CrossCheck Blog

CrossCheck Blog

Check Processing & Payments Information

America's Love Affair with Cars Increases Sales

Posted by Brandon Weaver | Tue, May 05, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

Merrily We Roll AlongIn February Auto Trader conducted a survey on Millennials and their cars and came to the following conclusions:

  • 27% of the men have a “love affair” with their vehicle
  • So do 18% of the women
  • 30% of them have named their car
  • 60% of them love shopping at your dealership

Where was this love affair born?

It might have more than one source, but according to the University of Virginia the 1961 television movie “Merrily We Roll Along” has a lot to do with it, because in it cars are the “new girl in town.”

Most likely car love has been passed down from those in the Silent and Baby Boomer Generations, who saw the movie, to the Millennials – who don’t need to. Because no matter where it actually comes from, it’s certainly real.

Cars are Family

Many people buy cars out of necessity – for work, travel, or leisure. Out of this necessity comes love. People begin to name their cars based on the car’s registration number, its personality, the make or model, spouse, or children. Names can even be born from license plate combinations, references to movies, music – the list goes on.

A Nationwide Insurance survey found that 36% of car owners between 18 and 34 are more likely to name their cars.  Why?  Because cars are like children and naming them shows parental love. They found that a quarter of all of us name our cars, and unlike Millennials, women are more likely to do it than men. They think of their car as a “baby.”

Plus, Nationwide observes, “most drivers spend a lot of time in their cars, so it’s not surprising they name them like another member of the family.”

Car Collectors

Car collecting might be an extreme form of car love. It traces its roots to the Great Depression. Members of that generation began turning their attention to saving America’s prewar automotive heritage. As a result collecting, preserving and restoring cars, often by forming clubs, has become an ingrained part of our culture.

These days the median age of collector-car owners is 56 years. For these Baby Boomers, collecting isn’t a summer love, fleeting feeling. This love generally lasts a lifetime. It can be passed on from parents or grandparents, they love the engineering and technology, or the potential return on investment.

Collectors like to obtain exclusive, limited edition makes and models because this only accentuates the cars’ value – like paintings and other works of art. These art forms are so protected and cared for that some owners have been tabbed “Trailer Queens” because they never drive them. They only use the cars for show. Who is to blame them? Oftentimes collectors spend years restoring them, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sometimes Trailer Queens own such an exclusive model they simply don’t know how to drive it.

Then there’s Jay Leno. The former late night comedian has amassed quite the car collection – and reputation. In general, collectors typically gravitate towards a specific make, era, or country of origin. Jay collects everything. And he buys his cars to drive. At last count, Jay houses 130 cars and 93 motorcycles in a remodeled airplane hangar.

Car Love Affair

With a burning love for cars like Jay has, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down – even in retirement.

The Hollywood Effect

It’s hard to say when cars became pinups just like movie stars, but when it comes to film, cars can become characters all unto themselves. Some of the most memorable car characters in recent memory include Gone in 60 Seconds, The Fast and the Furious franchise, and The Italian Job reboot.

Manufacturers’ sales can enjoy a sales boost if their car becomes a movie star. The original The Italian Job, released in 1969 and starring The Mini, helped BMW Mini Coupe record its highest sales ever two years later in 1971. The Mini is a great example because it combined the new, cool, and vintage all in one small package.

The Ugly Side of Car Love

Since there is a major financial gain tied to car love affairs, unfortunately, not all forms of car love are positive.

Gone in 60 Seconds was about “boosting” the sexiest, most exotic cars imaginable – highlighted by Eleanor, a beautiful 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 shown here (which sold at auction for a cool $1 million in 2013).

Love Affair with Cars

In reality, though, when it comes to stolen vehicles; the exotic Lamborghinis, Bentleys, and classic Ford Mustangs are not among the most stolen.

The most stolen are the most common, actually. Atop the list in 2014 was the ubiquitous Honda Accord. The rest of the top 10 stolen cars include among the best-selling cars on the road.

Why? Well, for starters, older cars are much easier to hotwire because they are not equipped with computer-encoded keys. And they are not considered flashy and don’t stand out amongst the crowd.

But the real deal is their parts. The Vice President of Law Enforcement for LoJack Corporation, Patrick Clancy, explains why: “Because car parts are often interchangeable over multiple model years, thieves can get up to three times the value of the vehicle if they sell it for parts.” 

Show Your Love

Considering the 2014 Q4 average transaction price for a new vehicle was $32,386, and down payments equate to about 15%, car buyers are placing over $4,800 into their down payments. That’s no small chunk of change, and a lot of buyers need some help. You could use a check payments service, such as our C.A.R.S., which can make a hefty down payment more affordable.

With C.A.R.S. all approved checks run through the system are guaranteed, deposits can be scheduled over 30 days, and all of it can be done at your point of sale. There is even C.O.D. functionality, which makes it compatible for your service department to accept check payments over the phone.

No more driving to the bank for deposits, or crossing your fingers hoping check payments won’t bounce.

Just a smile on your customer’s face as they drive off in – what did you overhear them call their F-150? “Matilda?” Really?

auto dealer remote deposit capture

Topics: Auto Dealerships, Increase Sales

Written by Brandon Weaver