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MCLEAN, Va. – A new national survey from Capital One indicates that in the current rising interest rate market when dealer purchase incentives are declining, car buyers are focusing their attention more closely toward the financing arrangements for their vehicle purchases, compared to last year’s buyers. They’re also doing more loan shopping and budget planning. The telephone survey of more than 1,000 prospective auto buyers and those who had purchased a new or used vehicle in the past 12 months found that people preparing to buy a vehicle in the next year view the financial aspects such as their loan and purchase price, as the most important factors in their buying experience. Almost half – 49% – of consumers planning to buy in the coming year ranked financial issues as the most critical part of a satisfying car buying experience, up from 332% of those who bought a vehicle in the last year. More consumers are doing their research when it comes to car buying. Among those planning to purchase a vehicle in the next year, more than half – 57% – say they will comparison shop for car loans through multiple financing sources before buying. That’s up from 37% of those who purchase in the last year. In addition, 84% of people planning to buy a vehicle in the coming year say they will develop a budget for their purchase, compared to 65% of buyers from the past year. On the flip side, 20% of this year’s car buyers say they have no plans to conduct any research on their car loan options before arriving at the dealership site. Diana Don Colby, Capital One director of financial education, said “today’s car buyers are shopping smarter than ever before. They are more budget conscious and they recognize the important link between the various financial elements of buying a car and their ability to get the best value from their purchase. Doing your homework and establishing a budget have always been smart ideas, but with interest rates climbing, it’s more important than ever.”

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