The figure of 42% is significantly higher than it was three years ago, the European Fleet Lessor Database 2004 produced by Datamonitor shows.
The study found that in all but the UK, due to a lack of major domestic vehicle manufacturers, the other countries covered - France, Germany, Italy and Spain - have at least a 40% penetration. Executives at business information company Datamonitor believe this situation for operational leasing, the technical name for contract hire, is likely to continue.
They say vehicle manufacturers are keen to source more information on their end users while many banks have pulled out of the fleet leasing sector because margins are not high enough compared to other investment avenues.
Datamonitor fleet analyst Zafar Currimbhoy said: 'One of the key competitive advantages that banks possess over vehicle manufacturers is the relationships that banks have developed with their fleet clients over many years. Attracting this customer base will be a key challenge for vehicle manufacturers, although not impossible - VW just bought the customers.
'Given all of the above, it seems that the odds are stacked in favour of the vehicle manufacturers although given the competitive nature of the fleet market, their share is likely to creep up than to leap forward.'
Examples of multi-marque companies operated by manufacturers include Alphabet, owned by BMW, Interleasing (UK) and Masterlease (Europe), owned by GMAC, and LeasePlan, bought last year by VW and partners.
For further details, contact Krishna Rao on 020 7675 7271.VEHICLE manufacturers control almost half of all operational leasing companies in Europe's top five company car markets, new research reveals.
Leasing companies in Europe's top five company car markets, new research reveals.
Share of operational leasing market by industry type 2004
France Germany Italy Spain UK Europe
Manufacturer 41.7% 47% 55.6% 40.9% 34.1% 41.9%
Bank 46.5% 31% 40.7% 49% 58.6% 47.1%
Independent 11.8% 22% 3.7% 10.2% 7.3% 11%