Despite sales of new diesel cars tumbling by more than 300,000 vehicles this year, enquiries for leasing of diesel cars is up by 13% compared with 2017, and diesels still remain the most popular vehicles to lease.

The numbers come from new research carried out by vantage, and it believes the increasing popularity of leasing diesel models is because the lender or broker takes on ownership of the vehicle, so it is risk free for the customer, allowing them to select the best car for the job without worrying about the future.

“Diesels have proved extremely popular with drivers over the last decade or so, but given the concerns over their environmental performance, potential emission charges and falling residuals, sales of new diesels have fallen dramatically,” commented James Buttrick from Vantage Leasing.

“However, as our latest research shows, many motorists are still keen to benefit from the performance of a diesel vehicle but are looking to leasing as a way of avoiding any falling residual prices.”

The increasing popularity of diesel leasing contrasts sharply with data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which shows that year-to-date new car diesel sales slumped from 1,008,323 in 2017 to just 707,702 in 2018.