Startline Motor Finance has reported a 19.8% increase in new business volumes, its strongest recorded start to a year using this measure.

Chief operating officer Gregor Sutherland said the recent strong performance was down to a number of factors.

“The used car sector has seen a release of pent-up demand following the General Election result, and almost all of the dealers and other partners with which we work are reporting positive performance.

“We have also been working hard at improving our dealer partnerships and helping used car retailers to use our products in the most effective manner and this approach is definitely starting to bear fruit. The better an understanding that dealers have of the near-prime market, the better they can successfully apply it to their businesses,” he added.

Startline specialises in a near-prime approach to motor finance and offers both HP and PCP products.

In February Startline said dealers and other introducers need to be provided with better data to maximise motor finance opportunities.

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The company said few businesses record sufficient information about their motor finance customers to help gain details of who is buying which products and why.

Chief executive Paul Burgess said: “Dealers and introducers have what might be described as a practical working knowledge of their motor finance products, in that they have sufficient understanding to look at a customer’s needs and suggest appropriate products. This is an important and appropriate approach for them but it does have limitations.
“Where they tend to fall down is in developing a more analytical approach, of gaining insight into why certain customers are opting for certain products and even identifying areas where car buyer needs are not being met by current dealer propositions.”