Fleet News

Leasing superleague is emerging

THE long predicted superleague of contract hire and leasing companies appears to be taking shape as Fleet News publishes its fifth Top 40 table of UK contract hire companies. This annual survey of the contract hire industry has identified a breakaway group of four companies with fleets of over 70,000 vehicles, followed by a pack with between 33,000 and 50,000 vehicles, and then a drop to 20,000 units where the rest of the market begins.

Lex Vehicle Leasing, for example, has added at least 1,000 vehicles a month to its fleet since March 1996, but this was only just enough to maintain number one spot in the Top 40.

Hot on its heels was GE Capital Fleet Services which has rapidly fulfilled GE's corporate philosophy of being one of the top two players in whichever market it is involved in through timely acquisitions - of Avis Fleet Services, Leasecontracts, and most recently BRS Car Lease.

Overall, the Top 40 now counts over 950,000 vehicles, compared to 837,490 last year, although the minimum qualifying size has fallen to a more realistic looking 5,800 vehicles, compared to 7,000 last year. But just as the major companies are expanding, so a host of new entrants is preparing to tackle the market, ensuring pressure on the small and medium sized companies remains intense.

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