One of the UK's leading motor traders has revealed interest in car leasing almost doubled last year, as drivers show their frustration with current buying methods.
By the end of 2018, Reading-headquartered Select Car Leasing received more than 100,000 car leasing enquiries, up by more than 70% on 2017.
The company also delivered a total of over 15,000 vehicles, a figure it expects to rise to 25,000 by the end of 2020.
According to an independent national research study of 1,200 UK drivers conducted by Select, the majority of motorists (66%) believe top-of-the-range cars like Audis, Mercedes and BMWs are no longer affordable enough to buy outright.
And while half of all drivers (50%) would like to change their car every three years or more frequently, almost two thirds of drivers (64%) said they just didn’t have the budget to do so.
Mark Tongue, company director at Select Car Leasing, said: “It is difficult for the average UK driver to get behind the wheel of a brand-new car, which means more and more are exploring different avenues.
“Speaking to drivers up and down the country, we found over half (55%) of them feel they are being ripped off whenever they have to buy or sell a car.
“Select Car Leasing are delighted to be able to offer a welcome alternative to that, and this year we’ll give over 15,000 people the hassle free opportunity to drive, and keep driving, the latest model including the most up to date technology and safety features.
“Our latest figures show a clear change in consumer habits, and it is one we expect to increase in the future.”
According to figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), 90 per cent of all new car sales involve finance, which is estimated to account for 2.4 million vehicles.
But more than half (53%) of motorists claim they are put off driving brand new vehicles because they would lose too much money through depreciation.
Now around 1.7 million people in the UK now lease a car personally according to the industry regulator the BVRLA.
Tongue added: “Given the ever-increasing costs of production, it is unlikely the price is going to drop any time soon.
“Wage growth is only just coming back in line with inflation, house ownership is still a far-off dream for many and renting has become the norm for most under 40 thanks to increasing house prices.
“People need to be really careful with their investments and cars are no different.
“But it also represents a change in attitude towards car ownership.
“Personal car leasing is now a serious and increasingly common choice, helping consumers get a hassle free option that avoids the worry of dreaded car depreciation.
“Most new cars will lose at least half of their value in the first three years on the road. But instead of losing out, those who choose to lease a car, like our customers, simply drive away in a new car on a fixed monthly budget that suits both their income and needs without the additional problem of selling it at the end.”
Select Car Leasing was set up in 2004 by directors Mark Tongue and James O’Malley, who between them have more than 40 years of motor trade experience.
In its first full year, the company delivered 115 vehicles. Next year it expects that to grow to 20,000 before hitting 25,000 in 2020.
All vehicles are supplied from national network of main dealers from the largest and most reputable dealer groups such as Inchcape, Pendragon, Arnold Clark, Sytner and Lookers.