AN estimated 1.6 million used car owners currently in the middle of their dealer finance or PCP agreement are now able to change their car early with the launch of Payment Swap.
The new ‘no fees’ online service allows buyers to digitally manage every part of the transaction for themselves, including vehicle trade-in, sorting out the settlement of their old finance agreement, signing up to a typical 9.9% APR representative finance agreement and arranging a date for collection of their next used car from their supplying retailer.
Powered by Exchange and Mart, Payment Swap has been launched in recognition of the growing band of car buyers who simply want to do everything online and then collect in store, but it is unique in that is has been created exclusively for finance-led buyers.
By entering just three core pieces of search information – existing monthly payment, the registration number for the part exchange and the customer’s postcode – a range of vehicles that can be purchased for the same as the customer is currently paying are revealed.
There are no distractions or special offers clogging up the journey and customers can save their favourite cars, from a Ford to a Ferrari, as well as filtering their selection right down to the colour of the car they wish to swap for.
Sal Ciullo, commercial director of Payment Swap, explains: “It’s a bit like changing a mobile phone at the end of a contract, the actual price of the phone is irrelevant. It’s the package and the monthly payment that counts, and that’s how Payment Swap works.
“The customer also has the choice of how many months they purchase over, and if they want to put a deposit down to reduce their payments further. Naturally, we summarise and display the entire deal before the customer proceeds.”
The service been created with Treating Customers Fairly in mind, and completing the order and finance proposal online is hassle-free. The entire process has been checked against the extremely tight Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations to make sure the consumer can trust the process and that their privacy is safe.
“Once the customer has decided which car to buy, they complete the entire transaction, end to end, online. When they collect from the supplying dealer, the order will have been completed and all the paperwork signed digitally, leaving the exchanging of keys as the only thing left to do,” continues Sal.
Research shows that generation Y and Z (those under the age of 40) and in particular, most female buyers, prefer to buy from those who can offer total online fulfilment; convenience is key. With this in mind, it is believed that Payment Swap will appeal to 1 in 2 car drivers in the UK.
Approved Payment Swap dealers are made up mainly of new car franchise retailers and well-known car supermarkets, all with a good reputation for customer care. All the models featured range from 1,000 to 75,000 miles and are under 12 years of age. All come dealer serviced and safety checked, MOT’d, cleaned and depending on the age and make and age of vehicle, with up to 7 years warranty.
Concludes Sal: “Whilst some customers today already settle their finance early, most we interviewed said they weren’t aware this was an option, especially those in a PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) agreement. This means people are staying in their current car for longer than preferred and miss out on driving newer models.
“Now, through Payment Swap, and subject to status and the amount owed, customers are able to do their own deal without a sales person being involved, which means they can browse with no pressure in the knowledge that every car displayed is within their budget.”