DETROIT — Nearly two-thirds of vehicle owners in the U.S. are unable to pay for a $500 auto repair bill out of pocket, according to new research by Cox Automotive's Xtime customer retention platform.
In addition, the research shows that 29% of primary service recommendations and 71% of additional work go unsold because of customers' lack of funds.
There have long been means for these customers to borrow to cover a repair: credit cards, family resources or the last resort — payday or auto title loans with punishing interest rates.
More recently, products devoted to repair lending have emerged. In 2015, financial services company Sunbit Inc. began working with dealers to offer quick-approval loans for repairs. In 2018, DigniFi, then known as Confident Financial Solutions, launched a similar product.