Finding the best least deal
Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt

Sarah is the Head of Marketing and she's tasked with keeping the fantastic marketing team in line. She's probably the reason you've heard of us, and her wealth of marketing experience means that no challenge is too big.

What factors might change the price of my lease car?

It’s one of the biggest benefits of car leasing: you can tailor every aspect of the lease deal to suit you. Whether you want a longer lease, a smaller initial deposit, or more mileage, you can customise your lease accordingly.

But the big question is – how do these choices affect the overall price?

The way you tailor your lease will have an impact on your monthly payment. While some elements – like annual mileage – will be fixed depending on your driving requirements, flexibility around other factors, like term and model, could save you some serious cash.

The first step towards getting the best car lease deal is understanding the ins and outs of car leasing. 

Once you’re aware of all the different factors that contribute to the cost of your lease, it’s easier to work out how you can either get a more desirable car in your budget, or to save on the overall cost.

Luckily for you, we’ve broken down the various factors that go into the price of your lease, so you can get the right car for the right price.

Mercedes-Benz lease

How does the car I’m leasing affect the lease price?

With a car lease, you’re paying for the vehicle’s depreciation, rather than the overall price of the car. 

The depreciation is the difference in the cost of the vehicle at the beginning of the lease, compared to what it’s worth when your contract ends. As higher-ticket cars have more value to lose, these will cost more to lease. Equally, cars that devalue quickly will cost more to lease than those that have a strong resale value.

Understanding what the car you want could be worth two to four years down the line is a good starting point when you’re shopping for the right lease deal.

This is because, in theory, a £50,000 car that’s worth £30,000 after three years could cost the same to lease as a £25,000 one that depreciates to £5,000, with both cars losing £20,000 in value.

So, opting for a car that holds its value over a car that holds your heart could make your monthly lease payments a lot lower. But we're here to try and tick both boxes!

A vehicle’s depreciation is dependent on a number of factors including brand reputation, fuel economy, safety standards and whether it’s the latest model. As it currently stands, electric and hybrid vehicles tend to depreciate less, as do SUVs and hatchbacks thanks to their growing popularity.

blue BMW driving

How does the lease term affect the lease price?

When you’re searching for your perfect lease deal, you’re likely to find contract lengths of either 24, 36 or 48 months. Short-term lease deals of either 12 or 18 months are sometimes available, but these are less frequent compared to the longer contracts.

The length of your lease will affect your monthly fee because the rate of depreciation changes over a car’s lifetime.

Vehicles tend to depreciate quicker in their first few years of ownership, and slows as the car gets older. This means that taking out a long term lease contract can reduce your monthly fee. For example, a Hyundai Tucson lease on a 36 month lease is currently nearly £20 a month more expensive than one on a 48 month lease.*

However, this isn’t always a given, and there are times when the monthly payments can be smaller on shorter-term leases.

This could be because there’s a new model release due, or mileage thresholds, or because the deal is a special offer applied by the funder. While you can customise all the lease deals we advertise on site, they will always default to the lowest possible rate and the terms applicable to that.

In other words, if a vehicle is cheaper per month on a 24 month contract – as with our current Tesla Model Y lease deal – you’ll know about it.

*Price correct at time of publication

Volkswagen golf lease

How does the initial payment affect the lease price?

You’ll pay for the cost of your lease car with what’s called the ‘initial rental’, followed by a set number of monthly payments – much like with a phone contract. The more you pay upfront, the smaller this monthly cost will be, and vice versa.

The only factor affecting this are the fees the funder applies to the lease. Although rare, some funders do increase their fees on leases with a smaller upfront payment as this effectively increases the amount you’re borrowing. 

If bringing down the cost of your fixed payments is something that’s important to you, then putting down more money upfront could save you money. However, in most cases, the size of your initial payment can be decided based on the repayment structure that best suits you.

Your initial rental will be a multiplication of your monthly fee in increments of 1, 3, 6, 9 or, in some cases, 12. 

You can’t request to invest an amount outside of these totals. For this reason, you’ll see lease profiles described as ‘9+23’, or ‘6+35’, or ‘3+47’ etc. The first figure refers to the initial payment, and the second to the length of your lease, minus the first month.

For example, if your preferred lease profile is 9+23, and the monthly fee is £249, you would expect to pay an initial payment of £2,241 (9 x £249), followed by the 23 monthly payments of £249. You can easily work out the total cost of the lease by multiplying the monthly lease cost by the total payments made.

In this case, it would be £249 x 32 (9+23), meaning the overall cost is £7,968. The actual length of the lease is also made clear – in this case it’s 24 months. You’re paying the equivalent of nine months upfront, followed by 23 months of normal payments.

How does mileage affect the lease price?

Because mileage is directly linked to the value of the vehicle, the greater the annual mileage on the lease, the greater the monthly cost is likely to be. 

Making sure you’re as accurate as you can be about the mileage you’ll cover during the lease will help to keep costs down.

It’ll prevent you from overpaying for your lease: either for miles you haven’t used, or for charges on miles travelled beyond your contract. You’ll be charged an excess mileage fee for going over your agreed limit, which can vary depending on your funder. There might be the option to increase your mileage limit during your lease – but for this you’d need to contract your funder directly, and it could affect your monthly price.

When estimating your mileage, our recommendation is to calculate how far you travel during an average week and multiply this by 52. It’s good practice to add an additional 5% on top, to account for unplanned trips.

As with terms, special discounts can be applied to certain mileages which might mean you could have more inclusive miles for less money. As always, this will be displayed on site because you’ll be defaulted automatically to the terms returning the cheapest price.

Mileage accuracy

How does the automotive industry affect the lease price?

Within the leasing world, the best lease deals can change more frequently than we can advertise them.

Although a fair representation will be visible in our top offers, our leasing consultants are always in the best position to know the models that are currently returning the best lease rates.

On top of that, our dedicated – and if we do say so ourselves, phenomenal – Pricing team are constantly scouring the market and our dealer contacts for exclusive rates. Sometimes this could be a negotiated discount on a committed batch of cars, while we also periodically pre-register vehicles to secure great rates.

Make the most of your leasing consultant – they’ve got the knowledge you need to get yourself the best deal, so be sure to ask them any questions you might have about your lease.

Remember these five tips for getting the best lease deal

  1. Choose a car that holds its value.
  2. Be flexible on term.
  3. Pay more upfront to have smaller monthly payments.
  4. Be accurate with your annual mileage.
  5. Ask your leasing consultant for their top offers.