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Finance sales remain flat

The total number of new cars financed in March remained at a similar level to the same month a year ago.

Growth of 1% in the number of new cars bought on finance by consumers was offset by a similar rate of contraction in the business sector.

The used car sector reported new business volumes down 10% to 59,425 in March, which reflected the rate of decline in the number of used cars bought on finance by consumers, according to figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

Geraldine Kilkelly, FLA’s head of research, said: “The March issue of the 07 registration plate has led to the first pick up in the private new car market since this time last year.

“The rate of growth in dealer finance for new consumer cars was modest at just 1% and as a result the finance penetration rate for this sector fell further to stand at 45.8%”.

Kilkelly said April’s results would give a better idea of the impact of the new plate overall but said there is still work to be done to change consumer perceptions in an increasingly competitive market place.

New business March 2007 % change Q1 2007 % change
Finance provided (£m)
New cars 1,805 3% 3,273 1%
Used cars 601 -2% 1,646 -1%
Cars financed (No.)
New cars 149,603 0% 272,508 -1%
Used cars 59,425 -10% 166,246 -9%

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