The opportunity, a new pillar of the automotive financing market

Without used vehicles, consumer credit would look poor. According to the latest figures from the Association of Financial Companies (ASF), published on Tuesday, the production of credit for the purchase of a vehicle has practically returned to its pre-crisis level. And this, mainly thanks to second-hand vehicles.

“On consumer credit, at the end of June, we were only down 0.4% compared to the first half of 2019”, welcomes Françoise Palle-Guillabert, general delegate of ASF, an organization that brings together companies specializing in “consumer credit”.

This rebound is mainly driven by used vehicles, she continues. The financing of second-hand cars increased by 23% in June compared to the same month in 2019, while it fell for new vehicles.

“The growth is mainly due to financing of the lease type with option to purchase (LOA), adds the specialist. This solution, which already represents the majority of financing for new vehicles, is gaining ground on the used market. “

Limit breakage

The recovery in the auto credit market is good news for consumer credit production overall. For ASF members, vehicle financing represents more than a third of “consumer credit”.

“On a production of 40.9 billion euros, the automobile represented 13 billion in 2020, ensures Françoise Palle-Guillabert. But in reality, it is much more: a not insignificant part of personal loans are used for the purchase of a vehicle without it being possible to know the exact part. “

Although they only represent a third of the funding granted (against two thirds for new registrations), second-hand cars have also enabled the market to limit breakage last year.

While credits linked to new vehicles plummeted by 25%, the second-hand market fell “only” by 3.8%. This did not prevent the members of the ASF from recording the worst drop in consumer credit since 2009, down 11.7% over the year 2020.

Little present in the new home market but very active on the occasion, the banks also fared much better last year: unlike the members of the ASF, the production of consumer credit by banks has stagnated.

“This difference is mainly explained by the measures to close stores or car dealerships which directly impacted financing specialists at the point of sale”, assures Pierre Blanc, head of the consulting firm Athling.

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