The north-west of England has the most cars paid for on finance.

British motorists are spending more than £1 billion every month on car finance, according to new research.

A study by vehicle maintenance firm Kwik Fit found that more than 4.7 million Britons are paying for their wheels with some kind of finance package, with an average value of £226.12 per month.

Overall, Brits are spending £1.07 billion a month (£12.9 billion a year) on financing their vehicles.

The north-west of England is the region that spends the most on finance, with 867,000 drivers spending a combined total of almost £197 million every month.

However, the North West’s average finance payment of £226.94 was only slightly above the national average, and was eclipsed by areas including the south-east of England (£271.63), London (£269.01) and the south-west of England (£253.69).

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The lowest payments were found in Scotland, where drivers pay an average of just £188.36 a month for their wheels. But because the region has the third-highest number of drivers paying for a car on finance, it spends a combined total of £116 million on finance - only beaten by the North West and South East.

The research also shows that finance has helped drivers into more expensive cars than they would otherwise be able to afford. Those buying their cars outright spend an average of around £10,500, while the average list price of vehicles bought on finance is almost £15,500.

Kwik Fit’s Roger Griggs said drivers should be careful not to overstretch themselves with finance deals at the expense of vehicle maintenance.

“This study reveals the huge sums of money which the country’s drivers are spending each month on car finance payments, either through PCPs, leases or other types of borrowing,” he said. “Whichever route drivers take to finance their car, or if they pay for it outright, it’s vital that they focus on maintaining as much of its value as possible for when they come to sell it.  Keeping it properly serviced is essential, so drivers need to ensure they are budgeting for those costs and not skimping on maintenance.”