Published: Aug 2017
Pages: 51
Format: PDF + conf. call

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UK Car Dealer Point of Sale Finance: Market Insight 2017

This report focuses on the UK market for consumer car finance arrangements offered at Point of Sale (POS) by car dealerships.
– It refers to finance arrangements offered to help individuals to hire or purchase new or used cars.
– It includes individuals buying cars that may be used for business purposes, but not company purchases.
– It includes hire arrangements for periods of over 1 year, not short-term hire.
We cover three main types of industry participants:
1. The car dealers themselves, which may either be:
– Franchised, i.e. holding an agreement with a manufacturer that allows them to purchase stock directly and sell new cars
– Independent, not holding purchase and sale agreements with manufacturers
2. Finance companies offering hire or credit agreements, which may be:
– Owned by car manufacturers (“captives”)
– Banks
– Non-bank finance companies.
3. Specialist finance brokers which may help match car dealers’ customers to finance companies.
The report:
– Quantifies the overall car finance POS market size and historical growth rates.
– Includes an in-depth analysis of the key car finance market participants, including car dealers, specialist finance brokers and finance companies, and their relative market shares.
– Reviews drivers of car dealer POS finance growth, setting out historical trends and available forecasts.
– Provides our forecast for the market to 2021, supported by evidence from market drivers and industry interviews


Objectives of the report

This report aims to get behind the publicly available high-level numbers on the number and value of car finance agreements arranged at POS to provide insight into the size and characteristics of the many different distribution channels that exist within the market.
Key questions it answers include:
– What are the different ways in which car dealer POS finance is offered in the UK?
– What are the different forms of finance, how do they compare, and how widely used are they?
– How does the process of providing POS finance vary between prime, near-prime and sub-prime customers?
– Who are the main finance companies and how do they work with different types of car dealers?
– What is the role of brokers in the market?
– What alternatives are there to car dealer POS finance?
– How does the UK car dealer POS market compare to other geographical markets?
– How could new regulation change the market?
– Taking these factors into account, how do we expect the market to grow in the future?

Car dealer POS finance market

The market includes all consumer hire and credit products sold by car dealers at Point of Sale (POS) such as:
– Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) plans,
– Hire purchase
– Personal leases
It excludes short-term hire (up to 12 months).
The market is served by:
– Car dealers, including franchised dealers which have agreements with manufacturers to purchase and sell new cars, and independent dealers that specialise in selling used cars.
– Specialist brokers serving the car dealer market, who place deals introduced by dealers with finance companies.
– Finance companies offering products to customers introduced by car dealers and brokers, including ‘captive’ firms owned by the car manufacturers, banks and non-bank finance companies.
This report reviews all three segments of the market, profiling the major participants. It identifies market share splits for the different types of firms at dealer, broker and finance company levels. It reconciles the high-level industry statistics produced by trade associations with the accounts of the firms in the market and other available information.


Market size and growth

UK new car sales have recovered to pre-recession levels but have recently dipped, however used car sales are still rising and the UK remains the largest used car market in Europe.
UK consumers trade their cars more frequently than elsewhere in Europe and the hold periods have been coming down, to a large extent as a result of greater availability of finance
Most new cars are now sold with finance arranged at POS, but only around 1 in 5 of total used cars, or 1 in 4 used cars sold via dealers.
POS Motor finance has grown strongly in recent years and new lending in 2016 was over £30bn. The report breaks down the point of sale car finance market into the segments in the chart using detailed analysis of company accounts and our experience of the market.

As a significant component of the UK’s £190bn total unsecured consumer credit, the car finance market has attracted significant regulatory attention. It has been the biggest contributor to the growth in consumer credit in recent years with some fears of a bubble.
PCPs, often supported by car manufacturer subsidies, have been the predominant method of financing new cars in recent years and are also growing in importance for higher-value used cars.

