4 February 2016

BVRLA forecasts vehicle leasing growth in 2016

Demand for vehicle leasing is predicted to increase further in 2016 following significant growth last year, according to a New Year forecast by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

Four years of new car registration growth culminated last year in a record 2.63 million units being registered. Commenting on the record sales, which also saw fleet demand at an all-time high – 1,317,570 units registered (2014: 1,178,416) and beating the previous fleet sales record of 1,194,811 set in 2007 – BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: ‘2015 was another good year for the retail and fleet motor industry.

‘While the figures reveal impressive growth in new fleet registrations of 11%, the BVRLA also saw consistent growth in the fleet leasing sector, with member fleet sizes up around 11% on 2014.

‘This year we expect to see further growth, with a single digit percentage increase in the traditional fleet leasing market. This growth will be led by innovation in product design, flexibility and delivery.

‘The SME and consumer market will continue to drive most of the organic growth in the leasing market, and we expect to see significant double-digit growth from BVRLA members in the personal contract hire market.’

Reflecting on the traditional corporate sector and the trend over the last 20 years away from the outright purchase of company cars and vans and to contract hire and other forms of leasing, Mr Keaney said: ‘As fleets seek lower running costs, demand for more efficient cars has grown, and the BVRLA expects that the lease fleet will continue to reduce its average CO2 emissions and outpace the wider new car market.’

12 months ago, the BVRLA predicted that the average CO2 emissions for the lease fleet would fall below 120 g/km for the first time in 2015. This year it is predicting that average leasing fleet emissions will drop to around 115 g/km of CO2 this year.

At the beginning of 2015 the BVRLA also forecast a continued trickle away from diesel cars into smaller-engined petrol or hybrid vehicles.

Mr Keaney says that in 2016: ‘We feel confident in predicting that the gradual shift from diesel to petrol and electric powertrains will gather pace, with diesel’s share of the new lease car market falling below 70%.

‘Rental and leasing companies will continue to add hybrids and electric vehicles to their fleets, offering millions of motorists an affordable way to get behind the wheel of the latest, most fuel-efficient vehicles.’

BVRLA members, which include Activa Contracts, collectively currently operate some 4.5 million vehicles – a record number and up 16% compared with the start of January 2015. They are now responsible for one in every nine cars, one in every five vans and one in every five trucks on the road.