EXCLUSIVE: Protective Unearths 2023 F&I Trends

A picture of a magnifying glass, a graph and a silver pen

Protective uncovered F&I product trends that surfaced in 2023. The F&I solutions company’s findings are detailed in its 2023 F&I Report & Industry Update.

The report highlighted growth and decline areas. Although online F&I tools have increased, specific RV products’ sales decreased compared with 2022.

Protective said dealers have been adapting their online presence to meet consumers’ needs. Protective Vice President of Marketing and Communications Travis Wools said providing a full digital experience enhances consumer research. Wools said new generations such as millennials and Gen Z tend to do more online research before visiting a dealership.

Automotive dealers have been ahead of the RV industry in online F&I offerings and access, the report found. Among automotive dealers, 89.2% of those surveyed for the report said they were likely or definitely a proponent of enabling consumers to purchase F&I products online. The report said automotive dealers believed having F&I options online would help consumers take the time to make the right purchase decision.

Wools said RV dealers can learn from automotive dealers’ experiences by providing online content through videos, text, graphics, etc. Giving consumers a step-by-step process prepares them for their dealership experience, he said.A picture of Travis Wools of Protective Insurance

“Help them feel educated about it,” Wools said. “I think you tend to have a more receptive customer when they do not feel surprised.”

Additionally, Protective reported declines in RV service contracts and tire and wheel protection sales from 2022 levels.

The report found RV service contracts decreased from 47% of all financed purchases in 2022 to 34% in 2023. Tire and wheel protection contracts decreased from 16% of all financed purchases in 2022 to 8% in 2023.

Wools said the decrease was due to rising interest rates throughout 2023, which inflated RV prices. Wools said he loosely predicts 2024 to be a flatter economy compared with 2023.

Protective reported 15% of all financed purchases included RV paint and fabric protection, with 14% including roadside assistance packages and 18% including GAP coverage. In 2022, RV dealers sold 35% of all financed contracts with GAP coverage, 19% of all financed purchases with a roadside assistance program and 19% with paint and fabric protection.

Dealerships financed 63% of products.

Despite decreases in some F&I product areas and lower RV shipments during 2023, Wools said 2024 opportunities remained for RV dealers to increase F&I product sales.

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