Car leasing customers pick greener cars than buyers

Image of James Kelly
Author: | Updated: 01 Oct 2018 15:55

Personal contract hire continues to lead the way when it comes to emissions, with lease cars being substantially cleaner than the average new private car, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

The Quarterly Leasing Survey from the BVRLA showed during average emissions for its members’ new cars dropped nearly 1g/km to 112g/km in Q2 2018. This is in stark contract to the national average for newly registered cars, which increased for the fifth consecutive quarter to 123.6g/km.

Kia Niro PHEV plug

The reduction in lease cars’ emissions comes despite a continued fall in the market share of diesel vehicles (market share has fallen 10% year-on-year), and has been attributed to growing demand for plug-in vehicles, which were responsible for 10% of new lease car registrations during Q2.

At 49%, diesel registrations were nearly 19% down on the same period of 2017. Petrol appears to be the predominant substitution with new lease car registrations rising to 39.3% this quarter.

fuel pump diesel

Meanwhile, average emissions for leased vans continued to fall in Q2 to 167.2g/km, down from 169.7g/km in the previous quarter. Figures for newly registered vans increased to 161.5g/km, up from 160.7g/km during the same period last year.

While the traditional contract hire and finance lease sector was down 6.3% year-on-year, personal contract hire continues to grow with BVRLA’s total fleet growing 12% in Q2 compared to the same period of 2017.

However, confidence in margins reduced by 33% to the lowest level in the last five years. Members cited uncertainty over Brexit, regulation changes involving WLTP and lack of visibility of levels beyond 2022 as the main reasons.


Commenting on the results, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said “BVRLA members are gearing up to provide lower emission vehicle options at precisely the moment they will be needed most. The implementation of the new Clean Air Zones, the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone and the Government’s strategy towards low-emission vehicles will only reinforce the demand from drivers and businesses to pick greener vehicles in the future.

“The sales of greener vehicles could be accelerated further if the Chancellor were to put in place a tax regime in this year’s budget tackling concerns around WLTP and BIK head on so that industry’s ability to provide low emission vehicle options is matched by the ability of motorists and fleet managers to affordably choose them.”

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