New car finance sales were up 33% by value and 22% by volume in March compared with March last year, according to the latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association, the trade body for the motor finance industry.
This growth meant that finance sold in dealer showrooms accounted for almost two thirds (65.9%) of all private new car sales over the last 12 months, compared with 56.6% of sales in the previous 12 months.
There was growth in most finance products for new cars in March compared with the same month in the previous year; leasing was up by 50%, hire purchase by 37% and Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) by 30%.
There was also growth in the used car finance market of 6%, with just under 74,000 used cars sold on finance in March.
Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the Finance & Leasing Association, said: “The strong new and used car finance growth figures in the important month of March are good news for the UK motor industry.
“This year the number of new cars sold is 22% higher than last year, which shows that forecourt finance continues to be extremely popular. Motor finance allows customers to negotiate a flexible finance package to suit their budget. Personal contract purchase (PCP) remains the most popular with new car buyers. Encouragingly, used car finance has also performed well, with the number of financed cars sold up by 9% in the first quarter of this year.”