Volkswagen Ireland has introduced a 0% finance offer across its range of passenger cars for a limited period.

The decision to offer 0% finance on Hire Purchase agreements across the Volkswagen range comes on the back of a successful first quarter for the brand.

Volkswagen currently commands 12.4% of the market, almost 2% ahead of its nearest competitor, Toyota.

Paul Burke, Operations Director for Volkswagen Group Ireland, said: "Volkswagen continues to be the most popular passenger car brand in Ireland.

"However, we know that many potential customers are struggling to put finance in place with many banks reluctant to lend.

"Our customers have become more astute and recognise that by availing of a finance offer from Volkswagen bank they are able to access a more attractive, flexible finance offer."

VW Bank has been operating in Ireland since 2008 and offers finance arrangements across the Volkswagen Group.

It currently offers finance through Hire Purchase (HP) agreements or PCP's (Personal Contract Plans).

A Personal Contract Plan is a fixed rate, fixed term car funding arrangement with a guaranteed minimum future value underwritten for the car.

This value is deferred to the end of the loan, reducing monthly payments during the term of the finance arrangement.

At the end of the term the customer can decide to pay off the balance or give the car back and enter into a new agreement with a new model.

The typical term for a finance arrangement with Volkswagen bank is approximately 40 months – this has reduced from 51 months – which was the normal term in 2008.

Amounts borrowed have also reduced in the past five years, with customers now borrowing, on average €14,700, a reduction of €1,000 on the average sum borrowed in 2008.