It's no secret that a certain appeal comes with driving the latest and greatest model of car. And with the cost of living now at an all-time high, many drivers in the UK are looking for more affordable car arrangements that allow them to drive only the best without having to deal with the hassle of making large down payments or trying to sell their vehicle a few years down the line.
Does this magical and possibly impossible arrangement exist? Let's investigate!
Introducing: The Lease Car
Car leasing exploded onto the scene in the early 90s when car makers Ford added this convenient arrangement to their list of options. By 1993, the car leasing industry had grown to be one of the most popular options for many car enthusiasts who wanted the option of driving the newest cars without the hassle and exorbitant costs associated with buying them.
Fast forward a few decades, and at least 20% to 30% of all cars on the UK's roads are now leased. And while this might not seem like much, it is still a fairly large market when you consider that many of these lease cars are for personal use.
So what is it that makes a lease car so attractive to potential lessees? And what are the things you need to know if you are considering leasing a car in the UK? Let's jump right in as we look at the UK car leasing arrangement in more detail.
The Benefits of Leasing a Car
To understand just what attracts so many people to leasing a car, it's necessary to look at what the benefits of this modern personal car arrangement are. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect when you lease a car:
- Lower Monthly Costs
Leasing a car is far cheaper than buying it outright. And in this day and age, who doesn't want to save a bit of cash? Road tax, sales tax, maintenance, and service costs are all included in the monthly cost of leasing a car, depending on which package you select when signing your lease agreement.
- A Newer Car More Often
Tired of driving the same old jalopy for years and years? Say goodbye to that old model and hello to the latest model of your favourite car at least every two years when you lease a car. Choose the lease term that suits your needs and your pocket, and you, too, could be driving a brand-new car every few years.
- Hassle-Free Benefits
Car leasing is a hassle-free option that involves you simply returning your car when you have come to the end of your lease agreement. Yes, you can ultimately choose to buy your vehicle, but you do not have to sit with the hassle of having to sell it before moving on to a newer, better model.
- Worry-Free Maintenance and Upkeep Benefits
Depending on your lease agreement, many lease companies include a maintenance and service package in your contract, giving you peace of mind that any costly maintenance or upkeep issues are covered.
- Warranty Benefits
Most vehicle manufacturers offer a three-year warranty. This is one of the more important benefits of car leasing, as any large maintenance issues will be covered under the manufacturer's warranty should something go wrong.
- Tax Benefits
Leasing a car for business use has the added benefit of being tax deductible. What could be better than getting money back for driving around and conducting your business?
But What are the Risks?
Just as there are many benefits, there are a few risks or negatives that you should be aware of if you want to make a more informed decision on whether leasing a car is the best option for you.
Here are the risks associated with leasing:
- You Don't Own the Vehicle
The first and possibly most obvious risk of leasing a car is that you do not own the vehicle. Yes, this can also be a benefit, but it does mean that you are responsible for the residual value of the car when you return it at the end of your lease agreement.
- Mileage Restrictions
Leasing companies often impose restrictions on the mileage that you are able to rack up with your lease car. While some have higher limits, others offer lower mileage restrictions that keep your monthly payments lower. Do note, however, that exceeding these mileage limits or restrictions will result in you paying additional costs at the end of your lease agreement.
- Upfront Payments
Some leasing companies require a downpayment to secure your lease. Thankfully this is not the case for all leasing companies.
So How Do I Go About Leasing a Car?
While we could go into detail about the process of leasing a car, we have chosen instead to share a few simple steps that could see you driving off in your brand-new leased car soon:
Step 1: Choose your vehicle
You can go to a dealer or visit a UK car leasing website and choose the vehicle of your dreams.
Step 2: The leasing company will calculate the residual value of the vehicle
This value will determine your monthly payments and also the value of the car at the end of the lease agreement should you decide to buy it.
Step 3: The monthly payments are determined
Monthly payments are calculated according to the following costs involved in leasing a car:
- The sale price of the vehicle
- The length of the car lease (either 24, 36, 48, or 60 months)
- Expected mileage
- Residual value (includes depreciation value)
- Taxes and fees (road and sales taxes)
Step 4: Negotiations
This is the exciting part, where you choose your bells and whistles, whether you are willing to pay extra for a maintenance or service package, and any other special requests you may have.
Step 5: The lease agreement is drawn up and signed.
Step 6: A debit order is set up for the full duration of the lease agreement.
Step 7: You will receive a copy of the rental agreement.
Step 8: You will receive your vehicle.
It really is as simple as that. Okay, maybe it will not be as easy as that, but it need not be a long, drawn-out process if you are dealing with a great leasing company that has your best interests at heart.
Car leasing is a great option for those who would like the advantage of driving a new vehicle every few years without the hassle and cost of buying and selling their vehicles. Now a popular car arrangement for many road users in the UK, car leasing is one of the best options that guarantee a smooth, incident-free ride while your car remains under warranty.
Give car leasing a try because we are fairly sure that once you do, you will never buy another car again.