The active companies on the market can be classified in four categories:
- The financial leasing companies
- The captive companies (dedicated to one manufacturer's products)
- The operational car leasing companies
- The brokers The market, in effect is not as rigourously partitioned as it might appear, especially as far as the first category is concerned. In fact, in the last few years, the financial leasing companies have widened their field of activity towards operational leasing, especially for cars.
Financial leasing companies
These companies mainly deal in financial leases, which means that their main area of risk is the credit risk. Their do not take industrial or technological risks. Most of them are belong to a financial group and their main objective is to develop services that are accessory to those offered by their holding company. Financial leasing companies constitute the largest group both in numbers and in volume, and they are members of the Belgian Leasing Association. A few of them, due to a car operational leasing activity, also belong to Renta.
These companies deal in both financial and operational leasing. They belong to industrial groups, manufacturers or importers of equipment goods for whom they act as a sales stimulation agent. These companies can be grouped in two sub-groups :
- companies that deal in vehicules (cars and trucks)
- companies that deal in computer equipment
The captive companies rank third on the leasing marked.
Operational Car Rental Companies
They specialize in operational leasing (short and long term) for cars and take on fairly important technological risks on cars (maintenance, insurance and resale values). They belong to Industrial or Financial Groups and work independantly from the other companies. They represent a growing part of the business and have taken the second place in the ranking. They are members of Renta.
They offer leasing solutions, often together with associated services for computer and communication equipment. They mainly belong to private groups. Most brokers refinance their leasing operations by re-leasing or their selling portfolio to financial leasing companies. Their market share is limited, but shows some potential.
The Association Belge de Leasing (ABL, Belgian Leasing Association) is essentially made up of the financial leasing companies.
Renta is made up of the the Companies dealing in operational leases for cars and trucks.
The only way to get overall turnover figures is to add the figures published by both associations. This however leads to the following problems :
a) the turnover of companies that belong to both associations is counted twice, as well as the leases done between companies of either association,
b) some of the turnover is not accounted for, i.e. :
- The turnover of companies that do not belong to either association.
- The coordination centres turnover.
- Cross-border leasing between a foreign lessor and a Belgian lessee. These operations are few in numbers, but high in individual value.
Production figures (in million EUR)
Statistics on Belgian car leasing production
On closer examination, the car leasing figures reveal important differences between the Belgian Leasing Association and those of Renta.
Ever since 1994, the turnover of the affiliated companies has grown without interruption, either expressed in Francs or in number of vehicles. This is without a doubt due to the succes of the operational lease formula ‘full services’ which is these companies’ main product. The same happened in all of Western Europe countries. However, some of this growth can also be explained by the growing number of companies becoming members of the association.