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ORLANDO – Consumers spend a lot of time researching the make and model of the car or truck they’re considering buying, but don’t make the same effort when it comes to researching their financing options. The results of a survey by Americans Well-informed on Automobile Retailing Economics, Washington, D.C. and shared with attendees at the National Automobile Dealers Association 2006 convention, show more than seven out of 10 consumers don’t check their personal credit score (76%) or compare financial options from dealers (71%) and credit unions or banks (72%) before heading to the showroom. Conversely, almost six out of 10 (57%) of those polled said they do conduct research on particular car or truck models before going to the dealer. According to AWARE’s survey, “the vehicle financing process is out of the consumers’ comfort zone.” Fewer than half of those surveyed said they feel informed about vehicle financing, while 32% of consumers said they feel uninformed. AWARE `s Eric Hoffman said the survey shows most consumers classified themselves as `novices’ or `apprentices’ when it comes to vehicle financing and admit to feeling uninformed when it comes to that process. “Our goal is to help educate consumers so they are as aware about their financing as they are about the vehicle they are buying,” he said. One of AWARE’s primary initiatives is a Web site – www.autofinancing101.org – that provides consumers with information needed to make educated financing decisions. The Web site includes auto finance calculators, advice and tips about financing and leasing, printable wallet cards with tips and more. All materials are available in English and Spanish.

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