Meager are the hopes for car leasing in Hungary following last year, the worst in the market's history.
The number of new leasing contracts in the first nine months of last year was 79,887, 80% less than a year before, the latest statistics of the Hungarian Association of Leasing and Financing Companies show, while the number of new car and small utility-vehicles registrations decreased by 50%. In the whole of last year, 55,874 new cars and 9,617 small utility-vehicles were registered in Hungary, 61% and 49% less, respectively, than in 2008.
Leasing companies signed new contracts worth HUF 158.4 billion (€587.66 million) in Q1-Q3 last year, lower than the value reached, HUF 174.5 billion, in Q3 of 2008, deemed the last “peacetime” quarter before the crisis.
The scene has changed since the end of 2008, when companies simply could not find the funds on the market to finance their operations. Now rather car buyers are intimidated by the cost of leasing and the limbo surrounding forex-based loans. What did not change is that in most cases people are buying only if they can settle the purchase in cash, market experts told economic daily Napi Gazdaság on Monday.
There was probably an improvement in Q4 of last year, but this is misleading because the year-on-year base was established at the time of an almost total market freeze, experts say. This year, new regulations requiring larger down payments will not help the leasing market either. A small consolation is that maturities can go up to 7 years. Earlier, the National Bank of Hungary wanted to limit maturities to 5 years, whereas leasing companies wanted 8 years. (MTI-ECONEWS)