Leasing a car is like leasing – or renting – anything else. If you rent a house or flat, you pay a deposit, then you get the use of it for an agreed period during which you pay a set amount each month. Once the contract ends, the property reverts back to the landlord.
And it's the same with car leasing. You pay a deposit – usually equivalent to three to six times the monthly payments you'd make for that make and model of car – and then you pay an agreed amount monthly. At the end of the deal, the car goes back to the finance company. And, just like with a property, you'll need to pay out if you've damaged anything.
It's hugely popular in the US, where more than a quarter of cars are leased (however, it works slightly differently in the US). But it's been slow to catch on in the UK, with fewer than 5% of consumers financing new cars this way, and virtually zero leasing used cars.
However, since the 2008 downturn, leasing's been growing in popularity, likely because monthly payments are low and it fits better into a budget than paying the larger monthly payments loans or hire purchase deals require to own the car.
Car leasing contracts typically run for two to four years. The length of the contract generally depends on you, and how long you want the car for, or how long you want to wait before getting your next brand spanking new car.
If you opt for a leasing deal, you need to choose your car first. It stands to reason that leasing a hatchback's going to be cheaper than a top-of-the-range 4x4 or luxury car.
Hopefully you'll have an idea of how much you have spare in your budget to spend on the car. So, research is important at this stage, to check that there are leasing deals out there for a car that you can afford. There's no point opting for a top-of-the-line BMW if you can't afford the monthly payments.
There are car leases out there that start from £99 per month, so there should be something out there to suit you, whatever your budget.
What happens at the end of the lease?
Once your agreed contract term has run out, two things can happen. The first is that you could choose to extend the lease on the car – it's worth contacting the finance company a few months before the end of the deal to check it will allow this, and whether it'll offer a discount on the monthly payment as it's now an older car.
Alternatively, you can choose to hand the car back. If it's in good nick, and you've stuck within the agreed mileage, then there'll be nothing else to pay. Usually the finance company will collect the car for free. Again, it's worth contacting it a few months before the end of the deal to arrange the handover – though it may contact you.
If you've gone over the mileage limit, then you'll need to pay a charge, which is usually between 3p and 10p per mile, but can be much more if you leased a premium car model.
Similarly, if it's not in good nick, you'll face a bill for that. What the finance company is looking for is a car in saleable condition. So, if it's covered in dinks and scrapes, then you're going to need to pay to make things right.
Remember! The car is owned by the finance company. You have no option to buy it, and you can't sell it.
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Leasing deals for Land Rover and Audi
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2020MY Range Rover Evoque P200 AWD Auto HSE
Yulong White / Ebony
Seoul Pearl / Cloud
Fixed Pan Roof £1100.00
Privacy Glass £350.00
Solar Attenuating Windscreen £215.00
Black Exterior Pack £640.00
Black Contract Roof £535.00
Surround Camera System £575.00
In Stock and available on PCH & Contract Hire.