The proportion of new private cars acquired on finance hit record levels during the 12 months to the end of October, according to new figures.
Data from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) showed that a massive 91.3 percent of new private cars were financed between the start of November 2018 and the end of October 2019. That’s despite an October in which the number of cars financed fell across the board.
The 10th month of 2019 saw some 65,854 new private cars financed - a nine-percent reduction compared with the previous October. In total,s were financed during the month. And the value of the advances also fell, down five percent to £1.4 billion.
Those figures were recorded in a month where car sales were far from strong, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data revealing a 6.7 percent cut in registrations. In total, 143,251 cars were registered across the private and fleet sectors, down from around 153,600 in October 2018.
At the same time, the number of used cars acquired by private punters on finance deals also fell, albeit less dramatically. Just under 128,000 used cars were financed in October, down two percent on the same month in 2018. And the value of those cars was also down, falling one percent to more than £1.58 billion.
Overall, the point-of-sale private car finance sector was down four percent in terms of volume and three percent in terms of value. However, that result didn’t damage the rolling 12-month total unduly. Between November 2018 and October 2019, more than 2.4 million cars were financed, with a total advance value of more than £37.6 billion.
Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, the head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said reduced uncertainty would keep demand stable moving into 2020.
“The consumer car finance market is on track to report new business volumes in 2019 as a whole of around 2.4 million cars, a similar level to 2018,” she said. “Consumer confidence should improve as uncertainty about the economic outlook reduces, which will help support demand for car finance next year. New business volumes in the consumer car finance market are likely to remain stable in 2020 as a whole, with a modest fall in new business volumes in the new car finance market offset by single-digit growth in the used car finance market.”