The TD Wheels app will soon let you see if you prequalify for vehicle financing in advance of speaking to a dealership.
During the financial institution’s Tech Day, it was revealed that the new feature will be coming to the TD Wheel’s app in December 2019. TD Wheels launched in July and is currently partnered with three manufacturers — General Motors, Hyundai, and Chrysler — and partnered with about 3,000 dealerships across Canada.
Within the app, customers are able to search for the car they want, select different makes and models, obtain information about rates, get estimates on expected car payments and send all this information to a dealership to finalize.
Howard Thompson, vice-president of product, strategy and shared services at TD Auto Finance, said in an interview that the automotive space has been growing and adding a prequalification feature was needed.
“The feedback [from those using the app] has been very good, but I think that it required this functionality,” he said, adding that customers who have used the app would say “Give me something that’s a little more comfortable than having to go talk to a stranger about my creditworthiness or how much I can afford something.”
Thompson said that the app in general and the new features do not eliminate the final step, which is to actually see the car and go to a dealership.
This means, if you are a new car buyer, you may not necessarily use the app to finalize the entire process, but Thompson explained you could be just looking around to see what costs are, the interest rate, or even to just search for a dealership.
“I think it’s going to evolve and you’re going to evolve as a customer. Right now you could just use it to say play around and look at different cars and interest rates and that’s all you do,” he explained. “By the time you decide to buy your third car you’re going to be a lot more comfortable with all of that and this app would then give you the opportunity to largely conclude that process in the comfort of your home.”
Thompson made it very clear that this new app and the prequalification process would not “eliminate” the need to see a dealership, “it just makes it easier.”
The prequalifying aspect will begin the process, with which a code will be given to you in the app and the dealership is able to finalize it.