Tale of the tape: Q1 deep subprime originations at independent versus franchised stores


It’s not news that independent and buy-here, pay-here dealers more often will complete vehicle deliveries with consumers with softer credit than their franchised store contemporaries.

What is noteworthy is how Experian Automotive detailed the extra risk being facilitated through franchised dealerships to complete financing when looking at the lowest credit tier tracked on a quarterly basis.

According to Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market Report, the average amount financed during the first quarter for deep subprime customers — individuals with credit scores between 300 and 500 — making purchases at independent dealerships jumped by $654 year-over-year to $13,707.

And the term of the contract for those purchases grew by more than a month to nearly 55 months.

Breaking the independent store data even further, the average monthly payments for deep subprime customers who bought a vehicle in Q1 ticked up by $12 to $385.

When it comes to annual percentage rate on the contracts, the average APR for deep subprime buyers ticked up just 2 basis points during the first quarter to 20.55 percent.

Now let’s compare those figures to what happened at franchised dealerships that sold a used vehicle to a deep subprime customer during the first quarter.

Perhaps reflecting the network of finance companies franchised dealers can tap to get a deal with a deep subprime customer “bought,” the average amount financed for buyers in Experian’s lowest credit tier for used-vehicle transactions at new-car stores reached $16,151, up by $336 year-over-year.

Those finance providers working with franchised dealerships who will move metal with deep subprime customers also were willing to stretch terms much longer than contracts finalized at independent stores. The average term for a deep subprime buyer who took delivery of a used vehicle at a franchised dealership in Q1 came in at almost 66 months, nearly a year longer than what was booked on average at the independent lot.

And when it comes to rate and monthly payment, those deep subprime customers also finalized a little better deal on that used vehicle as the Q1 average APR dropped 9 basis points year-over-year to 18.37 percent with the monthly payment coming in $381.