Finance penetration in the used car market increased 2.1% year-on-year in April, now accounting for 46% of sales in the UK.

This is according to figures from Dealerweb, which revealed a 6.4% increase in used car finance sales as dealers continued to focus on used revenues. Overall revenues from used car operations were also up 1.6%.

Dealers are witnessing an increase in the use of digital channels for customer interest in the used market, with online enquiries up 4.4% in April. However, overall enquiries for used vehicles dipped 6.9% as a result of a decrease in telephone and walk-in enquiries.

“Used car operations continue to provide opportunities for growth as the new car sector continues to see headwinds,” said Martin Hill, chief executive of Dealerweb. “It is clear that online channels are growing in importance and it is vital that dealers capture these enquiries accurately and respond quickly.

“Customers expect a quick response to their enquiry and our data shows that a prompt response is crucial for sales conversions.”

Earlier this month, Dealerweb appointed Heather Upchurch as chief technology officer, responsible for overseeing all technology activities at the firm.

“I’m joining Dealerweb at an exciting time in its development,” said Upchurch. “The company has built a reputation on offering some of the most innovative software in the industry, and I’m looking forward to working on Dealerweb’s continued technological advancements.”

Hill added: “Having recently launched new products, adopted ISO-accredited security processes and begun the roll-out of our completely re-engineered Dealerweb Showroom system, Heather’s appointment will provide an experienced leader to oversee these developments and ensure our commitment and passion for technology remains at the forefront for years to come.”