The number of new cars bought on finance grew 26% in February year-on-year, according to figures from the Finance & Leasing Association.
In the past 12 months, the percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members reached 75.3%, a record high.
Commenting, Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the FLA, said: “February is usually a quieter sales month ahead of the new number plate release in March, but the figures imply that some very good deals tempted consumers into the showrooms.
“For the first time, FLA members funded over 75% of all private new car sales.
"Against that background, the new regulatory requirement for dealers and brokers to hold an interim permission, and then apply for FCA authorisation, will need to be carefully managed by the regulator if competition and the availability of responsibly-provided credit are to be maintained in this market.”