A new device is making it harder for drivers to ignore their car loan payments. More used car dealerships are installing remote disabling devices that prevent the car from starting if the consumer gets too far behind on their auto loan payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The disablers give warning signals to drivers days before the device shuts down the car. Flashing lights and beeping alert drivers that if they don’t make their car loan payment, the car simply won’t start.
The disablers are small devices installed under dashboards and wired into ignitions. In the past, only buy-here-pay-here dealerships used them, but now more mainstream used car dealerships are installing the devices as a condition of financing.
The remote disabler is a huge incentive to get borrowers to pay their car loans. The device disables the vehicle from starting if payments aren’t made.
There are pros and cons of these disablers. One negative is that some consumer advocates say the device could leave drivers dangerously stranded if the car gets shut off. On the positive side, dealers say that when more customers pay their car loans on time, they have an improved cash flow and are able to get better used vehicles at auction.
Companies that sell the disablers say that using the devices expands lending and helps customers change the way they choose to pay their bills for the better.
What do consumers think of the remote-controlled disablers? Some say it makes their car seem like it’s on house arrest. But others say that since they wouldn’t get approved for a car loan at a traditional dealership, it’s not such a bad thing to comply with to get a decent car loan. Also, the reminders help people remember not to make their payment late.
Some dealers say that with the devices, they are more willing to risk approving someone with less-than-perfect credit for a car loan because they have more of an incentive to pay.
Are remote disablers the answer for those who have bad credit? When people need their cars to get to work, if they know it will shut down, maybe they are more likely to keep making those payments.
Image by Jean-Marc Giboux via The Wall Street Journal.