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Number of vehicles for sale with finance outstanding highest to date


Cartell.ie has revealed that the proportion of vehicles offered for sale (across all years) with finance outstanding is 18.3 per cent – up from 16.6 per cent in December 2018 and 11.5 per cent in January 2017.

Cartell said that these are the highest levels it has recorded. Cartell.ie also reported that more vehicles for certain key registration years are being offered for sale with finance outstanding than in 2018. From a sample of over 5,906 vehicles offered for sale and checked via the Cartell.ie website in 2019, the figures show that more than 40 per cent of two-year-old vehicles are offered for sale with finance outstanding.

In the case of one-year-old vehicles (2018) the levels of vehicles offered for sale with finance outstanding has risen from 35.9 per cent for the equivalent period in 2018 to 39.4 per cent in 2019. This means there is now a two-in-five chance of a one-year-old vehicle being offered for sale with finance outstanding.

Similarly in the case of three-year-old vehicles (2016) checked last year there was a 36.8 per cent chance of a vehicle being offered for sale with finance outstanding based on checks on Cartell.ie in the year gone by.

Graph 1: Percentages of Vehicles with Outstanding Finance by Registration Year checked on Cartell.ie (Source: Carstat, Cartell.ie)

Graph 2: Historic Percentages of Vehicles with Outstanding Finance checked on Cartell.ie (Source: Carstat, Cartell.ie)

Even older vehicles are regularly offered for sale with finance outstanding – 22.3 per cent of all four-year-old vehicles offered for sale in 2019 had outstanding finance against them and the rates of finance are going up for older cars too: four-year old to 10-year-old cars all showed respective increases over the corresponding levels recorded last year.

John Byrne, Cartell.ie, commented: “Not only are finance levels the highest we have ever recorded but the increases can be seen right across the board. We are seeing gains in virtually every year-segment indicating that more and more people are financing their second-hand car purchase. There could be many reasons for this including new entrants in the finance market, better availability of finance, or, in the case of PCP, buyers may be increasingly financing the balloon payment that falls due at the end of the initial PCP term.

“What’s really concerning is that finance levels are up across nearly all the years and the headline figure of 18.3 per cent overall is particularly concerning. Buyers are strongly advised to be cautious in the market as you cannot take good title in the asset until the final payment has been paid to the financial institution. This means you may be buying a huge problem.”