Research from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) found that new and used-car finance market grew in September.
The figures show that in September the UK's market for new-car motor finance increased 11% in value, compared with the same month the previous year.
Around £1.1 billion was provided for car purchases during the month through vehicle dealerships.
Some 60% of consumers chose to use finance from the dealer when they bought a new car during the last 12 months - the highest share of the market for some years.
More than 66,000 used vehicles were bought in September with the aid of £600 million.
Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the Finance & Leasing Association, said: "September is a hugely important month for the motor industry as it sees the release of the new number plates. Our figures make encouraging reading for dealers and finance providers in what are still tough trading conditions."
He added: "Dealer finance has bucked the downwards trend of some other lending markets, in part because of the wide range of products available to consumers."
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