The BVRLA’s latest quarterly survey of its members found that the business car and van leasing fleet grew by 6.6% year-on-year in Q4 2016.

This comprised of 3.6% growth in the number of cars, and a 16.2% increase in the number of vans, and includes business contract hire and finance lease cars and vans.

The total car leasing fleet figure, consisting of personal contract hire, hire purchase, contract purchase, personal contract purchase, employee car ownership schemes and salary sacrifice products, grew at 12% year-on-year – personal contract hire contributed 49% of this growth.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “It’s great to see our members’ business lease fleet increasing, but the real growth is coming from personal contract hire. BVRLA members can tailor a personal contract hire arrangement to suit a driver’s monthly budget and include costs such as maintenance and replacement tyres, and it’s clear that more and more customers appreciate these benefits.”

The survey also found that the average lease car added to a member’s fleet in 2016 emitted just 110.8g/km CO2, more than 7% less than the average new car registered in 2016. Keaney added: “Once again, our members are leading the way when it comes to reducing emissions, but the data shows the first signs that CO2 reductions are slowing down. We believe this is a result of the Government’s motoring taxation strategy, and policymakers must address this issue by offering a progressive tax regime.”

Elsewhere, the association’s leasing broker statistics showed that in Q4 2016, the BVRLA’s leasing broker members had 26% more vehicles on contract than they did in Q4 2015, with vans showing 30% growth. According to the survey, leasing brokers signed 27% more new contracts in 2016 than they did in previous 12 months.

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Of the total contracts, 70.6% were car contracts and 29.4% were van contracts – this compared to 71.5% cars and 28.5% vans at the end of 2015. When examining leasing brokers’ car contracts, the data revealed that 93% were either leased through contract hire (46%) or personal contract hire (47%). This is the first time that personal contract hire has overtaken contract hire.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Our latest statistics show that leasing brokers are providing more and more consumers and businesses with access to affordable vehicle finance. As a lot of the growth is coming from a new audience – small businesses and consumers who are coming to leasing for the first time.”