EXPERTS are confident the UK vehicle leasing market is on its way back after enquiries soared by more than two thirds last month compared to June 2019.
The automotive industry was one of many hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, with sales of new cars and vans down and leasing deals put on hold as businesses across the nation were forced to close their doors.
But leading UK firm Select Car Leasing has revealed it experienced a 69 per cent year-on-year surge in enquiries from June 1, following the partial lifting of the Government’s lockdown measures.
It has also seen a 42 per cent growth in website visitors.
And bosses are confident this shows the potential for business sectors relying on customer credit to bounce back over the next few months.
Director Mark Tongue said: “Like in most areas of the economy, the last three months have been really tough for the vehicle leasing sector.
“Thankfully, we are starting to see the green shoots of recovery that we hope will continue as restrictions are further eased over the coming weeks and months.
“Our figures for June show the number of enquiries about leasing cars and vans were up 69 per cent on the same month last year. We’ve also had the highest number of enquiries in a single day in the history of the company.
“This shows that people are starting to think what life will look like after the Covid-19 lockdown.
“As the UK’s leading car leasing company we act as a bellwether for customers wanting to take out credit. The boost in business we’ve seen since the start of last month shows great optimism for the UK economy as a whole.
“And for people looking to secure finance, it demonstrates things may not be as bad as many feared a few months or even weeks ago.”
There was concern that both the motoring sales and leasing markets would be irreversibly damaged by the fallout of the global pandemic.
But car dealerships have also reported encouraging interest since they were allowed to reopen, with strict social distancing measures in place.
Mr Tongue believes many people may even be returning to car ownership – or getting a vehicle for the first time – due to ongoing public health concerns.
And they are more likely to opt for leasing rather than purchasing a used car, as there are fears the second hand market is dipping dramatically.
He added: “It looks to be a bit of a perfect storm because most people won’t be going on holiday this year due to the Covid-19 crisis. They will also want to treat themselves after spending many frustrating weeks in lockdown"
“Used car sales are stalling, which means acquiring a new car on a lease agreement is a very attractive option – and there are some great deals around at the moment.
“There are also worries about the safety of using public transport following the pandemic, with the threat of a so-called second spike constantly in the news.”