Automotive payment provider Auto Service Finance has secured its largest backing to date in the form of a debt and equity deal worth over £14m.

The company’s platform provides UK car dealerships with an interest free payment solution for customers when servicing their vehicles.

The funding comprises £850,000 through equity given to private investors, taking its total investment to £4 million since its launch, as well as a further £13.3 million debt facility.

The facility was provided by London based Naviter Capital, which is also one of the equity investors, and will be used to further its risk modelling and create greater integration with other areas of technology used in the automotive service sector.

More than 2,000 dealership sites have now used its loan platform as a buy now pay later (BNPL) option to sell £50m worth of service work since its launch in 2015.

Dealerships include those belonging to Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot Citroën, Ford and Vauxhall.

The platform can grant instant decisions for customers while their vehicle is at the dealership, by utilising proprietary risk management tech and AI to learn from previous decisions.

James Jackson, co-founder and CEO of ASF, said: “Dealerships are going through a particularly difficult time at the moment amid the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus and while this will lead to an unavoidable short term slowdown in aftersales activity many have already recognised the longer term importance of adopting interest-free payment methods within their service departments.

“In the short term we’re committed to helping provide dealers that are still offering aftersales support with the ability to offer their customers flexible payment methods, something that will be beneficial to both vehicle owners and dealerships alike in the challenging times ahead.

“This has included developing a fund to help vulnerable customers by discounting their final repayment bills during the ongoing pandemic. Beyond this, we aim to increase both our footprint and the utilisation of our platform across the UK.”

“Following our success in the UK, an expansion into Europe is the next logical step once the time is right, and we’re hoping the reputation we have created for ourselves with major manufacturer brands will be a big asset here.”