Vehicle data check company HPI
has launched a web-based tool for dealers, which aims to boost
their rates of finance penetration. HPI Finance Gateway is an
online system which allows dealers to find new and used car finance
for their customers from a panel of funders – from prime to
The finance houses Fortis, Moneyway, Santander and Southern
Finance are signed up the system, with HPI in talks with other
providers including Black Horse, British Credit Trust, Carlyle
Finance and Duncton.
HPI Finance Gateway is currently in a “test and learn” stage
with 12 dealers, Burgess said, with a nationwide roll-out to HPI’s
14,000 dealer customers scheduled for the start of October.
When a dealer enters a customer’s details into HPI Finance
Gateway’s online portal, the customer is initially screened via a
public search by HPI’s credit reference partner Callcredit, with
the HP or PCP proposition then ‘streamed’ to an appropriate funder,
resulting in an “instant online proposal”, HPI said. The result is
higher acceptance rates for customers, a steady volume of suitable
propositions for finance providers, and higher commissions with no
claw-backs for dealers – a “triple win”, commented HPI automotive
director Daniel Burgess.
“Dealers like the system, as they can earn commission without
having to multi-prop customers; customers are satisfied because the
process is quick and easy, and they get a good quote; and finance
houses like it because they get a reliable stream of appropriate
propositions,” he noted.
Dealers which already use HPI for vehicle checks can access HPI
Finance Gateway free of charge, while the fee for non-customers is
being waived during the trial period.
The system could be seen as a threat to finance brokers, who
have traditionally acted as intermediaries between dealers and
finance houses, streaming customers to the appropriate funder.
However, Burgess said that HPI’s aim with Finance Gateway is to
win back market share for point-of-sale (PoS) finance through
conversion of customers who would otherwise have gone to direct
loan providers, in dealerships where finance has not previously
been high on the agenda.
“A lot of dealerships are operating without a business manager,
due to headcount reductions, and the focus on PoS finance has
suffered as a result,” he said. “With HPI Finance Gateway, we aim
to help dealers sell cars with finance in a very user-friendly way,
as part of our long-term investment in the dealer market.”
HPI provides participating dealers with leaflets to distribute
to customers, explaining the benefits of PoS finance. All customers
approved via the system get 7-day “Driveaway” insurance, and
12-month MoT insurance, as well as six months’ free HPI checks for
every car proposed.
Dealers will also be notified when a customer’s finance
agreement is coming to an end via HPI’s Finance Watch product,
allowing them to contact customers with a view to winning repeat
business. Participating dealers are also encouraged to sign up to
the Finance & Leasing Association’s Specialist Automotive
Finance (SAF) scheme.
“Because our model is based on volume, we are only paid a single
small flat fee by the finance company for every finance deal
written. This therefore allows the dealers to take all the
commission out of the deal, effectively supporting them develop a
profitable and sustainable business, built on customer
satisfaction, which is crucial in the current market,” Burgess