Competitive landscape

The franchised dealers sector accounts for virtually all new car sales to consumers and a growing proportion of used cars.
With the high finance penetration rates for new cars, and the sector’s focus on higher-value used cars, the franchised sector accounts for most of the POS finance market.
Independent dealers sell around 1 in 4 used cars. Both the average value of cars sold and finance penetration rates are lower than in the franchised sector. Nevertheless, finance sales account for a significant proportion of profits for some of the leading independent ‘supermarket’-type dealers.
Captive finance companies have played a key role in driving market growth by offering subsidised finance packages, often 0% finance.
Captives also fund some used cars through franchised dealers, but most POS used car finance comes from other lenders. These include
– UK banks (eg Lloyds Bank’s Black Horse, Santander, Close),
– MotoNovo, owned by the South African bank, FirstRand Bank
– A range of non-bank owned companies that tend to specialise in non-prime lending.
Brokers account for a small proportion of the market but some dealers use them to find finance for their customers.
– Smaller independents may use brokers for all their customers
– Larger dealers tend to use them for customers ineligible for finance from the main providers the dealer works with.


Demand for POS finance is clearly linked to volumes of new car sales, which has recently turned down and is expected by SMMT and others to decrease over the next two years.
The outlook for used cars is less clear as, in the short term, they may receive a boost from being regarded as cheaper substitutes to new cars but, in the longer term, availability will suffer as the fall in new car volumes feeds through to fewer used models.
Finance penetration rates for new cars are unlikely to grow from their already high base, but we believe there is potential for further growth in the used car segment as the larger dealers, who are more likely to use finance, gain share from smaller dealers.
We expect that actions of regulators, such as the FCA, will affect the types of products offered, and also broking and lending practices, but have only limited impact on overall car finance market volumes.

Who is the report intended for?

Car manufacturers
Car dealership groups
Car dealer finance brokers
Investors in the industry
Advisors including consulting firms, investment banks, lawyers and accountants
Industry regulators and policymakers

What are the sources and methodology?

This report is based on
– Extensive research into published industry sources.
– In-depth analysis of the macroeconomic environment and relevant market drivers.
– Financial analysis of the accounts and other financial information of car finance market participants.
– Interviews with industry experts and particiants.
Information from these sources has been synthesised and presented clearly and concisely with extensive use of charts and tables to illuminate points and support conclusions
Forecasts are based on our market model which incorporates the key levers which drive the market and makes explicit assumptions regarding each, supported by evidence.

