Capital One Launches Navigator Platform

Digital tool helps dealers simplify car shopping for consumers

New research shows car buyer trust in dealers is vital in driving perception of transparency in the buying experience.

DALLAS, Texas, Jan. 27, 2023 -– Capital One launched Capital One Navigator Platform, a digital tool that builds on Capital One’s existing products—such as Auto Navigator—with new capabilities that allow dealers to connect with more car buyers, and help them during the vehicle purchase.

These new capabilities help dealers better understand consumers’ buying preferences upfront. Car buyers can customize details like down payment, trade-in, and term length to calculate a payment that works best for them. This enables dealers to work more efficiently and accurately by giving them visibility into what their customer can afford based on available inventory. Navigator Platform enables dealers to provide a more transparent and accurate financing experience to car buyers when and where they shop, whether it is in-person or online.

“The future of car buying requires a simple, seamless integration of digital and physical aspects of the consumer experience, which dealers are uniquely positioned to provide,” says Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Financial Services at Capital One. "By embracing innovative digital tools, dealers have the ability to help meet and best serve car buyers where they are, close gaps in the process and develop a lasting relationship with their customers.” 

Car buyer trust in dealers critical to transparency in buying process

Based on recent research from the 2023 Capital One Car Buying Outlook, which captures car buyers' and dealers' perceptions of the car buying experience, car buyers indicate trust in dealers is critical and significantly impacts their perception of transparency in the buying process. However, amid a challenging car market, dealers and car buyers report a significant gap in perceived transparency of the car buying process1. At the same time, dealers may underestimate the influential role they play in establishing trust and providing transparency in car buyers’ experiences.

  • More than two-thirds of dealers (68%) believe the process is transparent compared to only 21% of car buyers. 

  • Over the past two years, car buyers’ perceived transparency has decreased by half (from 40% transparent in March 2021 to 21% transparent in January 2023).

  • More than half of car buyers (55%) say they’d be willing to pay a little more for a car if it was from a dealership they trust, while dealers are more likely to think car buyers choose a dealership strictly on getting a good deal (52%). 

  • Car buyers who report trusting dealers are four times more likely to say the buying process is transparent compared to those who distrust dealers (35% vs. 8%). 

“Transparency is fundamental to an enjoyable car buying experience. Now more than ever, car buyers look to dealers to be trusted advisers to help them navigate the dynamic market,” says Yajnik. “Dealers who make the jump to offer increased transparency throughout the buying process, such as through the use of straightforward digital tools, will earn the trust of car buyers and improve the overall experience.”  

Bridging the Gap with Digital Financing Tools

Car buyer demand for digital tools continues to grow, and digitizing financing can help close the transparency gap by providing enhanced, accurate digital tools2.

  • Nearly half of car buyers who use digital tools for financing say the car buying experience has gotten easier (45%) in the past year. 

  • Car buyers who do not use digital tools for financing say the process has become more difficult (50%).

  • Two-thirds (67%) of car buyers want dealers to enhance their digital tools to allow for an easier overall experience.  

About Capital One Navigator Platform

Navigator Platform provides dealers the ability to create a personalized experience for car buyers that helps demystify their options with accurate digital financing tools. Car buyers can search participating dealers’ inventories and better understand their financing options by customizing details to calculate a payment that works best for them. And they can do this any way they choose—through pre-qualification in Auto Navigator or exploring financing details on their preferred dealer website to understand options.

“Navigator Platform is all about providing dealers with the comprehensive tools they need to meet car buyer expectations by enabling consumers to engage in a similar process at home or in the dealership—and the financing information is consistent” says Yajnik. “Navigator Platform sets up a transparent experience that both buyers and dealers value at the dealership.”

Leveraging our technology, and combined with lender partnerships, Capital One can get pre-qualification for the majority of applicants. This enables car buyers to build the offer, using real rates and payments, that best fits their financial situation, and allows dealers to understand the consumer’s buying preferences before they come into a dealership. Ultimately, this helps dealers deliver a personalized car buying experience for each customer, from discovering their next vehicle to driving it off the lot.

Additional findings from the 2023 Capital One Car Buying Outlook can be found here.

Car Buying Outlook Methodology

The Capital One Car Buying Outlook consists of findings from two surveys targeted to car buyers and dealers, both of which were conducted on behalf of Capital One Auto Finance through Morning Consult. 

The car buyer survey consists of 2,210 U.S. car buyers, ages 18+. 661 purchased a car in the last six months and are considered “current car buyers”, while 1,549 said they’re planning to purchase a car within the next year and are considered “future car buyers.” The survey was fielded October 10-15, 2022, with a margin of error of +/- 2%.

The dealer survey consists of 400 U.S. car dealers. These respondents currently work for an automobile dealership as an owner, general manager, F&I director, sales manager, internet manager or in the business development center at dealerships with an approximate annual sales volume of at least $1M. The survey was fielded October 11-13, 2022, with a margin of error +/- 5%.

Findings are compared to the July 2022 Car Buying Outlook (fielded to 2,209 car buyers and 400 car dealers between June 7-13, 2022), the March 2022 Car Buying Outlook (fielded to 2,200 car buyers and 530 car dealers between October 20-29, 2021), and the 2021 Car Buying Outlook (fielded to 1,000 car buyers and 401 car dealers between October 1-20, 2020).

About Capital One 

Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a financial holding company which, along with its subsidiaries, had $333.0 billion in deposits and $455.2 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2022. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has branches located primarily in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

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1‘Transparency’ pertains to information that is easy to find, understand and is accurate throughout the car buying journey.

2‘Digital tools’ pertain to any online tool meant to aid in the car buying process provided by the dealership. This includes the dealership websites, or any links/resources they provide that take you to a third-party digital tool.