Latest data from the Finance & Leasing Association underlines the continuing strength of dealer loans to new car buyers.
FLA members’ penetration of these registrations reached a record 72.9% in March, a whole percentage point up from February’s 71.9%.
There was a 22% year-on-year rise in the volume of financed cars in the first quarter and the total for the 12 months to March was 27% up.
Paul Harrison, FLA head of motor finance, said the arrival of the 13-plate in March helped drive strong growth.
“Our figures again highlight how affordable finance deals are helping to bring people into car showrooms,” Harrison said.
Secured lending, such as HP and PCP agreements, could often be provided on more attractive terms.
In March showroom loans totalling £1.898 billion (up 25% year-on-year) helped retail customers to acquire 127,084 new cars (up 18%).
Advances in the first quarter were worth £2.989bn (29% higher) on 204,254 new cars.
The biggest percentage year-on-year gains were in the 12 months to March – finance by 34% to £10.073bn and new cars by 27% to 699,052.
Modest used car increases
FLA member advances to retail used car buyers in March rose by 2% to £689 million on 73,509 units (1% down).
In Q1 there was a 4% rise to 215,958 with loans 8% up at £2.013bn.
Finance totalled £7.413bn (8% up) on 796,164 units (7% higher) in the year to March.
Financed business cars down
There was an 11% decline in March to 37,194 in the number of new business cars bought on finance through dealers (the FLA does not give the value).
The first quarter total of 91,062 was 2% lower than in 2012 Q1 but 394,615 cars in the rolling year to March was 3% higher.