Whether you have leased for years or are completely new to it, these top tips should help you navigate the overwhelming amount of information you can find about leasing online. Some simple steps from FVL can help to cut through the jargon and separate the leasing wheat from the waffling chaff!
Tip 1 – If it looks too good to be true then it is. (Unless it’s not!!).
Although this sounds confusing, it isn’t. Most leasing companies are watching each other closely and their pricing is likely to be similar. Some are obviously a little cheaper than others, and the larger and more established companies tend to secure bigger discounts and better rates but if one is offering something that is way cheaper than all the others, 99 times out of a hundred it cannot be done for one reason or another. There are exceptions on occasion, but it is worth being extra sceptical about anything that is out of the ordinary.
Tip 2 – Take a closer look at the website.
This may sound strange but, in this modern world where we are all using the internet so much, you would be surprised how much expertise you have in website design. Each day we all view sites that are constructed by big companies with big budgets that look slick and are easy to use. We also look at many sites that are. . . (how can I put this politely?) . . not made by big companies and are about as far from slick as you can imagine. You can tell a lot about the company you are dealing with by their public face, whether that be a shop front or salesman, and the same is true of websites. If the website looks good, is up to date, changed regularly and generally professional looking then the company you are dealing with will be too.
Tip 3 – Think about what you want before you search.
Because of the plethora of information available on the internet, it is easy to get confused in no time at all if you are unsure of what you are looking for. Try to narrow down the options before you search so that you know what car you are looking for and do not get distracted. Don’t worry about missing a good deal – a good sales person will direct you to any special offers if they are applicable.
Tip 4 – Make a judgement about the sales person
You are buying a car, not a loaf of bread, so the person you speak to at the leasing company should be interested, attentive and proactive. You should only deal with one person to save information being repeated or lost and they should help you achieve the best deal for you – not railroad you into anything. Beware of the sales person who just wants to fire figures on an email and does not take the time to listen to what you want.
Tip 5 – Get the mileage right.
It is always best to get the contracted mileage in a lease right at the start of the contract. You do not want to be paying for miles that you will never use or be hit with an excess mileage charge when the car goes back so it is worth sitting down and working out exactly what you need. If you are unsure, it is normally best to slightly underestimate your mileage as, with most finance companies, you can amend the mileage upwards during the contract and your payments will be amended accordingly. Please note, however, that you cannot amend the mileage down for a lesser payment.
Tip 6 – Don’t dismiss a Maintenance and Servicing Pack.
Many customers dismiss taking a maintenance and servicing package as part of their lease contract as it inflates their monthly cost and they think it will be cheaper doing it themselves. Think carefully about this as often it is not as simple as that. Taking this as part of your lease will, not only mean you don’t need to worry about finding the money for any servicing or replacement parts (including the tyres) on a one off basis, but also because it is so simple and easy – normally one call – to arrange any work. Compare the costs and have a good think about all the pros and cons – not just the bottom line.
Tip 7 – An admin fee is not always money for old rope.
Even a cursory look at the many leasing company websites on the internet will show you what a competitive industry it is. This means that most companies, in order to achieve the best prices for customers are working for no margin in their deals. Although we are all used to companies in other industries charging admin fees that we feel are unjustified, with a leasing company it is often their only income stream and allows them to give you the best service before, during and after your purchase. If a company is not charging you a fee you need to question not only where they are making their money, but also what kind of service you may receive.
Tip 8 – Beware the myths!
There are many myths about leasing a car, mostly propagated by people trying to sell cars for outright purchase. There are many but they include the assertion that finance companies make money by damage recharges at the end of contracts by billing you for every little scratch and stone chip at inflated prices, and the old chestnut of ‘throwing your money down the drain’ on something you never own. Both of these are just not true. The car leasing industry is regulated by the BVRLA who set down guideline for acceptable ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ on return of your vehicle and all finance companies abide by this. As for chucking your money away, think about how much you would lose from the depreciation of buying a new vehicle – it will be more than your lease payments.
Tip 9 – Make sure you are up to date with car tax changes.
If all of the changes that are happening over the next few years were listed below, this article could go on for 58 pages (believe me, I have read all the info!!) but the simple fact is that tax laws governing company car tax and contract hire are changing and, whether you are considering putting a lease car through your business or you are an employee weighing up whether to be part of a company car scheme or opt out, speak to a leasing company about the implications – we can save you money.
Tip 10 – Tell your friends and family.
We are sure once you have used First Vehicle Leasing you will have had a good experience and if you recommend us to your friends and family you can be eligible for a ‘Recommend a Friend Bonus’. You can, not only get yourself the car you want at a great price, but also earn yourself a reward! Speak to your FVL sales person for more details.