The value of new-car dealer finance rose by 42% by value year-on-year in February to £478m across 33,995 unit sales, a 31% rise by volume, according to latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

The figures were down on those for January, although this may be attributed to February characteristically seeing the lowest volume of car sales each year before the new-registration plate spike in March.

The rolling 12-month figure for penetration of finance sold through dealers on new cars hit 71.9% in February, the 23rd consecutive month of growth.

‘Competitive marketplace’

In both used and new car finance for all periods reported, the rise in value outstripped that of volume.

In the three months to February, new-car finance was up 27% by volume year-on-year to 118,226 units and up 33% by value to £1.72bn. In the 12 months to February, the figures were up 28% by volume to 679,429 units and 36% by value to £9.70bn.

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By GlobalData

In the used market, February saw the volume of cars sold on finance rise 7% year-on-year to 71,544 units and 11% by value to £666m. In the three months to February, volume was up by 7% to 189,875 units and value by 12% to £1.79bn; in the 12 months to February, volume rose 7% to 796,583 units and value 8% to £7.40bn.

Given the performance of finance in the new sector, above the growth in new car registrations, Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the FLA, called on the Government to ensure "its new regulatory regime for consumer credit maintains a competitive marketplace and supports the continued availability of affordable credit for customers."

Full figures from the FLA and SMMT will be published in the April issue of Motor Finance magazine.

richard.brown@timetric.com