One of the most important automotive trends of 2016 was the rapid growth of the private lease market. Previously just a tiny proportion of the European car market, private leasing is now growing by around 10% every year. What's the story behind this rapidly expanding market and why are more and more people choosing experience over ownership?
“A number of factors are driving the growth of the private lease market,” says LeasePlan’s Berno Kleinherenbrink. “First and foremost, our clients really value the certainty you get with a private lease car: you pay a fixed price, there are no unexpected costs or large upfront payments required, and as with all LeasePlan products, it’s a totally hassle-free experience – we take care of everything, from insurance to maintenance or repairs.”
4Seasons: In Italy, we launched the “4Seasons” campaign in partnership with Fiat. Customers could choose a new Fiat every four months – or one for every season – and, at the end of the year, select the car they liked best for the remainder of the lease term.
So what's next?
“Increasingly, our customers don’t just want access to a car: they want a seamless digital experience,” says Berno. “That’s why we'll be launching a new private lease app in 2017, which will enable our customers to quickly arrange a private lease vehicle. Everything will be taken care of through the app, whether that’s payment, or the scheduling of routine maintenance or repairs.”
Looking further towards the future, says Berno, the growing private lease market is also expected to fuel the expansion of car-sharing. “Indeed, it is our expectation that, in the future, many customers may choose to place their own lease cars on a car-sharing platform to lower their total cost of ownership, further fuelling the market.”