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Understanding vehicle Finance & Insurance – and how it can save you time and money on your next car purchase

Having the right F&I expert in your corner can help get you the best deals and most affordable options on your next vehicle.

Having the right F&I expert in your corner can help get you the best deals and most affordable options on your next vehicle.

Published Aug 1, 2022

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When you think of purchasing a new car, you think of the fun of choosing your perfect vehicle and the excitement of driving your new baby off the dealership floor. However, the part of the car buying journey that is often overlooked or not fully understood – and could end up helping you save - is the trip to the F&I office.

Vehicle finance and insurance explained

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motus.cars unpacks the terminology:

What is an F&I manager?

The finance and insurance manager is the person in the dealership who draws up sales contracts, helps you arrange payment for the car, and also offers you additional products for purchase, like extended service plans, warranties, alarm systems and smash and grab and anti-theft products. It is important to know that the sale of a new or used car is not official until it's in writing and you sign the contract.

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What exactly does an F&I manager do?

An F&I manager is responsible for obtaining and reviewing the purchaser’s credit application, pulling credit reports and structuring a loan based on the underwriting guidelines of banks and finance companies. The F&I manager will explain the details of the loan to the customer, and arrange for deposits and copies of required documents from the customer prior to the delivery of the car. They will also explain the options and costs of any added extras. Once the customer completes the choices of optional products, the F&I manager rolls the cost of those products into the loan, prints all loan paperwork and obtains all signatures before authorising the delivery of the new vehicle.

Why and how is an F&I manager involved in the car-buying process?

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You may ask why the salesperson can’t just complete everything. Remember how we said the sale is not official until it is in writing and contracts are signed? Well, the F&I manager is one of the few people at the dealership who knows all the products being offered and is trained to know the forms that need to be signed.

The F&I process begins after a salesperson has obtained a verbal commitment from a customer to purchase a vehicle. They will then take the customer through to the F&I office and introduce them to the F&I manager, who will then ask the customer various questions to establish what optional extras the customer may want or need. They will also ensure the customer can afford the total purchase and then work out the best loan and repayment plan.

In conclusion

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The F&I manager is a crucial part of the car buying journey as they are the key to ensuring you understand your options – and that you get the best deal, including all the optional extras you need - all rolled into an affordable monthly payment.

If you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, take a look at the wide range of options available to you from motus.cars.

For further info and tips, visit the motus blog.

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