Despite the fall in new diesel car registrations showing no signs of slowing down, the fuel remains a popular choice for those looking to lease their car, ContractHireAndLeasing.com has said.
In its 2017 annual report, the site said the fuel made up over half (55%) of enquiries in 2017 and that total diesel enquiries grew by 5.1%.
Explaining the discrepancy, ContractHireAndLeasing.com noted that leasing customers are not tied in ‘for the long haul,’ and because they hand the cars back at the end of the contract, are protected from any worries around residual values arising from the current lack of clarity from the government about the fuel.
The majority of lessees only need to concern themselves with changes to regulation that come into effect in the next three years. According to the report, over 80% of all leases were for between 23 and 35 months.
Contracthireandleasing.com noted that it introduced one month initial payment options in September, and that this accounted for 7% of all enquiries by December. The site said these ‘pave the way towards a fixed monthly payment model for car usership in the future.’
The growth of PCH was also used as evidence that customers are moving towards usership. It noted the value of HP agreements fell 9.8% for the 12 months to November 2017, while PCH grew 12.7% over the same period. The result was that PCH overtook HP by popularity for the first time.
Paul Harrison, head of strategic partnerships at ContractHireAndLeasing.com, said: “Our report confirms that consumers are transitioning away from ownership towards usership – they want access to a new car rather than a commitment to buy it.
“Successful media streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify have capitalised on consumer demand for access rather than ownership, and this trend is growing in the automotive market.
“2017 represented a milestone in behavioural change as it was the year that the popularity of new car leasing leapfrogged traditional HP.
“The increased availability of one-month initial payment offers has also supported this change and they should continue to prove very popular with consumers.
“At manufacturer level, 2017 was a particularly good year for the German trio of Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen, while Nissan, Seat, Land Rover and Volvo all made significant inroads in the personal leasing market.”