Figures released today by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) show that 74.2% of private new car sales were financed by FLA members in 2013, up from 71.2% the previous year.
Consumer new car finance and consumer used car finance volumes grew by 20% and 16% respectively in 2013.
The number of used cars bought by consumers using dealer finance, at more than 915,000, was the highest since 1999.
In December, consumer used car finance volumes were up 32% (to 62,640) compared with the same month in 2012 – the strongest monthly rate of growth in 2013.
Consumer new car finance volumes grew by 23% to 50,461 over the same period.
Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the FLA said: “Our latest figures show just how important consumer credit is to the wider economy, with strong growth in demand for point-of-sale car finance in 2013. Customers are continuing to take advantage of competitively-priced, responsibly-provided credit which is secured against the car.
“With regulation of consumer credit moving to the Financial Conduct Authority in less than two months, it is absolutely vital that lenders and dealers make sure they have the interim permissions they need to continue doing business after 1 April.”