Former HR Owen chief executive Joe Doyle has joined Zenith as managing director of its first direct-to-consumer car leasing offer, ZenAuto.
He will lead a dedicated team of 40 as the business gears up for rapid expansion.
Zenith plans to grow ZenAuto to meet increasing demand from drivers for personal leasing options. It launched in March with all leading manufacturers on its site and is updating it regularly with new offers.
The business operates direct to consumers and not via brokers to ensure a high level of service can be provided, says Zenith.
ZenAuto provides personal leasing; with personal contract hire (PCH) the driver pays a fixed lease cost over an agreed term and then returns the car at the end of the contract.
It says it expects rapid growth of PCH in the consumer market as motorists move away from traditional ownership models.
Tim Buchan, chief executive of Zenith, said: “ZenAuto is designed to make it easy for drivers to find and lease their next vehicle.
“We think that this, along with an increasing trend to borrow or rent things rather than own them, and the compelling value that leasing offers for many drivers makes for a significant opportunity to grow PCH’s share of the market.
“We anticipate over one million new PCH agreements in the market by 2022.”
Buyers can browse all makes and models online, use a configuration tool to specify the car to their exact requirements, get an instant price with flexibility on initial payments, length of contract and mileage. Road tax and breakdown cover are included as standard and a package to cover tyres and servicing can be added.
According to industry trade body British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), personal leasing grew by 14% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to a 1% overall decline in the leasing sector.