Dealerships have seen a 14% rise in the number of people buying on their first visit to a dealership compared to last year, EnquiryMAX reveals.
The discovery follows "expert research" by the enquiry management provider to understand the changing customer journey in a tightening market which compared sales records from dealers across the UK in October and November against the same months in 2016.
It showed that finance appeared to be driving the 'first-time trend' in both new and used car sales with a 30% increase in PCP and 24% in contract hire in 2017 compared to the same period last year.
EnquiryMAX’s operations director, Jon Sheard, said: “The appeal of a low deposit and monthly payments hasn’t lost its appeal to Britain’s motorists.
"Along with contract hire, people are increasingly comfortable with a pay to drive model.
“It is vital that dealers have a comprehensive suite of finance products on offer if they are to maximise on every sales opportunity.”
The value of the average part-exchange vehicles also rose from an average of £6,947 in 2016 to £8,296 in 2017, according to EnquiryMAX.
Sheard said: “Overall the number of leads dealers receive has risen by 6% in the year to date against the same period last year. Internet leads continue to grow rapidly with a 56% year on year rise.
"The message is clear; you need a finance-led marketing message delivered over the web to drive sales.”