The figures from the Finance and Leasing Association show the impact the recession is having on motor finance providers.
Leasing by consumers also fell – down 36 per cent compared with February 2008. The only good news came from PCPs – up three per cent by value.
However, despite the monthly decline, dealer finance is still the most popular way to fund a new car, with 52.9 per cent of customers (462,000 vehicles) buying their car on finance in the last 12 months.
‘February’s motor finance figures give us further evidence of the need for government support to boost liquidity in the motor finance market,’ said Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA.
‘But demand for PCP deals rose three per cent, indicating that consumers are seeking out flexible finance agreements to help them during the economic downturn.
‘These figures show the importance of motor finance to the car industry.
‘Our discussions with government on support for all motor finance providers are reaching a critical point.
‘Urgent action is needed to enable finance providers to meet consumer demand that is currently going unmet due to wholesale funding problems.’