In the new and used car markets, costs go up and discounts go down. During the recent Black Friday, discounts were at an all time high. Today the average price of a new car is $ 40,000 and that of a used car is $ 25,000.
At the same time, consumers often pay too much for the financing and insurance of these vehicles. They take the financing available to them at the dealership, stick to their chosen insurance policy, and don’t shop.
Refinancing and auto insurance consolidation
Caribou helps consumers find better deals with a platform that offers a streamlined buying experience for auto refinance and, in a recent addition, bundled auto insurance. With the two offers, Caribou brings together the offers of different companies and puts the customer in touch with the best one.
The company announced the addition of auto insurance offering in October. On the auto refinancing front, it announced a partnership with Uber in November and is rolling out a program that gives drivers and couriers instant refinancing of auto loans. These measures follow a Series B funding round announced in May that raised $ 45 million for FinTech, then known as MotoRefi.
Read more: MotoRefi auto-refinancing platform raises $ 45 million in Goldman-led Series B
As existing Caribou customers wondered how the company could save them money – and since financing and insurance are the two main components of the cost of owning a vehicle – the company decided to consolidate both. Now customers can buy both at the same time.
âAuto insurance is actually another way to help them save money,â Bennett said. âIt’s a priority because they already share their vehicle information and say, ‘Help me save money the way you can,’ and auto insurance was a natural extension. “
With auto insurance, he said, consumers typically compare options when they are up to the task – such as when they buy a car or add someone to the policy – but then stick with the. same insurer for years because they are busy with their lives and the policy renews itself automatically. Over time, the price of this policy increases.
âIt turns out that they can actually get a much better deal, and we actually make it easier to get that better deal and save money on their auto insurance, the same way we do with them. auto loans, âBennett said.
Partnership with others in the ecosystem
As part of the partnership with Uber, which will first launch in California and then expand to other states, the Uber Pro app will provide direct access to Caribou. A similar partnership is in place with the SoFi student loan refinancing platform.
âWe have generally started to partner with other players in the ecosystem and help them better serve their customers,â Bennett said.
For Uber drivers, owning a car is the most significant fixed cost of their participation in the odd-job economy. In addition, they face not only the rising cost of cars, but also the cost of gasoline and other goods. Caribou offers a convenient way to shop for better deals.
âAn Uber driver could apply between trips,â Bennett explained. âTheyâre in the car, theyâve dropped someone off, theyâve got their license and registration, theyâve got the app and they can see the offers in seconds and lock in a fare. So, we saw it not only as huge value, but also as something that would be convenient for Uber drivers. “
Improve consumer relations with their cars
Looking ahead, Bennett noted that beyond current inflation, there are long-term trends driving up the cost of cars. The increasing amount of technology in vehicles, for example, makes them more valuable and more expensive.
âI think it’s good in terms of vehicle life, but it’s really becoming a bigger expense in the lives of consumers,â he noted. âSo as it gets really important to their personal finances and what it looks like, we’re excited to be able to help them save money. “
He added that Caribou crossed $ 1 billion in refinanced loans, saved consumers $ 70 million in interest, and has grown from a team of 40 at the start of the pandemic to 400 today. One of the keys to its success has been to increase awareness of the category by teaching consumers that they can save money by refinancing their cars.
âWe really want to help consumers improve their financial relationships with their cars and improve their financial lives in general,â Bennett said.