Car Leasing

Found 7th Jan 2012
Hi. We are looking at changing my car in the next month or so and are looking at the possibility of leasing. Does any one have any experience of this (pro n cons) and can anyone recommend a company.

There seems to be loads on the web but not sure if theres better companys than others..


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I would be interested as well, its cheaper than PCP in some cases!
Im gonna lease my next car.

JTT is a bit of an expert on leasing
Shirley it is a waste as you'll never own it?
It definitely made me think, if all you intend to do is change every 2/3/4 years, its all about monthly cost..and cheapest is best.
I've been leasing a car for the last 3 years.

This was the first time I've leased personally and can totally recommend it. We got a brand new car, without a big deposit. Our term was for 3 years so we are just about to hand it back. We weren't bothered about owning the car at the end of it as we like the idea of a fixed monthly payment and a new car every 3-4 years.

We looked around at various websites and found the vehicle we wanted, a Honda CRV. Rather than buy from a site we went to the local dealer and asked if they could match the price. They did, so we did the deal with them.

You usually have to pay 3 monthly payments as your first payment. For example, if your monthly payment is going to be £100, your first payment would be £300.
This is what it means when you see "3+35" or "3+47". The 3 is the initial payment followed by either 35 or 47 payments of your normal monthly amount.

You will probably have to get the car serviced at a main dealer as this will be part of the terms and conditions of leasing the car. You cannot use your friendly local garage as you need to get the main dealer stamps in the service book. This then helps them to move the car at the end of the lease, "low mileage, full service history".

Mileage is usually limited to between 10-20k. Expect a larger monthly payment the greater the mileage. If you go over the agreed mileage you can expect to be charged anything for 2-15p per mile. I think that this is a vital piece of information to find out before you sign on the dotted line. If you think you might exceed the mileage limit, you can usually change it after the first 12 months of the lease but not within 6 months of the lease ending.

Metallic paint is sometimes a cost option so it is worth looking for deals that include this, otherwise you can have a very limited choice of colours.

When looking at prices online, make sure you are seeing the price with VAT included. Most sites are expecting you to be a business user, so they quote prices excluding VAT. There are many sites out there so try to check for like-for-like deals to find the best price.

Some deals are also only available to people in recipient of a company car allowance so it is worth checking before you start comparing prices. The deal you have seen on one site, might be the cheapest for this reason.

Not sure if I can name sites here, but I'll happily PM the OP of this topic if they are interested.

We get our next car at the end of March, we decided to look early due to delivery/ordering/manufacturer lead times. Glad we did as we only just managed to get a 1 week crossover where we have both cars.

The new car is coming from a site rather than a dealer this time. I did go to the local dealer but they couldn't get near the price I'd been quoted online. I thought that the online deal might have been too good to be true, but at the time of writing this, our order has been placed and the car is due at the end of March.

The sites will not be able to offer any kind of test drive as they are middle men and don't hold stock. The best way to get a test drive is to go to the dealer and just be honest. Tell them you are looking at leasing, ask for a test drive and then let them see what price they can offer. It is worth doing your homework first though, as you then know the cheapest price you can get the car you want online. Be prepared to walk away though as the dealer probably won't be able to match it.

Once you have the car, it might be worth looking for GAP insurance. Again there are lots of sites out there that can quote. In my experience, the dealer we got our current car from did offer GAP inurance, but it was very expensive compared to the quotes I got online. We went for a "return to invoice" as we wanted to be covered for the total cost of the car.

Some people will think that GAP isn't worth the paper its written on so my advice is to do your own research and see if you think you need it. Heaven forbid if you damage/crash the car and then are left out of pocket because your insurance company will only pay out the current market value of the car and not the actual value, remember the dealer wants to sell this car on at the end of the term... so will want more than the your normal car insurance might pay out. GAP pays the short-fall.

These are just my views and experiences, leasing isn't for everyone...
Edited by: "rob478" 14th Feb 2012
I got notified that some one liked my post above so I decided to post a little update based on my experience over the last 3 years and 6 months...

So, that car we got was a Mercedes C Class estate, a C220 CDI. This car goes back in March next year and I can say that the car has been superb over our term so far.

My comment about Gap Insurance almost became a life saver when the car got stolen. Our house got broken into and they managed to find the spare key after trashing the whole house. Came home to an empty drive and a broken window in the back door.... We got the car back, but I was so glad that I had GAP. As this was a leased car, I would still have been liable for the payments over the term of the lease, WITH OR WITHOUT possession of the car. Normal insurance would have covered some of the value of the car, but it would have been market value and NOT the invoice price of the car.

Luckily we did get the car back without damage, they had the key remember, with only the locks needing to be replaced/reprogrammed and the outstanding key removed from the system. The car was found just around the corner, literally a 5 minute drive away. I timed the drive to the street where it was found.

My car insurance company, who I won't name, but are named after a very large animal that never forgets, were next to useless. From the time the car was stolen to it being back on the drive was exactly a month!! A MONTH!! just to change the locks and sort out the keys!! I only spoke to my claim handler once and that was when he called me to introduce himself and give me his direct number. Never spoke to him again...

I constantly had to chase them to find out what was happening and to keep updated with progress. Suffice to say I no longer insured with them and will never be again!

Ok back to leasing...

Servicing I had done by my local dealer. I signed up to a service plan that offered 4 services over the 4 year term paying about £26-28 a month. This was to comply with the terms of the lease, with penalties on returning the car if this wasn't maintained.

Being a Mercedes, you get free roadside assistance (provided by Mondial) if you keep up with the servicing. I only had one call to get them out when the boot wouldn't lock. It would close itself and then spring open again. The guy that came plugged in the diagnostic laptop and couldn't find a problem. He secured the boot and then we drove in convoy to my dealer to get them to look at it. Being a Sunday they were closed but we left it in the compound for the next day. Normally I would have been entitled to a replacement car, under the scheme, till I got mine back, but I didn't have the paper part of my license to hand. I accepted a lift back home. Didn't need the car so it wasn't an issue.

Dealer looked at the boot and couldn't find the issue, somehow it had fixed itself while in the compound. Good.

What wasn't good was the dent that had appeared on the boot lid while in their care. It took lots of phone calls to the service manager and Mondial to get this fixed. I got a local paintless dent repair guy out and he billed them directly. Problem sorted.

While I've had the car it has been superb. I'd recommend leasing if you don't want the hassle and expense of having a new car.

Looking at the new Skoda Superb next...
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