Research shows Americans want high-quality debt protection in place with next vehicle purchase or lease

Robert Varga

President & CEO.

High-quality debt protection will increase confidence amongst American consumers – research shows.

We surveyed over 1,500 consumers across the U.S, all of whom were planning a vehicle purchase within the next two years. The data we collected gives insight into their purchasing decisions, what influences those decisions, and what would make them feel more confident when purchasing or leasing their next vehicles.

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74% of consumers say they want the option to return their vehicle, and 74% also want the option to have vehicle payments made for them.

How are Americans buying their vehicles?

When asked how they are planning to purchase a vehicle, here is what respondents had to say:

  • 31% will pay cash
  • 28% will arrange their own financing (bank, credit union, etc.)
  • 26% will finance through the dealership
  • 10% will lease through the dealer/retailer
  • 2% will use their personal line of credit

When asked if they are buying a new or used vehicle:

  • 54% said new
  • 46% said used

When asked how much they are planning to spend on their next vehicle, respondents said:

  • Less than $10,000 – 12%
  • $10,000-$25,000 – 30%
  • $25,000-$45,000 – 39%
  • $45,000-$65,000 -13%
  • $65,000-$85,000 – 4%
  • More than $85,000 – 2%

When we asked which vehicle makes Americans are considering for their next purchase or lease, the top five were:

  1. Toyota – 33%
  2. Honda – 24%
  3. Ford – 21%
  4. Subaru – 20%
  5. Chevrolet – 18%

47% of Americans surveyed say the current state of the economy makes them concerned about their next vehicle purchase. Over 20% also worry about their age.

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What influences consumer buying decisions?

When asked which factors make Americans feel concerned about their next vehicle purchase, most (47%) cited the current state of the economy, with over 20% also selecting their age.

  • The current state of the economy – 47%
  • Their age – 23%
  • Environmental impacts – 23%
  • Credit score/ability to obtain financing – 16%
  • Potential job loss – 15%
  • Potential critical illness – 14%
  • The COVID-19 pandemic – 13%
  • Potential physical disability – 9%
  • Self-employed bankruptcy – 2%

We asked what factors drive their final purchasing decisions:

  • Price – 67% 
  • Brand loyalty – 39% 
  • Technological capabilities – 35%
  • Buying incentives – 32% 
  • Eco-friendly/green vehicles – 24% 
  • Interest rates – 21%
  • Dealership loyalty  – 13% 
  • Electric vehicles – 12% 

When we asked if respondents would feel more comfortable purchasing their vehicle with coverage that allowed them to return it if something unexpected happens (e.g. job loss, critical illness, physical disability):

  • 74% said yes

When respondents were asked if they would feel more comfortable purchasing their vehicle with coverage that would cover the cost of their monthly payments if something unexpected happens (e.g. job loss, critical illness, physical disability):

  • 74% said yes

64% of Americans would opt to pay for debt protection products, some up to $50/month.

When asked who they would feel comfortable purchasing debt protection products from, the majority said through a financial institution such as a bank. Many would also feel comfortable purchasing them directly from the dealership, vehicle manufacturer, or finance division (e.g. Ford Credit).

  • A financial institution (bank, credit union, etc.) – 50%
  • The representative at the dealership, the manufacturer, or its finance division – 46%
  • A licensed insurance agent – 26%
  • Directly online (self-serve) – 13%

How can WALKAWAY help boost consumers’ confidence?

With the increase in negative equity affecting American consumers every day, the need for high-quality debt protection solutions for the average vehicle purchaser becomes more relevant than ever before. As consumers continue to spend more, take on more debt, and embrace longer financing or leasing terms, high-quality debt protection is the safest way to counter the effects of negative equity should something unforeseen happen.

WALKAWAY Finance Protection™ is the world’s first debt-protection program that provides consumers with the financial flexibility they need when an unexpected life event occurs. It offers consumers a cost-effective way of structuring their automotive lease or finance contract, so they have options in a time of need. WALKAWAY Finance Protection™ is the original vehicle return program that pioneered a new industry. WALKAWAY Finance Protection™ products help people get out of vehicle loans and leases when they experience one of the life events the program covers.


This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. This represents a summary of coverages and does not form a part of the certificate of insurance. Please consult your certificate for complete details regarding how you qualify. Employment-related coverages (excluding disability) begin on the 91st day.  International Job Transfer is not available to residents of Alberta or Saskatchewan. Accidental Death is not available to residents of British Columbia. Self Employed Bankruptcy is not available to residents of Saskatchewan. Copyright © 2021, under licence to Insurance Insight Inc. All rights reserved, unauthorized use, reproduction, or disclosure is prohibited.

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