About this report 2
What does the report contain? 2
What are the objectives of this report? 2
Who is it useful for? 2
What are the sources and methodology? 3
Summary 4
Car dealer POS finance market 4
Market size and growth 4
Competitive landscape 5
Outlook 5
About Apex Insight 6
Company background 6
Consulting services 6
Commercial / operational due diligence 6
Custom market analysis 6
Primary research 6
Growth strategy 6
Related research 6
Research subscriptions 6
Contents 7
List of charts and tables 11
Car dealer POS finance market 13
Definition of the market 13
Types of finance offered to purchase cars 13
Hire Purchase 13
Lease 13
Personal Contract Plan (PCP) 13
Alternative products 14
Non-POS car loan 14
Personal loan 14
Mortgage further advance 14
Credit Card 14
Market size and growth 15
Value and volume of new POS finance 15
Impact of PCP on value of POS credit 16
Market Drivers 18
Regulatory landscape 18
FCA authorisation 18
Regulatory requirements 18
Recent regulatory developments 18
UK Economic performance 20
Wages have increased recently but remain below 2008 levels in real terms 20
Overall demand for unsecured consumer credit 21
UK car market 22
Car parc 22
Churn date 22
Car sales 23
The sub-prime segment has contributed to overall growth 23
Alternatives to car ownership have, so far, had a modest impact on the overall market picture 23
International comparison 24
Private buyers continue to represent around half of the new car market 24
Dealer sales 25
Other new car channels 25
Other used car channels 25
Types and sizes of dealerships 26
Franchised dealers 26
Independent dealers 26
Motor finance penetration 26
Competitive landscape 28
Overview 28
Success factors in dealer POS finance 28
Franchised dealers 29
Independent dealers 30
Car dealer finance brokers 31
Auto Union Finance 32
Creditas 32
DSG Financial Services 32
Eurodrive 32
Evolution Funding 32
Jigsaw Finance 32
Mann Island Finance 32
Motion Finance 32
Whichdeal Limited 32
Captive funders 32
Introduction 32
BMW Finance 33
FCE Bank (Ford Credit) 33
Fiat Chrysler 34
Honda Finance 35
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services 35
PSA Finance 36
RCI Financial Services 36
Toyota Financial Services 37
Volkswagen Financial Service (UK) Ltd 37
Non-captive funders 38
Introduction 38
Black Horse 38
Description 38
Activities 38
Partners 38
Recent developments 38
Close Brothers Motor Finance 39
Source: company accounts and presentations 39
Description 39
Activities 39
Partners 39
Recent developments 39
Clydesdale Financial Services (Barclays Partner Finance) 39
Source: company accounts, includes motor and retail finance 39
Description 39
Activities 39
Partners 39
MotoNovo 40
Source: UK disclosures in annual accounts 40
Description 40
Activities 40
Partners 40
Recent developments 40
Northridge Finance 40
Description 40
Activities 40
Partners 40
Santander UK plc 41
Description 41
Activities 41
Partners 41
Other non-captive funders 41
1st Stop Car Finance Ltd 41
Advantage Finance 41
Alphera Financial Services 41
The Car Finance Company 41
Car Finance Limited 41
First Response 41
Mallard Vehicle Finance 42
Marsh 42
MoneyBarn 42
Moneyway 42
Paragon Bank 42
Raphaels Bank 42
Ratesetter 42
Startline 42
Forecasts 43
UK Economic performance 43
Wages growth 43
Interest rates 44
Consumer credit 44
SMMT forecasts 44
New car sales volume 44
Used car sales volume 44
Our forecast scenario for car sales volumes 45
Car prices and inflation 46
Car sales value 46
Regulatory impacts 47
Motor finance penetration 47
Implications of car sales and penetration for the level of motor finance advances 48
Appendix: abbreviations 50

List of figures

Total advances – volume / ‘000 15
Average advance value / £’000 15
Total new consumer POS advances – value / £bn 16
Size of the market 2016 / millions of cars sold, £bn finance arranged 17
Key FCA regulatory requirements for car dealers 18
UK real GDP / annual changes 20
UK median earnings (current prices) and real household disposable income annual growth rates / % annual change 20
UK outstanding unsecured consumer credit / £bn 21
Car parc (millions) 22
Average period between car sales / years 22
Car sales - volume (millions) 23
New car sales: UK and rest of EU (millions) 24
New car registrations by segment / ‘000 25
Dealer car sales - volume (millions) 25
Motor finance penetration level – volume of transactions POS financed as % of total 26
Motor finance penetration level – value of vehicles financed as % of value of all vehicles sold 27
Market participants 28
Sales of largest franchised dealer groups 30
Sales of largest independent dealer groups 30
BMW Financial Services (GB) Limited Summary Financials 33
FCE Bank Summary Financials 33
FCA Automotive Services UK LTD 34
GMAC UK PLC Summary Financials 34
Honda Finance Europe plc Summary Financials 35
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Summary Financials 35
PSA Finance UK Ltd Summary Financials 36
RCI Financial Services Limited Summary Financials 36
Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC Summary Financials 37
Volkswagen Financial Service (UK) Ltd Summary Financials 37
Black Horse Summary Financials 38
Summary Financials 39
Summary Financials 39
FirstRand Bank Limited Summary Financials 40
Northridge Finance Summary Financials 40
Santander Consumer Finance Summary Financials 41
UK real GDP / annual changes 43
UK median earnings (current prices) and real household disposable income annual growth rates / % annual change 43
Historical and forecast UK consumer credit not secured on property / £bn 44
Historical and forecast car sales – volume / £m 45
Historical and forecast average car sale price / £’000 46
Historical and forecast car sales – value / £bn 46
Penetration level – value / % 47
Penetration level – volume / % 48
Historical and forecast total advances – value / £bn 48
Historical and forecast total advances – volume ‘000 49
Historical and forecast car finance as a percentage of unsecured consumer credit 49

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