Usership v Ownership: New car ownership in reverse, as leasing overtakes hire purchase

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Author: | Updated: 05 Feb 2018 09:11

New car ownership is in decline as consumers continue to turn their back on hire purchase in favour of personal leasing, according to a new report.

In our Personal Leasing Report 2017: Growth in an uncertain market, we have found that the value of hire purchase agreements fell 9.8% in the 12 months to November 2017.

Personal contract hire (PCH), commonly referred to as leasing, grew 12.7% over the same period meaning it overtook hire purchase (HP) as the second-most popular form of new car finance with a market share of 9.2% in 2017*. HP’s market share declined to 8%.

Personal Leasing Report 2017: Growth in an uncertain market

Personal contract purchase (PCP) remained the leading consumer new car funding method at the point of sale.]

Other findings in the report included:

  • One-month advance rentals are on the increase. Reflecting consumers’ increasing preference for a fixed monthly payment model of car usership, rather than ownership.
  • Who leases? The typical profile of someone looking to lease a new car is a 35-44-year-old male, from London, searching for a Volkswagen Golf on an iPhone.
  • Anti-diesel rhetoric has not impacted the personal leasing sector. Diesel car enquiries increased by 5% in 2017 and accounted for 55% of all enquiries on
  • The top ten leasing cities, and the most enquired about new cars in 2017.

Paul Harrison, Head of Strategic Partnerships at, 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.”

2017 represented a milestone in behavioural change as it was the year that the popularity of new car leasing leapfrogged traditional HP

Most enquired about new cars in 2017

  1. Volkswagen Golf
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  3. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  4. Volkswagen Tiguan
  5. Audi A4
  6. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  7. Nissan Qashqai
  8. Seat Leon
  9. Audi A5
  10. Nissan Juke

Top 10 leasing cities

  1. London
  2. Birmingham
  3. Manchester
  4. Leeds
  5. Glasgow
  6. Liverpool
  7. Sheffield
  8. Edinburgh
  9. Bristol
  10. Nottingham

The Personal Leasing Report 2017 is available to download here.

*Data from the Finance & Leasing Association.

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