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

Time 10:42 am, January 15, 2019

THE typical personal car leasing customer in 2018 was a 35-to-44-year-old male from London searching for a Volkswagen Golf.

That’s according to new research from, which pulled together the typical profile of a car leasing customer after analysing inquiry data from last year.

‘Golf John’ – as the leasing website calls him – searches for his car on an iPhone and prefers a 9 + 23, 10k lease deal, which in everyday parlance 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, Mercedes-Benz dominates the personal leasing landscape when it comes to manufacturers, 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 inquiries.

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.

Paul Harrison

‘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 per cent of all inquiries on – an upswing from 44 per cent last year – with diesel dipping to 45 per cent and alternatively fuelled vehicles at three per cent.

Latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association show that personal contract hire remains the fastest-growing form of new car finance, growing by three percentage points in the 12 months to October 2018 to account for 12 per cent of the value of the consumer new car finance market – up from nine per cent in 2018.

Leasing market leaders 2018

1. Mercedes-Benz
2. Volkswagen
3. BMW
4. Audi
5. Volvo
6. Land Rover
7. Nissan
8. Seat
9. Jaguar
10. Ford

New cars most inquired about in 2018

1. Volkswagen Golf
2. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
4. Volkswagen Tiguan
5. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
6. Audi A5
7. Nissan Qashqai
8. BMW 5 Series
9. Range Rover Velar
10. Audi A4

Top 10 leasing cities

1. London
2. Manchester
3. Birmingham
4. Leeds
5. Glasgow
6. Bristol
7. Liverpool
8. Nottingham
9. Edinburgh
10. Newcastle-upon-Tyne

MORE: Volkswagen cars proving popular with leasing customers, data shows

MORE: Finance and leasing companies reunited with £9m of seized vehicles

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