Car buyers head for the dealership when it comes to financing a new vehicle, according to a new survey.

There are now more options than ever before when it comes to financing a new car and Stoneacre Finance Services (SFS) have been on the case to find out consumer habits when purchasing a vehicle.

Perhaps the most interesting is that half of the sample of nearly 500 motorists would rely on dealership finance to buy their car. Meanwhile, 38 per cent said they would approach their high street bank for financing and just over a tenth would go to a specialised broker.

A growing factor in attaining car finance is the speed in which the application moves forward. SFS' data reveals that one-in-four would expect an instant decision on whether they could go ahead with car finance or not; a total of 63 per cent said they would anticipate an answer within the first 24 hours of making the application. Just 12 per cent said they would happy to wait over a day to get a result.

Maserati (PD)It is this desired timely response that perhaps resulted in 64 per cent of the people taking the survey insisting that they would make applications with two or three companies when looking to finance a car, possibly to ensure they get a prompt response from at least one. A fifth of respondents, meanwhile, said they would contact just one company at a time when applying for car finance.

The emergence of 'Payment Boxes' was also touched upon in the survey, a piece of technology that is fitted a person's car and can be used to deactivate the vehicle if payments are not kept up to date. Asked if such devices were a good idea, just over a third of respondents believe they are, but 34 per cent thought they were an invasion of privacy.

However, if placed in the situation where they could only have a car on finance if it meant having a payment box, 33 per cent said they would make the compromise and 36 per cent would rather do without a car than have the system in place.

Customer service usually speaks volumes when buying a car, but it was interesting to see the results when respondents were asked about the most important factors were to them when approaching a company for car finance.

The survey showed that 487 people of 492 agreed that low monthly payments was an important element to them when getting a car on finance, with a similar number insisting positive customer reviews are a vitally required sign before going ahead.

Most important factors when getting car finance (out of 492 respondents):

• Low monthly payments (487)

• Evidence of positive customer reviews (485)

• High quality cars (482)

• Recommendation from family or friends (477)

• No deposit required (473)

• Drive away insurance (472)

• Same say drive away (468)

• No credit check on initial application (455)

Commenting on this data, Stoneacre Motor Group's Shaun Foweather said:

"The data clearly shows that dealerships are the most favourable option for consumers looking to finance a new or used car. Such news is fantastic for both franchised and independent dealers."

Mr Foweather added: "It's also clear that response times are key to sealing the deal, meaning that those within the industry who fail to succumb to changing demands will be the ones who ultimately get left behind."

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