Motorists are switching to PCPs in big numbers to finance new and used cars this year.
A snapshot of deals at the country's largest motoring group, Volkswagen, underlines how the shift continues from the traditional mindset of ownership to the smart-phone mentality of 'usership'.
The Volkswagen Group accounts for more than one-in-four (28pc) new motors bought here. The group comprises Audi, SEAT, SKODA and Volkswagen brands, including commercials.
New lending figures show that three-in-four (76pc) vehicles financed by its banking arm, Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS), are on a PCP.
Considering the interruption to sales and damage to public confidence wrought by the coronavirus, a 9pc increase in PCPs in a year like this is a strong indication of how quickly the facility is expanding.
There are some strong figures for individual marques in the group. Nearly all (94pc) of SEAT's new-financed vehicles are on PCP this year.
Not far behind are SKODA (86pc), while 78pc of new Volkswagens and 74pc of new Audis are on PCPs so far in 2020.
The average PCP amount for a new car is around €27,100; average monthly repayment is €392.
The latest figures also seem to suggest that a majority of motorists are sticking with the concept of continuing to use, rather than own, a new/newer car.
This year's increase to 76pc, in the face of plunging sales, compares with 65pc of financial deals being PCP for the group last year.
For all of 2019, VWFS loaned more than €565m, a sum that included new and used-car finance.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, the VWFS has already loaned more than €247m. That is nearly 44pc of the total for 2019.
The figure also reflects larger numbers of people financing second-hand cars.
In 2019 the average spend on a new Volkswagen car was €26,579. Now it is €27,628.
The average for an Audi is €36,534, a SKODA customer borrows €25,475, while someone buying a SEAT will draw down €24,501. The amount of finance on a new commercial van averages €23,755.
Overall, there are more than 36,000 'live' PCP arrangements (new and used cars) with the VW financial services arm.
In total VWFS has facilitated more than 5,000 repayment 'holidays'.
It is understood that around 1,500 of these have been granted repayment breaks due to the impact of Covid-19.
It is good that we are gradually getting back to a bit of ordinary life, even if that is the "new normal" of social distancing and expansive hygiene measures. Nevertheless, garages and showrooms opened again last Monday and reports talk of very brisk business in getting repairs done and enquiries about new and used cars.