During the first six months of 2010, there were just over 530,000 new cars purchased in the UK, according to statistics from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).
It wouldn’t be unsurprising if you thought that a large portion of this figure was cash purchases, another large portion being made up of hire purchase agreements and then a final portion comprising of other finance options, such as car leasing or personal loans.
Whilst cash purchases are a favoured option for buying a used car, when it comes to a new car 80% of all people buy them with car finance utilising one of three different options.
Hire purchase agreements were once the most popular finance option. You pay an upfront payment followed by monthly payments (a portion of the money you borrowed plus interest) over an agreed period. You do not own the car until the end of the period when you pay a fee (check because this could be high).
Next comes car leasing. There are two types of car leasing for consumers – personal contract hire and personal contract purchase (PCP). PCP is the most popular and is vaguely similar to hire purchase, but the monthly payment s are often much lower because you are only paying for the cost of the car less an agreed balloon payment (value of the car at the end of the agreement which is typically between 24 and 60 months) and at the end of the term, you can either decide to hand the car back or pay the outstanding balance to own the vehicle.
And then you have a personal loan, which is usually the more expensive of the three options and the least favourable for buyers. Beware, if you choose an unsecured loan and should you default on a payment, the lender doesn’t simply take the car away and instead attempts to recover any outstanding monies directly from you.
Whilst cash or a hire purchase might seem like the most traditional car buying options, according to statistics provided by the FLA 49.4 percent of the total number of cars sold by dealers in the first half of 2010 - were financed by a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) agreement..
Seeming to have a low profile in recent years, with people traditionally opting for the hire purchase option, it’s when you take a look at PCP agreements and the flexibility it offers you that you see just why such a substantial percentage of car buyers opted for it in the first half of 2010.
Whether you’ve heard of or utilized car leasing in the past or not, there’s no doubt that it’s the most popular car finance option of the moment. Packed full of benefits and extremely flexible, whether you’re a personal user or a business, it’s advised you take a look at the benefits of car leasing and PCP when you next head out to buy a new car.