Two men sat inside the cabin of a car
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

If you've never leased a car before, but you've always wanted to make the switch, this is the guide for you.

Car leasing is a fab way to get behind the wheel of a brand-new car without having to fork out thousands of pounds, but if you've never leased a vehicle before it can be daunting. We've pulled together our top tips for car leasing so you don't have to worry.

What is car leasing?

Car leasing is very similar to renting a property. You can drive away with a new car for a set period, but you will never officially own the vehicle as you would never own the property. 

Theoretically, you could buy that property later down the line in some cases, but with car leasing, there is no option to buy the car, and it will be handed back to the lease funder at the end of your term. 

When you lease a car you will put down an initial rental and agree to the terms of your lease deal, which will include factors like mileage and term length. 

Taking out a car lease is an increasingly popular option for motorists. According to the BVRLA, via the Financial Times, there's an estimated five million lease cars currently on British roads.

Does it make sense to lease a car? 

Leasing a car is a fantastic method of getting behind the wheel of a new car for the fraction of the price. 

If you're not fussed about officially owning a car, and you like the sound of avoiding hefty upfront costs, leasing is the perfect way for you to get your hands on your next car.

Leasing gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing the type of car you want, your initial payment, annual mileage, and the monthly costs. And it removes any depreciation risk or the hassle of reselling your car as you simply hand the car back.

Leasing works well for those who like to change their car every few years as you benefit from the latest vehicles, safety features, and engines available on the market. 

Hassle-free driving

Many take up leasing as it offers them a way to benefit from hassle-free driving. 

Beyond just the initial freedom of personalising your contract hire terms, car leasing gives you the means to bundle your car costs into one monthly payment (which can even include maintenance costs). Just add insurance and fuel, and you're good to go. 

You don't even have to worry about road tax as that is already included in the price and is arranged by the lease funder.

For many of us, car leasing is a fantastic way to access newer, better, and cleaner cars than we could fund otherwise. Car leasing is motoring convenience and reliability without the initial investment required when buying a new car outright.  

Mercedes-benz wheel

How to get the best car lease deal

Don’t underestimate your mileage

At face value, a mileage limit can sound restrictive but that doesn’t need to be the case. 

When leasing a car, you will agree to a set figure of miles that you will drive each year. Here at Carparison, we offer lease deals for drivers who only complete 5,000 miles and for those who do upwards of 30,000. 

You have plenty of flexibility at this stage and there are a variety of options to find the right mileage for you. Honesty is - as ever - the best policy, as lease deals, like PCP deals, can come with excess mileage fees.

These can be as high as 30p per mile, which will soon add up if you go above and beyond your agreed figure. 

Ensure you set a reasonable mileage limit that allows for your daily commute and personal driving time outside of work - and don't forget those late-night trips to the supermarket. By allowing yourself higher mileage, there will be a small increase to your monthly payments, but it will save you money in the long run by ensuring you do not exceed your limit.

Consider maintenance packages for longer terms

Maintenance packages are a great way to spread the cost of your services and minimise the running costs that you may have to worry about further down the line, especially for those taking out long-term leases.

When you take out a car lease, you will still be responsible for maintaining the vehicle and that includes services and MOTs. 

We offer all our customers the chance to take advantage of our maintenance package – which can be added to the monthly cost of the car – that includes things like breakdown cover, tyre repairs, and a free wash and vacuum.

Take out GAP Insurance

GAP Insurance is a shrewd investment and is worth considering alongside your typical annual or monthly insurance. It protects you should the worst happen, and your car is stolen, declared a total loss, or written off.

It differs from your typical insurance because it pays out the difference between the current market value of your car and the original value of the car. This protects you against any unexpected losses made on the lease vehicle.

Inspect the car upon collection

Having your new car delivered straight to your door is an exciting moment, but it is important that you carefully inspect the car’s condition during this period. This will be your opportunity to flag up any scuffs or damage you may see.

Your lease car should arrive with you in perfect condition and damage incurred from delivery miles is extremely rare. 

Nevertheless, you risk being held accountable for any damage that is not spotted during the initial handover period, so it is important to do your due diligence alongside the delivery driver and mark any findings on your handover paperwork. 

Take care of the vehicle

It goes without saying, but it is important to remember that you do not own the vehicle, so you must take good care of it and maintain it to a high standard while it is in your hands.

That’s not to say you need to be cleaning it every other day, but when it comes to returning the car, it will need to be handed back in an acceptable condition.

Here at Carparison, we follow the BVRLA fair wear and tear guide for our car lease deals to outline the condition that we expect vehicles to return in.

We understand that over time your car will suffer wear and tear in various forms as you go about your daily life. However, you could face extra charges from the lease funder if the vehicle is below standard when it is returned.

clean interior

Plan ahead

The one major differences between leasing and a car finance deal is that you don't have the option to buy the car at the end of your term. This can work in your favour as you know exactly where you stand and you don’t have the worry of a large balloon payment at the end of your deal.

When you reach the end of your term, you simply hand the car back and have the freedom to pursue your next vehicle as you wish. 

If you do want to continue leasing when the time comes, you will need to put together another deposit, so it is important to keep one eye on the future when balancing your money and working out how much you can afford to pay each month. If you've got a particular car in mind, we suggest getting in touch with one of our leasing experts several months before the end of your lease so you can secure the right car at the right price.

Five benefits of car leasing

  1. Flexibility with initial rentals, term length, and mileage
  2. Drive a new car for a fraction of the cost
  3. Benefit from the latest engines and technology
  4. Stress-free driving
  5. Fixed monthly payments

We have a host of useful leasing guides and frequently asked questions on our website, should you require any further information.

If you would like to discuss our personal lease deals or our business contract hire offers, why not get in contact with a member of our team, they would be more than happy to help.