CarFinance 247, the UK’s leading online car finance platform, is experiencing high growth in demand for finance, which has driven their strongest ever financial quarter (Apr-Jun) as UK consumers look to get back on the road.
CarFinance 247’s website is seeing a record 500,000 sessions and 95,000 applications for finance per month. Demand is thought to be driven by the wider economic climate, including the post-lockdown hiring boom and rising salaries caused by a shortage of workers. There are also signs that consumers are looking to release some of their pent-up savings from the lockdown period, with reduced spending on foreign holidays helping to fuel the used car market. Together, these factors are leading consumers to look to CarFinance 247 to help them find and finance their dream car.
The platform has also seen a rise in applicants with strong credit scores, an increase of 42% from July 2019 to July 2021. The data shows that lenders’ confidence and consumers’ financial security is now matching, and in some cases outstripping, pre-pandemic levels. In July 2021, the approval rate for full-time workers seeking finance on the platform was 63%, a significant increase from last year’s figure of 49%. This figure is even higher than the pre-pandemic rate of 61% reported in 2019.
Figures for self-employed applicants – who have suffered more than many during the pandemic – are also encouraging, with 58% of applications being approved in July 2021, a recovery from 49% last year. Changes to working patterns caused or accelerated by the pandemic are also reflected in the data, with an increase in applications from agency and part-time workers, as well as the unemployed. Part-time workers saw the biggest jump in approval rates, increasing from 36% in July 2020 to 58% in July 2021 and surpassing July 2019’s figure of 52%.
Consumer demand is being met by the platform’s panel of lenders, who have a growing appetite to write loans after seeing a contraction in lending at the height of the pandemic. To help even more consumers find loans, CarFinance 247 and its in-house lender, 247 Money, are doubling down on product development, improving and expanding their technology platforms, and offering new product tiers – to say yes to more customers.
CarFinance 247 also recently announced a planned 20% increase in employee numbers, launching a recruitment drive for 125 new team members to support the surge in demand.
Reg Rix, co-founder and CEO of 247 Group, commented: “I’m pleased to say that the used car market is mirroring the UK’s economic health as both move from strength-to-strength post-pandemic. CarFinance 247 is growing rapidly, and the surge in applications to 95,000 a month represents increasing consumer confidence, not just in their personal finances but also in us as their go-to car finance platform.
“As the UK economy continues to recover, we expect this strong level of growth to endure and are taking steps to meet consumer expectations by investing in our technology and delivering market-leading solutions to help consumers secure the best deal from our panel of lenders. Increased approval rates are a testament to the increased appetite to lend shown by our panel and signify an opportunity for our network of 4,000 independent dealers to drive sales after the setbacks of the pandemic.”
Daniel Graham, CTO of CarFinance 247, said: “As the business continues to evolve and grow, we are working on ways of making the consumer journey more seamless. New systems under development will allow consumers to personalise their finance and car search journey by setting advanced parameters. Consumers will be empowered to ‘self-serve’ throughout the process – even able to finalise their credit agreement in-app, providing they follow the inbuilt responsible lending pathway complete with robust firebreaks to ensure consumers make informed choices. The new digital journey will continue to be supported by our team of enthusiastic account managers for those consumers who want more guidance.”