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Car finance figures remain unchanged

The number of cars financed in March was about on par with the same month last year, according to new figures.

The number of cars financed in March was about on par with the same month last year, according to new figures.

British drivers financed 149,603 cars in the month, according to the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), unchanged from March 2006. In the first quarter as a whole, 272,508 cars were financed, representing a slight fall of one per cent from last year.

The value of these cars has risen, however, climbing three per cent to £1.8 billion. The value of cars financed in the first quarter was also up, with a one per cent increase pushing the total to £3.3 billion.

Figures for the used car sector are less encouraging, at least from the perspective of those trying to sell these vehicles. Only 59,425 used cars were financed in March - down ten per cent from the same month last year - as the total value fell by two per cent to £601 million.

Interestingly, however, the average cost of a used car rose for the third consecutive quarter this year. Figures from Manheim indicate that the average price climbed by 7.5 per cent to £6,643.

Geraldine Kilkelly, FLA's head of research, said: "April's results will give a better idea of the impact of the new plate overall but clearly there is still work to be done on changing consumer perceptions in an increasingly competitive market place."

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