CARFAX Canada Driving Insights


Converting Cash Customers: How to Gain More Dealership Finance Customers

Fri, Dec 10, 2021

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Once upon a time, a car buyer showed up to your store with a cooler full of cold hard cash because cash was king and paying cash could get you a better deal. Now, modern technology can approve financing and move money around in a matter of seconds and both customers and dealerships can benefit from financing, even those customers that still look to pay cash. Yet, in a survey of over 2000 new and used car buyers across Canada, we found that only 34% finance through the dealership, while 55% are going to pay cash or finance through a bank or credit union.

However, these customers are open to financing through your store; in fact, many of them reported considering financing with a dealership before deciding to go elsewhere. So why are customers still avoiding dealership financing, and what will it take to educate them that a vehicle isn’t the best place to park their cash?

Cash is consistency

Cash buyers are a little old-fashioned. They’ll pay cash because they’ve always paid cash, they don’t want to have a car payment and they believe cash will help them negotiate.


It can be extremely hard to change a customer’s beliefs and habits, especially if they view you as a salesperson they don’t trust. So start to educate your customers on financing through first building trust, then show the numbers behind why financing their vehicle while leaving their cash invested is going to leave more money in their pockets. Alternatively, you can give them the opportunity to explore finance options online as an education tool before they visit the dealership.

Should I finance with the bank or the dealership?

Whether a customer finances through the bank or dealership, finance customers share the same motivations.


Knowing that finance customers share the same motivations regardless of where they plan to finance means you can win over customers planning to use bank financing by offering the opportunity for them to cross-shop the rate and payment their bank has provided. If you can beat the bank’s number, you should be able to get their business.

Breaking old habits and forming new ones

When it comes to their money, your customers find it hard to change the way they pay; a customer who has paid a certain way in the past is likely to continue doing that in the future. But these customers say they’re open to dealership financing, they just need the right information. If these customers are going to change their minds, it’s because you helped a cash customer understand financing a vehicle could leave more money in their pockets, or helped a customer with bank financing cross-shop their rates and payments.


Explore how our research can be applied at your dealership to help you win more business - request a consultation with a CARFAX Canada Rep:

Driving Insights
Driving Insights takes your questions about Canadian car owners and finds the answers! Our proprietary research looks closely at the motives and behaviours of today’s car owners to uncover exclusive insights you won’t find anywhere else. To date, we’ve surveyed over 9,000 Canadians to identify their biggest pain points when buying, selling, and servicing their vehicles. If there’s a question you’d like us to address, email and we’ll get you some answers!

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