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Innovative Website Moves Consumer Auto Shopping Online: Capital One Offers Indianapolis Buyers a One-Stop Resource for Shopping for their Auto Purchase, Putting an End to Hassles and Frustration.

MCLEAN, Va. -- The process of purchasing a vehicle is a common frustration among consumers. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Capital One Auto Finance, the auto lending division of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF), finds that 64 percent of Indianapolis-area car buyers are frustrated by the purchasing process. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said they found price negotiation and comparison shopping to be the most stressful aspects of buying a car and 82 percent of Indianapolis-area car buyers indicated a preference to conduct the entire auto purchasing process online, if provided with a one-stop purchasing resource.

To meet the overwhelming consumer preference for a no hassle shopping experience, Capital One Auto Finance recently launched DriveOne in Indianapolis. The DriveOne program enables consumers to shop for their new car of choice from the dealership with a price guaranteed by the dealer at no higher than Kelley Blue Book's New Car Blue Book(R) Value price. The DriveOne website is also a platform for participating dealers to advertise their used car inventory to consumers. Additionally, consumers can explore new vehicle configurations, gain access to dealer pricing, locate participating dealers and obtain vehicle financing after they have decided to purchase their vehicle...all via the website.

"Consumers are increasingly using online tools to research various aspects of a car's purchase making more informed buying decisions," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and market analyst at Kelley Blue Book, America's trusted resource for vehicle pricing, values and information. "Capital One's DriveOne process empowers consumers by moving vital parts of the shopping process - from researching a vehicle, to locating a dealer, to financing a vehicle - online. This is a significant evolution in the process of shopping for a vehicle."

How It Works: The DriveOne program facilitates the car shopping process by providing a means by which dealers can advertise their vehicles directly to the consumer via the DriveOne website - www.driveone.com. After the consumer 'builds' or configures their vehicle of choice on the website, the consumer will be directed to a participating dealer. At the dealership the consumer will choose their vehicle of choice and receive a guaranteed price no higher than Kelley Blue Book's New Car Blue Book(R) Value price for a vehicle, or a used car quote, from the participating dealer. The consumer will then have the option of funding their loan online directly through Capital One or using alternative financing. Additionally, the DriveOne program offers consumers a $250 cash rebate for new vehicles and a $400 cash rebate for used vehicles.

"DriveOne was designed to meet the changing needs of the industry, and offers a win - win for both consumers and dealers. Consumers get a simplified auto-buying process, with the convenience of online shopping and the elimination of frustrations associated with haggling over price. Dealers get an incremental sales base to build their business and expand their offering," said CEO and President of Capital One Auto Finance Dave Lawson.

Consumer benefits:

--Hassle-free environment - The DriveOne process is automated and eliminates common consumer frustrations such as dealer and financing negotiation.

--Time-saving tools - Consumers can research vehicles, incentives, financing and price - all online.

--Easy integrated financing - Consumers can choose their preferred method of financing using Capital One's Blank Check(R) or alternative financing.

--Price Confidence - Participating dealers guarantee to offer consumers a price at or below the Kelley Blue Book New Car Blue Book(R) Value. In addition, the DriveOne program offers consumers a $250 cash rebate for new vehicles and a $400 cash rebate for used vehicles.

Dealer benefits:

--Simple sales opportunities - Dealers benefit by having a direct-to-consumer advertising platform and the assurance of sales and price simplicity.

--Increased business - Less time spent on a vehicle's transaction gives a dealer time to focus on increased business.

Additional survey findings indicate that 75 percent of Indianapolis-area consumers will use the Internet to research their next car purchase (22 percent expect to search up to five different sources), but are missing an opportunity to impact what's most important to them...cost. Nearly six out of 10 Indianapolis-area car buyers say the most important purchasing factor when buying a vehicle is their ability to obtain a fair price, but only six percent are turning to online resources to shop around to determine aspects such as price and financing rates.

"The survey suggests that area car buyers aren't taking advantage of the online tools that can impact their wallets," said Brian Reed, vice president of Capital One Auto Finance. "And we know that shopping around for financing, in particular, can uncover significant opportunities to save money and hassles. The savvy consumer is one who is equally as aware of their financing options as their vehicle options."

The DriveOne program is currently available in Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Indianapolis. For more information, visit www.driveone.com.

Survey Methodology

For the Capital One study, Braun Research was engaged to conduct 2015 interviews with adults, 18 years of age or older. 805 interviews were conducted nationally. In addition, interviews were conducted in each of the following four markets; Miami-303, Los Angeles-300, Indianapolis-306, and Atlanta-301. Surveys were conducted by telephone from April 3rd through April 6th, 2006 and online April 5th through April 6th. The margin of error for the interview is plus or minus 2.19 percentage points. Interviews were monitored at random.

Sampling for this study was conducted using a national probability sample of all exchanges and area codes across the United States, as well as targeted emails in the four media markets and nationally, overall. Interviews were conducted using a computer assisted telephone interviewing system and online links. Statistical weights were designed from United States Census Bureau statistics.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company, with more than 316 locations in Texas and Louisiana. Its principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Capital One, N.A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients.

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., is a full-spectrum auto lender which offers a wide-range of auto finance products. Capital One Auto Finance is the nation's second largest independent auto lender as well as the nation's largest direct mail and online vehicle financing provider with serviced outstandings of $19.8 billion. COAF has a nationwide dealer network of over 20,000 dealers while recently becoming the first large-scale vehicle financing company to offer its expertise to banks through its Agent Banking Auto Finance program. Capital One Auto Finance is a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation. Capital One Auto Finance has partnered with Zag, Inc. to leverage a technology and services platform that enables consumers to locate their desired vehicle and arrange financing online - which allows the consumer to complete the auto buying process.
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Comment:Innovative Website Moves Consumer Auto Shopping Online: Capital One Offers Indianapolis Buyers a One-Stop Resource for Shopping for their Auto Purchase, Putting an End to Hassles and Frustration.
Publication:Business Wire
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Date:Jul 18, 2006
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