Showroom loans in April for private drivers buying used cars increased by 26% to £756 million and by 22% in volume to 81,029 year-on-year, according to Finance & Leasing Association data.
This was the strongest growth in the dealer used car sector for more than two years and came alongside a record 73.2% in FLA members’ penetration of the private new car registrations market in the 12 months to April.
Paul Harrison, FLA head of motor finance, said the used car loans improvement could be attributed to customers returning to purchase trade-ins following the release of the new 13-plate.
“Deals are competitive and customers are obviously finding what they’re after,” he said.
In April dealer finance to assist retail customers buying new cars was worth £974m (up 42%) with volumes 37% higher at 66,074 compared with the same month a year earlier.
Longer-term trends also showed significant gains. In the three months to April showroom finance gained 32% to reach £3.350 billion on 227,153 new cars (25% up).
In the 12 months to April there was a 35% rise in advances to £10.359bn on 716,889 (28% higher).
Advances on 226,082 retailed used cars (9% higher year-on-year) in the three months to April were worth £2.111bn (13% up).
The rolling 12-month data showed a 9% increase in advances to £7.569bn on 810,953 used cars (7% up on the year to April 2012).
Financed business cars up
Following an 11% decline in March in the volume of new business cars bought on finance through dealers, April bounced back to 42,293, 4% up on last year.
The three-month figure of 99,872 was 3% down but the 12-month total of 396,380 was 1% up.
The used car rebound also applied to dealer-financed units acquired by businesses.
April’s total of 4,577 was 25% higher year-on-year, while there was a 72% gain to 20,995 over the three months and 55% to 72,286 over the year.