Car finance deals soar 13 per cent in last year

New figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) have revealed that motorists spent £3.6 billion on car finance deals in March, a new monthly record.

The FLA revealed that the £3.6 billion represented a rise of 13 per cent on the same month in 2016, with the vast majority of the purchases were via so-called Personal Contract Purchases (PCPs) - a trend that the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have expressed concerns over.

The FCA has also announced an investigation into PCPs, after concerns about insufficient credit checks.

Both new and used cars can be bought on PCPs, under which buyers effectively rent a car for up to four years.

March was a record month for car sales as a whole, ahead of changes to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in April, with consumers spending £32.5 billion in the year to March, including used cars.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The first quarter of 2017 saw consumer car finance new business volumes increase in line with the industry’s expectations of single-digit growth for the year overall. The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members has remained steady at 86.5 per cent since the beginning of 2017.”