More and more UK drivers are choosing to lease their car so they can get a new or updated model every couple of years or so without spending thousands of pounds. Anyone who needs a bigger vehicle – to accommodate a growing family, for example, or who likes to stay abreast with new safety and environmental features – can do it without breaking the bank.
Despite leasing becoming a popular choice in the UK, many drivers aren’t used to the way it works and don’t know how to get the best deals and to get the most out of their lease. There’s lots of help online, but here are the main pointers.
Read the contract
The contract is right in front of you in black and white so it’s easy to understand and to refer back to. There are some less-obvious dos and don’ts, however, so before you sign that contract, pick up some invaluable tips here.
Negotiate the (theoretical) purchase price
Obviously, you want your monthly payment to be as low as possible and many lease companies offer decent terms so they can stay competitive in a fierce market. Your payment terms are also affected by your credit rating, as you can imagine, and also by the recommended purchase price of the car you want to lease. If you can reduce the sale price of the car, you will also bring down the monthly payments, so always give it a go.
Go over the terms and conditions again
You’ve already gone over the contract, but just give it another once-over to make sure you’ve got everything. If your deal seems to be too sweet to be true, then look at the small print – your mileage allowance might be too small for comfort, for example. If it’s at 10,000 miles and you’re planning a couple of road trips that year as well as your daily commute, you could go over your allowance and face painful charges. It’ll be worth it to bring the allowance up to 12,000 miles just to be on the safe side, but this will increase your monthly bill a bit (but not as much as the surcharges, which can be steep).
Stay with the car until the end of the lease and maybe longer
Terminating your lease agreement early is almost always a bad move. Your leasing company made the original deal with you in order to make a certain amount of money over the period of the lease. If you pull out of the agreement earlier than stipulated, your leasing company can charge you an early termination fee.
Think twice before making a big down-payment
It might seem like a good idea to make a big down-payment at the start of the contract to bring down the monthly rates, but this isn’t always the case. You still won’t own the car, regardless of the size of the down-payment and if it gets written off in an accident or stolen, you won’t be refunded for that deposit.