A MOTOR group is hoping to drive a new way of leasing cars at its newly-opened Blackburn showroom.

Hippo Motor Group opened what bosses say is the UK’s first specialist car leasing centre in Trident Way.

Hundreds of customers cast their eyes over some of the 700 vehicles in the forecourt during the centre’s opening weekend.

Tom Preston,from Hippo Motor Group, said: “This really is a first for the industry.

“For so long now, we, like many others have been receiving and dealing with thousands of online enquiries.

“This traditional model can often come with a lead time of four to eight weeks depending on the specification of the vehicles wanted.

“Now, we are offering customers a more ‘touchy feely’ experience, where those interested in leasing can gain advice from our team of specialists, familiarise themselves with the car’s features and even take it for a test drive, just like you would when buying from a dealership,” said Mr Preston.

“If they see the car they want, they have the opportunity to take it away on the day.

“It’s all about creating a better customer experience.”

Mr Preston said customers who don’t see anything they like can still browse and enquire about the thousands of vehicles available on the company’s website and discuss their options in person with one of the specialists at the showroom.

Sales manager Greg Wolfenden said the opening weekend had been a success and hoped East Lancashire would be at the forefront of changing the way people lease vehicles.

Mr Wolfenden said: “It has been very busy.

“Lots of people have been in to see the UK’s first walk-in leasing department.

“A lot of leasing is done online but we are trying something different.”

Every car deal signed at the weekend was eligible for £100 cashback and each customer was entered into a £1,000 prize draw.