Car buyer debt increases further despite warnings

15% increase in average new car finance debt compared to last year

- Advertisement -

The latest monthly car finance figures show that car buyers are borrowing more and more money to finance both new and used cars, despite all the media attention directed at PCP car finance.

Overall borrowing in July was up despite a slowdown in new car volumes, which mirrored the new car registration figures from the SMMT for the same period.

The results for July, published today by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), show a 7% decrease in the number of new cars financed in July compared to last year, but the average borrowing increased by a significant 15%, meaning that total car finance debt grew by 3% over the same month last year.

Used car results also show that more buyers are continuing to borrow through dealer-provided finance, and are continuing to borrow more money on each car. Overall use car finance debt increased by 17% over the same month last year, which was a result of 10% more cars being financed at an increase of 6% more borrowing per car.

The used car results reflect an increasing number of car buyers choosing PCP car finance for used cars as well as new cars. Used car finance via dealers has doubled in the last five years, with an increase of 23% average borrowing per car in that time.

Car finance results, July 2017
Table (c) Finance and Leasing Association

- Advertisement -
Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

Latest Expert Advice

The best new estate cars for every budget

Estate cars have lost popularity against SUVs, but they may be a better bet for many families. We look at some of the best on sale right now.

More than half of drivers exceed 30mph limit, says DfT

Department for Transport analysis found that 54% of drivers exceeded 30mph speed limits during free-flow conditions last year.

Latest Expert Ratings

Audi A3

The Audi A3 range has been praised for its refinement and improved driving dynamics, but criticised for a clunky touchscreen interior.


The BMW X2's Expert Rating places it firmly in the small SUV midfield. It's good to drive but not as practical as most rivals.

Updated Jaguar F-Pace plugs in

Jaguar has given its F-Pace SUV a mid-life makeover, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain the major talking point of the updated range.

Hyundai Tucson shows its striking new face

Hyundai has lifted the lid on its latest Tucson, bringing more technological advances and edgy new styling to the firm’s popular SUV.

The Car Expert is moving on up

The Car Expert is pleased to announce the appointment of Lee Williams from Digital Warrior as Board Advisor.

Britain’s best-selling cars, August 2020

August is generally the calm before the September storm, but these ten models led the way in new car registrations.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.