto Finance, said in a statement. “This current state of trust and transparency in car-buying needs to be addressed.”

However, consumers who know what kind of vehicles they want before they head to the dealership, and that bring insurance and vehicle information, feel better about their deals, according to Capital One. And, today, there are several online tools that can arm buyers with important auto-buying information. Survey sponsor Capital One offers a resource for consumers to find vehicles and get pre-qualified for financing before heading to a dealer, called Auto Navigator.

“This is where more digital resources help to put more transparency in the process,” says James Houston, J.D. Power’s senior director of auto finance. “Consumers can show up to the dealership prepared and educated.”

Learn more about the study here.

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