Figures from the UK Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) showed an increase in new and used car available finance compared to September last year.

The number of new cars sold on finance to consumers was up by 5% and the number of used cars by 6%, despite a fall of almost 19% in the total number of private new car sales in September.

Consequently, the percentage of new cars sold to consumers on dealer finance during the last 12 months rose by more than two percentage points, from 47.5% in August to 49.6% in September.

However, despite growth in the consumer market, business usage of financing for cars dropped by 17% for new cars, and by 4% for used cars in September.

"The rise in the use of motor finance is great news for dealers, coming as it does in such an uncertain and volatile economic climate," said FLA head of motor finance Paul Harrison.

"Over the year we have seen ups and downs in the number of people using dealer finance for both new and used cars, so it is encouraging to see a strong performance in the important month of September.

"But we still have some concern about the business cars sector, where new loans have fallen. Businesses are still cautious about investment and this is likely to continue while the economic effects of last month's Comprehensive Spending Review remain unclear."