Business purchases of new cars using finance deals grew by 21% in May, compared with the same month last year.
The latest Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) figures reveal just under 30,000 fleet sales using finance were completed during the month. It brings the total for the rolling quarter to more than 109,000 – also a 21% rise on the same period last year.
Corporate acquisitions of used cars surpassed 3,900 in May, up 13%.
“These figures look good, and they’re up 1% in the 12 months to May. But the problem is it’s an increase from a very low base. There’s confidence in the market, but it’s fragile,” said an FLA spokeswoman.
The FLA believes it’s too early to say that fleets are confident enough to source new vehicles again.
“It’s more likely the companies have held off replacing them to now, but can’t wait any longer,” she added.
The bulk of the finance deals are done direct with suppliers such as Lombard Vehicle Management. Stuart Houlston, its managing director, said the growth wasn’t coming from one type of company, but across the board.
“It’s corporates who delayed procurement last year now looking for renewals, plus some customers looking to free up cash and move assets from their own balance sheet to lenders through sale and leaseback products. It’s also a number of SMEs looking to leasing and finance to preserve cash and working capital.”