The number of new cars financed fell eight percent.

The number of new cars bought on finance deals slumped yet again in November as financiers suffered from sluggish sales.

Figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) show just under 62,500 brand new cars were financed by private customers in November 2019 — a reduction of eight percent on the same month in 2018. And the value of advances dished out fell, too, albeit by just one percent.

The result comes after data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed a 1.3-percent reduction in the number of cars registered during the 11th month of 2019. But of the new cars purchased by private customers during the month, a massive 91.2 percent were financed.

Man using calculator in car dealership showroom

In total, Britain’s new car buyers borrowed a total of just over £1.39 billion towards their next set of wheels in November alone. And remember that’s a decline of one percent compared with the £1.41 billion borrowed during the same month in 2018.

At the same time, the British public borrowed a similar amount to fund used cars. In total, FLA members paid out just under £1.39 billion in advances. That represented a three-percent uplift compared with the previous November, and it came alongside a similarly sized increase in the number of used cars financed.

Car sales agreement with key exchanging hands

All in all, just over 111,000 used cars were purchased on finance by private buyers during the penultimate month of 2019. That’s also up three percent on the 108,000 financed during the 11th month of 2018.

With such mixed fortunes across the industry, the overall car finance market ended November in a state broadly similar to the one seen 12 months previously. The value of advances rose by one percent to £2.78 billion, while the number of vehicles financed fell by one percent to just over 173,500.

Man signing document with car keys on table

Geraldine Kilkelly, the head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said the used car finance market was expecting record levels of new business in 2019.

“The consumer used car finance market is poised for a record level of new business volumes in 2019 of almost 1.5 million cars — two percent higher than in 2018,” she said. “Further single-digit growth in this market is likely in 2020 with recent survey data suggesting a pick-up in consumer confidence about the economic outlook, personal finances and committing to big-ticket purchases.”