Last year was a good year for forecourt loans in the U.K., with 62.9% of all new cars bought by consumers using dealer financing, up almost 10 percentage points on 2010.
The Finance & Leasing Assn., the trade body for the U.K. motor-finance industry, says the number of new cars bought by consumers using dealer financing in 2011 increased 1% to almost 517,500 units.
Financing provided through dealerships also helped consumers purchase almost 729,000 used cars, 4% more than in 2010.
The FLA says its members provided £19.8 billion ($31.3 billion) in financing last year.
The share of consumer car financing provided through personal-contract-purchase contracts grew to 61.1% from 58.7% in 2010.
By contrast, hire purchase, or rent-to-own, fell from 34% of the market in 2010 to 30.4% in 2011. Consumer-car leasing accounted for 6.5% of the market and continues to grow year-on-year.
The association says business-car finance volumes fell by 2% in 2011 compared with 2010, although the final quarter of 2011 saw year-on-year growth of 6%.
“Despite some of the gloomy headlines on retail confidence, in 2011 growth in the car finance market was driven by consumers,” FLA Motor Finance Head Paul Harrison says in a statement.
Value-for-money offers and flexible-finance deals are drawing customers to showrooms, he says.
“Consumers are looking for finance that suits their budget, and the importance of affordability is shown by the numbers of consumers turning to leasing or personal-contract purchase,” Harrison says.