Provided by

Drivers are borrowing as much as €26,583 to drive away in a new car.

That figure shoots up to €30,178 when it comes to financing premium models, according to new data obtained by the Irish Independent. The data suggests people are getting more finance so they can drive larger and better-equipped cars.

The level of financing is based on data supplied to the Irish Independent by Volkswagen Group bank, Renault Bank, BMW Bank and Toyota Financial Services.

Three of the institutions estimate the average amount borrowed for a new car increased on last year – in one case by 11pc.

Personal Contract Plans (PCPs) continue to be a major source of such financing. Volkswagen’s average per-car finance is €26,583 for PCP and €16,636 for HP deals.

In total, it loaned €347,214,176 for new cars and €204,872,830 for second-hand models, making a grand total of more than half a billion up to early December.

It claims its level of lending is up 12pc (new and used combined) while there has been an 11pc increase in the average borrowed for a new car.

Renault Bank calculated demand for finance is down 3pc. But that is being viewed positively, because there was a 6pc contraction of the new-car market this year.

The average amount loaned to retail customers increased marginally (by 2pc) from €15,283 to €15,574.

BMW Financial Services managing director Brian Merrigan said while the overall new-car market in 2019 contracted by around 6.8pc the premium segment lagged 8.2pc behind the numbers for 2018. Despite that, it increased lending by 6pc.

The average financed by BMW/Mini was €30,178 while its Alphera business (multi-brand financing) reports an average of €18,760.

BMW Group brand lending is up 4pc on last year, and Alphera is up 9pc.

Mr Merrigan said: “The main reason for the increase on the BMW/Mini lending is the higher balances borrowed due to more funding of our large cars such as the X5, and higher-spec models across the range.”

Meantime Toyota Financial Services revealed its finance average for a new car is €22,000 and €15,000 for second-hand models so far.

Provided by