If you’ve ever purchased an automobile, you know all too well that the experience can be cumbersome, time consuming, and frustrating — even if you have perfect credit. Cody Green, founder and co-CEO of Canada Drives, a Canadian fintech company, witnessed this struggle thousands of times first-hand. He saw the pain caused by the traditionally archaic car financing process while working at a dealership in Western Canada. Together with his co-CEO Michael Galpin, Green set out to revolutionize the industry with an automated tool to connect car buyers with dealerships and financing programs.
RewardExpert spoke with William Mbaho, Canada Drive’s public relations manager, about the company’s services as well as the launch of its U.S. counterpart, USA Drives.
An Auto Financing Revolution
Mbaho said Green and Galpin launched Canada Drives in 2010 after recognizing the importance financing plays in the car purchasing journey of most consumers, as well as the need for an alternative to what had, until then, been a heavily manual process involving extensive interaction between car buyers, dealerships, and banks.
“In 2010, the only thing you could do online when buying a car was view vehicle inventory on classified websites,” Mbaho said. “There wasn’t a financing element to it. Cody and Michael provided a digital solution that bridged the gap and has been a boon for banks, dealerships, and consumers.”
To date, more than 1 million Canadians have applied for financing through Canada Drives and the company has over 350 dealer partners across Canada. The company launched USA Drives last year to bring the auto financing revolution to car buyers in the U.S. as well.
A Simple Online Application
Canada Drives and USA Drives serve all types of automobile buyers.
“While we’re popular with consumers with credit challenges, that’s really just a byproduct of our ability to help all consumers with vehicle financing options,” Mbaho said. “Our typical customer is anyone who wants a better way to buy a vehicle and obtain auto financing. And as a digital-first company, we’re extremely popular with car buyers across all ages and demographics.”
Using a simple online application that requires a mere two minutes for completion, the company determines what type of vehicle the buyer is looking for and the amount they are comfortable spending on a car payment each month. The application also collects information on income, work history, and geographic location. It then connects car buyers with the closest dealership offering the right inventory and best financing options for their situation.
“Within 24 hours of submission, the dealership contacts the customers to discuss their finance options and vehicle preferences,” Mbaho explained. “Through Canada Drives and USA Drives, buyers always know how much they can afford and what their monthly payments will be before they ever step onto a lot.”
But that’s not all. The company can also connect Canadian consumers to appropriate credit cards and personal loans, services added in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
“Today, Canada Drives helps consumers facing all types of credit situations gain access to various products that include automotive financing, personal loans, and credit-building solutions through one convenient online application,” Mbaho said.