Car finance payments across the UK bring in £1bn every month, research commissioned by Kwik Fit has found, with the average payment standing at £226.12.

The North West was the region with the most drivers paying finance, 867,000, while Wales had the smallest finance customer base at 127,000.

Scotland was the region with lowest average monthly payment at £188.36, while the South East recorded the highest average at £271.63. London was close behind with average payments of £269.01, despite having a small customer base for its population, at 360,000 motorists.

The survey also revealed a price gap between vehicles paid for in cash and those sold on finance. Customers paying upfront spent £10,511 on average, while total cost for those opting for finance averaged £15,438.

For both new and used cars, purchase cost ranged from £13,814 in London to £9,624 in the South West.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “This study reveals the huge sums of money which the country’s drivers are spending each month on car finance payments, either through PCPs, leases or other types of borrowing.

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“Whichever route drivers take to finance their car, or if they pay for it outright, it’s vital that they focus on maintaining as much of its value as possible for when they come to sell it. Keeping it properly serviced is essential, so drivers need to ensure they are budgeting for those costs and not skimping on maintenance.”

The Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) put total UK car finance market, both new and used, at £34bn for 2017, a 6% increase from the previous year. Growth was driven primarily driven by a 12% jump in used car business, to £15bn.

Region Number of motorists paying monthly finance payments Average monthly payment Total cost per month
North West 867,000 £226.94 £196,756,980
South East 549,000 £271.63 £149,124,870
Scotland 616,000 £188.36 £116,029,760
Yorkshire & the Humber 506,000 £218.23 £110,424,380
West Midlands 484,000 £223.72 £108,280,480
London 360,000 £269.01 £96,843,600
Eastern 335,000 £229.61 £76,919,350
South West 298,000 £253.69 £75,599,620
East Midlands 389,000 £192.19 £74,761,910
North East 213,000 £202.71 £43,177,230
Wales 127,000 £215.08 £27,315,160
GB 4,744,000 £226.12 £1,072,713,28