Data from the Finance and Leasing Authority (FLA) shows that point of sale consumer car finance new business volumes grew by five percent in July month on month, with used car sale rocketing. Older car sale advances were dramatically boosted, with a seven percent increase on the previous year. A total of 134,464 used cars were purchased on finance in July 2019, generating over £1.5million. New car sales were also up by one percent from last July, but sales across a twelve-month period were down by four percent.
Businesses were also snapping up used motors, with a massive 12 percent increase in used cars bought on finance by companies in July alone, equating to a massive 11 percent increase over the last 12 months.
Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, Geraldine Kilkelly said: “In July, the point of sale consumer car finance market reported growth for the first time since February 2019. New business volumes in the first seven months of 2019 held steady compared with the same period in 2018.
“The consumer used car finance market was the main driver of headline growth in July as new business volumes increased at their strongest rate since October 2018.”
Philip Nothard, vice-chair of the Vehicle Remarketing Association and Customer Insight Director at Cox Automotive said the results were positive but admitted the data needed putting into context after a turbulent year for the sector.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he added: “It’s encouraging that we are continuing to see growth in what can only be described as a challenging market.
“The sector continues to show signs of green as we see investment, acquisition and growth from the retailers and OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers).”
The data comes amid chaos in Westminster as politicians struggle to find a way out of the Brexit deadlock.
Growth also comes after warnings that the UK car industry would collapse under a no deal Brexit.
Reacting to the news, a spokeswoman for the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) told Express.co.uk their data had shown a consistent decline in used car sales since 2017 and that it was important to look at the bigger picture.
They claim new car registrations were down for a fifth consecutive month in July, with a decrease of 4.1 percent. SMMT’s year-to-date figures also claim new car registrations were down 3.5 percent and used car sales down 1.7 percent.
The SMMT have previously said investment in the UK’s car manufacturing fell to just £90m in the first six months of 2019, despite previously boasting figures of over £300m last year.
They also claimed production in the first half of the year fell by 20 percent with just 666,000 cars rolling onto the market compared to over 800,000 last year.
Amid the Brexit uncertainty, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the damage a no deal Brexit could do.
He warned of how a no deal withdrawal would cause disruption, damaging production and providing a threat to the industry.
Mr Hawes said: “We are highly integrated with Europe, and a no deal Brexit would result in huge tariff costs and disruption that would threaten production, as well as further undermining international investors’ confidence in the Uk. We need a deal with the EU that secures frictionless and tariff-free trade.
“A no deal Brexit presents an existential threat to our industry. Above all we must ensure the sector continues to enjoy – without interruption – preferential trade with critical markets around the world, including the EU.”
Sales of electric cars were also up, recording their highest sales figures in August after the release of the lucrative Tesla Model 3.
Battery car sales soared to 3,147, up fivefold on the 659 sales in the same period in 2018 as UK motorists begin to jump on the electric bandwagon.
New data from finder.com has shown that 40 percent of British drivers hope to purchase an electric vehicle as their next motor.
Tesla’s new electric challenger became the third best-selling car of any brand in August to become the first battery vehicle to enter the top three in the rankings.
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