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Rising prices are making new cars unaffordable and fuelling an increase in leasing.

Select Car Leasing said it received more than 100,000 car leasing inquiries last year, up by over 70% on 2017.

The Reading-based company also delivered a total of over 15,000 vehicles, a figure it expects to rise to 25,000 by the end of 2020.

According to an independent national research study of 1,200 UK drivers conducted by Select, two thirds of motorists believe top-of-the-range cars like Audi, Mercedes and BMW are no longer affordable enough to buy outright.

Half of all drivers said they would like to change their car every three years or more frequently and almost two thirds said they just didn’t have the budget to do so.

Select Car Leasing director Mark Tongue said: “It is difficult for the average UK driver to get behind the wheel of a brand-new car, which means more and more are exploring different avenues.

“Speaking to drivers up and down the country, we found over half of them feel they are being ripped off whenever they have to buy or sell a car. Our latest figures show a clear change in consumer habits, and it is one we expect to increase in the future.”

According to figures from the Finance and Leasing Association, 90% of all new car sales involve finance, which is estimated to account for 2.4 million vehicles.

But more than half (53%) of motorists claim they are put off driving brand new vehicles because they would lose too much money through depreciation.

Now around 1.7 million people in the UK now lease a car personally according to the BVRLA. Tongue added: “Wage growth is only just coming back in line with inflation, house ownership is still a far-off dream for many and renting has become the norm for most under 40.

“People need to be really careful with their investments and cars are no different. “Personal car leasing is now a serious and increasingly common choice, helping consumers get a hassle free option that avoids the worry of dreaded car depreciation.

“Most new cars will lose at least half of their value in the first three years on the road. But instead of losing out, those who choose to lease a car, like our customers, simply drive away in a new car on a fixed monthly budget that suits both their income and needs without the additional problem of selling it at the end.”

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