Each year, we meet with more than 60 credit unions nationally to discuss their selection of a car buying service. As a company, GreenProfit Solutions also manages relationships with a few dozen more. I kid you not, we have been to some in-person meetings where we’re introduced as “the car buying service guys.”. Hey, that’s not all we do!
Beyond our clients, credit union staff throughout the industry approach us for insights on “car buying & lending.” One of the common questions we get asked is:
Besides the company you represent, what are some of the other car buying providers serving the credit union industry?
For full transparency, we offer the TrueCar Car Buying Service. To us, it provides the ideal combination of credit union benefits and member ease of use. Of course, we’re never ones to shy away from being blatantly honest with respect to our competition. Additionally, we want our client partners to be as informed as possible. So we are thrilled to introduce you to five others.
First, let’s distinguish between a real online car buying service and the older, “concierge”, car buying service.
Concierge Service (or, Auto Advisor)
The original credit union car buying service. It depends on direct contact between interested members and an “auto advisor”. Let’s call it a “Traditional” car buying service.
A concierge may be provided by a 3rd party, but they are usually CU staff.
Since the work is done one-on-one, there might not even be a website. If there is, it’s typically just a description of services (ex. Helping you decide what car, finding inventory, negotiating a deal) and a contact form.
Your concierge can only help in a limited geographic area. It might extend to branch footprint, or, if using a 3rd party, a few states or region.
If you want to learn more about concierge services, follow our blog and get a notice when we release Concierge or Online Car Buying Service: Which is a Better Fit for my Credit Union.
All website-based services, like what has existed for decades on the internet; they are also 100% of the providers on this list.
Online Car Buying Service (or, what we’re talking about here)
They resemble Cars.com, AutoTrader, Kelly Blue Book, and others. Visitors can use a range of search tools, find reviews, see photos, view option packages, and more. Some services even let the member find out if they’re getting a good deal on the car.
All the services listed provide nationwide results, however, the number of vehicles available may vary widely.
The generic car research websites out there make money by partnering with financing providers. All of the services listed below directs the members to the credit union’s financing, rather than some 3rd party partner. Isn’t it nice to know your members can do their research while staying close?
So who uses these sites? Nearly every one of your members. J.D. Powers found that over 96% of consumers start their car buying process online.
Best CU Car Buying Services
This list includes only Car Buying Services which have a strong track record partnering with credit unions.
Affinity Auto Programs
10251 Vista Sorrento Pkwy #300
San Diego, CA 92121
Established in 1995, Affinity Auto Programs powers private label car buying programs as well as the Costco Auto Program.
AutoSmart (CU Direct)
2855 E Guasti Rd #500
Ontario, CA 91761
CU Direct was established in 1994 and today focuses primarily on supporting their CUDL indirect lending services with their AutoSmart platform.
250 Parkway Dr #150
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
A division of National Buyers Federation, Inc. which has been serving credit unions and various industries since 1979.
200 Motor Pkwy Ste B10
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Originally founded in 2000, and now a division of Fusion Auto Finance, GrooveCar continues its focus on auto buying platforms.
Member Auto Center
9601 Jones Rd
Houston, TX 77065
A service of CU Alliance LLC (CUSO) which has provided products to credit unions since 2000.
Before You Drive Off
Besides the organization we represent, TrueCar, these are the companies to consider if you’re looking to see what type of car buying service makes the most sense at your credit union. In our opinion, it is essential for your credit union to provide something, be it a concierge or a dedicated service.
You may want to check these resources to learn more:
- Online Car Buying Service White Paper – That’s ours!
- Credit Union Online Car Buying Services: Benefits/Advantages
- Concierge or Online Car Buying Service: Which is a Better Fit for my Credit Union (Coming soon)
If you recall, we work with a number of credit unions on their car buying services. We would be happy to share how they are leveraging this tool in their lending and marketing efforts. You may also use the time to determine if an online car buying service is a fit for your credit union (and if we are the right partner fit).
Blogger. Speaker. Part-time Jedi.
Focused on helping your bank or credit union grow in the face of emerging challenges.