Should you lease a pre-reg car?

Whether you've heard of pre-registered cars or not, they can be one of the best value deals for your hard-earned cash.

We've pulled together a comprehensive guide to pre-reg cars, so you can go forth and lease, confident in the knowledge that you've got the right car for the best price. 

Eyeing up a pre-reg deal?

What is a pre-reg car?

‘Pre-reg’ (short for pre-registration) is a common term you might have heard banded around among sales people and car dealerships.

A pre-reg car is a new one that has already been registered directly to a dealership, broker or leasing company, instead of a member of the public.

Leasing a car on a pre-reg deal gives you a great opportunity to get your hands on a car that is brand-new, but for a fraction of the cost. They’re particularly good if you’re looking at car leasing because there’s no residual value hit from having an additional owner – but the benefit of lower monthly payments is clear.

Here at Carparison, we have a selection of pre-reg specials available so you can get a great deal on what’s essentially still a ‘new’ car.

Why do dealerships pre-register cars?

Lease funders often commit to buying a large volume of cars from a particular dealership with the view to sell them through various brokers.

Once the car is registered to the dealer, they will then be paid for by the funder.

Dealerships and manufacturers are able to achieve sales targets based on these registrations, and guarantee themselves an income at a time controlled by themselves. It removes some of the stock and income risk, and the lower prices are attractive to prospective buyers.

Essentially, this allows the dealership to offer a significant discount on the car as a pre-reg. 

The dealership gets paid, and you get an absolute bargain on a brand-new car.


What are the benefits of a pre-reg lease car deal?

If you lease a pre-registered car, you’ll be getting your hands on a brand-new car for a not-brand-new price.

Your vehicle might not be officially ‘new’, but if you lease a pre-reg car from us, it’ll have nothing but delivery miles on the clock. You’ll be getting that factory fresh feel, but without feeling the pinch in your pocket. 

With most lease deals lasting less than three years, there aren’t many downsides to leasing a pre-reg car. 

You’ll get incredible value out of the vehicle for a fraction of the cost if you were to get it completely new – not to mention the fact that you’re cutting out any long waits for a car to be ordered and delivered from the factory.

Pros of a pre-reg car lease

The main pros to leasing a pre-reg car are:

  • Cheaper monthly cost
  • In stock and ready to be delivered to your door
  • Factory fresh feel without the wait
  • Brand-new vehicle for a ‘used’ price

What are the negatives of leasing a pre-reg car?

If you are thinking about leasing a pre-reg car, there are several factors to consider. Some of these are down to personal preference, and what you want from your vehicle, and some are good practice.

One of the more important factors is the vehicle’s service and MOT schedule. 

Oftentimes these will run from the time the car was registered, and not the time that you buy it. For example, if the lease car was registered in March, but you don’t collect it until May, be prepared for your first MOT or service to come around sooner than you expected.

You also need to bear in mind the manufacturer’s warranty.

Warranties typically last for between three and seven years, and cover any unexpected mechanical issues that aren’t your fault. Manufacturer warranty will also kick in from the time that the car is registered, so you could be several months into the warranty period by the time you get behind the wheel.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you bolt on a maintenance package to your lease deal, all your servicing and routine maintenance costs are bundled into your monthly payment.

Another factor to consider is that a pre-reg car will have already been built.

You won’t be able to personalise an in-stock car lease like you would a factory order, where you are specifying exactly which bits and bobs you want, and then potentially waiting months for a build slot to open.

However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get your hands on the spec that you want, and it does mean that you could be behind the wheel in as little as two weeks with some of our pre-reg deals. 

Cons of pre-reg car leasing

There are several downsides to pre-reg cars. These include:

  • MOT and service schedules run from the time your car is registered
  • Manufacturer warranty starts when the car is registered
  • Fewer options for personalisation
  • A pre-reg car is not technically ‘new’
  • The car could have a slightly older plate

What does Carparison think?

Carparison’s Systems & Data Manager Simon says: 

“Pre-reg deals are ideal for people looking for a vehicle where the price has been protected from any potential increase and aren’t so fussed about the registration date.

“While it means that the vehicle could be on an older plate (especially around March and September when the plates change), this can allow dealers to secure discounts offered against a car. Often a pre-reg deal will also attract additional discount as the vehicles have already been taxed. 

“As part of our pricing and advertising process, we look to specifically highlight on our website if we are told a deal is for pre-reg cars, so you’re fully aware from the moment you enquire. Our leasing consultants will also make sure you know the registration date, so that you can consider servicing, MOT and warranty concerns.”

Want to get behind the wheel of your new car quicker than you can say 'Carparison'?