Diesel growth slows on fleet and Lex predicts it could continue to slow after pre-Budget statement, VW Golf retains title after two years of Ford dominance.
Lex has delivered more Volkswagen Golfs in 2004 than any other car on its 130,000 vehicle strong fleet.
After two years of Ford dominance with the Focus and Mondeo, the Golf beat allcomers to become the most popular car with Lex drivers in 2004.
The transition from Mark 4 to Mark 5 hasn't affected the Golf's fleet appeal, with the 130/140bhp GT TDi proving to be the driver's favourite, mixing power and economy with reasonable Benefit in Kind tax bills.
Honda continued its push into the corporate sector with both the Accord (in sixth place) and the Civic (in 10th place) making their presence felt on the Lex fleet. The Audi A3 also made its debut on the list at number eight. Vauxhall and Ford had four models between them in the top 10, while the BMW 3 series and VW Passat retained their places on the list.
2004 saw a slowing of diesel purchases by Lex. In 2003 50% of all car purchases were diesel compared to 56% in 2004. Lex believes the market may have seen a slowdown in drivers choosing diesels.
"For the past three years we have seen a different car at the top of our list, which shows that drivers are constantly re-evaluating the make and model of car they drive," explained Steve Jones, Lex Vehicle Leasing's Pricing Manager.
"We have seen diesel purchases stall a little over the past 12 months and while the share of our fleet is still growing we can see it beginning to plateau out. Recent changes announced by the Chancellor in his pre-Budget statement to add the 3% penalty to Euro 4 diesels from January 2006 could also see more drivers switching back into petrol next year," he added.
For 2005, Lex is already seeing a lot of interest in the new Focus, the new A4 and it anticipates huge in interest in the new BMW 3 series and VW Passat due later in the year.
"Fleet cars keep getting better and better at all levels of the company car hierarchy and the Golf will certainly have its work cut out to retain its number one position," said Jones.
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