Most people think car leasing is pretty complicated and I get why they think that. It’s full of buzzwords and jargon like Guaranteed Minimum Future Value, Guaranteed Asset Protection and P11D values, which no one really understands.
Well, that’s all about to change!
In this section, I'll teach you everything you need to know to go from looking to leasing. Let’s get started.
The Car Leasing Ordering Process
When you break it down, there’s only five basic steps in the car leasing ordering process. They are:
- Ask for a quote
- Complete a credit check
- Confirm your order
- Sign your finance agreement
- Confirm delivery
Seriously, that’s kind of it. You get a quote, pass your credit check, place your order, sign your finance agreement and, finally, take delivery of your new car.
Admittedly, things are a touch more complicated in practice. For a more in-depth look, check out our blog ‘How Does the Car Leasing Ordering Process Work?'.
Car Leasing Delivery Lead Times
I get it, you want your new car as soon as possible. However, when you’re at the back of a 6,000-car backlog and the factory is in Brazil, you might be waiting a while.
In practice, delivery lead times can vary between a couple of days and several months. How long your new car takes depends on a bunch of stuff like stock allocation (if the broker has any fully manufactured cars in showrooms), model demand and the time of year to think about.
To dig into the nitty gritty of lead times, give this blog a read: ‘Understanding Lease Car Delivery Lead Times’.
If you’re in a rush and just need a quick estimate, here’s what we tell people when they ask us.
- Factory Orders: If you’re ordering from a factory, your car is usually delivered in between 2 weeks and 6 months. Unless you're ordering from a factory down the road, it's likely to be closer to the six-month mark.
- In Stock Orders: If you’re ordering an in stock car (that’s a car that’s already been manufactured), it’s usually delivered in between 2 weeks and 4 weeks. For cancelled orders, however, your lead time could be as low as a couple of days.
Optional Extras and Car Leasing
“Can I order a new car on a lease with optional extras?” This is a question we get asked a lot. The short answer is: Yes!
For the long answer, check out my blog post ‘Can You Add Extras to a Lease Car?’
The whole issue of optional extras is actually really interesting. Some folk think it's really unfair because you pay the full retail price for the add-on but you only get to use it for a few years.
Personally, I think it’s up to you.
If you’re happy paying a hundred quid to have parking sensors or leather seats for a few years, that’s all there is to it. No one else should tell you that your decision is wrong.
Car Leasing and Credit History
Like credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, a car lease is a serious financial commitment. At the end of the day, you’re agreeing to pay a set amount every month for up to four years.
To check that you’re to keep up with your payments, your leasing broker will perform a credit check. To do this, your leasing broker will contact one of the UK’s three main credit reference agencies — Equifax, Experian or Callcredit — and obtain a copy of your credit score.
Funders (the people who actually buy the car) will ask for a reasonably good credit score. (Usually they’ll ask for a score of good, very good or excellent.)
If you get knocked back from a credit check, it’s worth investigating your record at credit reference agencies. If there’s a problem or inaccuracy, you might be able to appeal the decision and get your application accepted.
For a fuller investigation of car leasing and credit scores, check out our blog 'Can You Lease a Car with Poor Credit?'
Getting out of a Lease
Car leasing deals usually run for two, three or four years. However, sometimes you’ll need to exit your deal early.
Often this is because of changing personal or financial circumstances but that’s not always the case.
Unfortunately, getting out of a lease early is pretty tricky. You see, funders put up a big initial investment by buying the car outright and only start to turn a profit mid-way through your deal. If you walk away too early, you’re leaving them out of pocket.
So getting out of a deal tends to involve paying something.
Usually, funders will ask for 50% of all outstanding rentals. And on top of that you might also have to pay an early termination charge.
For more detail on getting out of your deal before your contract runs out, have a read of our blog 'What Are My Options for Getting out of a Lease?'
The End of Your Car Lease
Around six months before the end of your lease, your leasing broker will get in touch to notify you that your lease is coming to an end. During this call, your leasing broker will arrange a date for someone to come out and collect your car.
Before you return your car, I strongly advise that you prep it for collection. Check over every bodywork panel for damage and if it exceeds the BVLRA’s definition of fair wear and tear, get it repaired yourself. If you let the finance company order the repairs, it will cost a load more than doing it yourself.
If you want to keep your car for longer, get in touch with your leasing broker and finance company as early as possible to negotiate a lease extension or post-lease purchase.
For all the info on how to handle the end of your lease, check out our blog 'What Do You Do at the End of a Car Lease?'