New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that new business in the point of sale (POS) consumer car finance market fell 5% by value and 10% by volume in March, compared with the same month in 2017.  In Q1 2018, new business grew 3% by value, while volumes fell by 1% compared with the same quarter in 2017.

The POS consumer new car finance market reported a fall in new business in March of 9% by value and 15% by volume, compared with the same month in 2017.   The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members through the POS was 89.4% in the twelve months to March, up from 88.5% in the same period to February.

The POS consumer used car finance market reported new business up 4% by value in March, while volumes fell by 1%, compared with the same month in 2017.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said “Trends in the new car finance market in the first quarter of 2018 are likely to have been affected by the impact on demand for private new cars in Q1 2017 of changes to vehicle excise duty introduced in April that year.  However, in the first quarter of 2018, point of sale consumer car finance new business volumes overall were only 1% lower than in the same period in 2017.”

Table 1: Cars bought on finance by consumers through dealerships    
New business

Mar 2018

% change on prev. year

3 months to Mar 2018

% change on prev. year

12 months to Mar 2018

% change on prev. year

New cars            
Value of advances (£m)

3,354

-9

5,445

-4

18,581

-3

Number of cars

167,965

-15

279,934

-11

957,034

-11

Used cars            
Value of advances (£m)

1,495

+4

4,449

+13

15,942

+12

Number of cars

126,474

-1

381,377

+7

1,383,563

+6

Total cars            
Value of advances (£m)

4,849

-5

9,894

+3

34,522

+4

Number of cars

294,439

-10

661,311

-1

2,340,597

-2

 

Table 2: Cars bought on finance by businesses        
New business

Mar 2018

% change on prev. year

3 months to Mar 2018

% change on prev. year

12 months to Mar 2018

% change on prev. year

New cars          
Number of cars

47,194

-14

102,039

-13

458,534

-5

Used cars            
Number of cars

8,870

+74

18,329

+7

61,440

+5