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Typical car leasing customer? Forget Mondeo Man, it’s Golf John

The typical personal car leasing customer in 2018 was a 35 to 44-year-old male from London searching for a Volkswagen Golf, according to new research from

Analysing enquiry data from 2018, the new car marketplace has pulled together the typical profile of a car leasing customer. Golf John, as calls him, searches for his new car on an iPhone and prefers a 9 + 23, 10k lease deal, which means he likes to pay a larger upfront amount to keep his monthly payments low.

Although the Volkswagen Golf is the most popular car to lease, when it comes to manufacturers Mercedes dominates the personal leasing landscape, with the A-Class, C-Class and E-class all in the top five most popular cars of last year.

In fact, the three-pointed star has increased market share at the top in 2018, accounting for one in five leasing enquiries.

Commenting on 2018’s statistics, Paul Harrison, Head of Strategic Partnerships at, said: “The Volkswagen Golf has been at the top of the leasing charts for a number of years. Although contract hire has been most popular among younger men, like Golf John, it’s becoming more and more mainstream, we’re seeing growth in popularity across the board – from millennials and mums to empty nesters.

“At manufacturer level, 2018 was another great year for Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, and Audi. However, Volvo has shown it is becoming a powerful force in the personal leasing market, with award-winning cars, improving residuals and more attractive lease prices than ever before.”

Diesel also declined for the first time in 2018. Petrol now accounts for 52% of all enquiries on, an upswing from 44% last year, with diesel dipping to 45%, and alternatively-fuelled vehicles 3.1%.

However, the decline in diesel is not as drastic in the leasing market as it is for all new car registrations. According to the SMMT, the diesel sector accounted for just 29.5% of new car registrations in 2018. This would indicate that the short-term nature of personal contract hire means consumers are less likely to ditch diesel if they are only going to be driving the vehicle for the next two to three years.

Latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association show that personal contract hire remains the fastest growing form of new car finance, growing 5% in the 12 months to October 2018 to account for 12% of the value of the consumer new car finance market – up from 9% in 2018. Hire purchase continued to fall out of favour, falling 4% over the same period.

Leasing market leaders 2018:






Land Rover





Most enquired new cars in 2018:

Volkswagen Golf

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Volkswagen Tiguan

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Audi A5

Nissan Qashqai

BMW 5 Series

Range Rover Velar

Audi A4

Top 10 leasing cities:











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