Leasing companies; can you trust them? Are they reliable? We’ve heard so many stories about bad experiences. We understand that dealing with a leasing company for the first time can be daunting. And the reality is that some leasing companies just aren’t trustworthy. It’s a fact, a sad one, but a fact nonetheless. So, how can you tell if your leasing company can be trusted?
One of the most important ways is by looking at their accreditations and memberships.
If your leasing company is accredited, then you can eliminate the fear that you will be going through an untrustworthy company. We’ve talked with thousands of customers about how to be more informed and how to make the right decisions about leasing and leasing companies. So we’ve written an article about what accreditation’s to look for when looking at leasing companies, and what accreditations will ensure that you get the best lease deal.
What accreditations will help me choose a leasing company?
Choosing a leasing company is an important part of the leasing process, and looking at their accreditation’s should help you decide.
Is the leasing company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?
It is illegal for a broker to offer any advice, finance quotes or take an order of an individual, a partnership with less than 4 partners, or a sole trader unless they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
It also means that, as with FCA rules, the leasing company must ensure that their staff members refresh their knowledge and update their qualifications regularly. An FCA regulated company is obliged to monitor their employees and ensure that there is no mis-selling, and no nasty pressure selling either.
If the Financial Conduct Authority regulates your leasing company, then they will be following the ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ principles which means that your rights as a customer are protected. The protection is in place for private clients, sole traders and partnerships. However, even if you are a Ltd. Company, you are more likely to get a better experience from employees well trained to achieve the FCA requirements.
If you have a complaint regarding the sale of your finance agreement, then this can be escalated to the FCA. They will investigate, conduct checks and audits. Ultimately, they have the authority to close a business down if they are deemed to be mis-selling or failing to meet compliance standards. In some cases, poor conduct can result in imprisonment and significant financial penalty. So you can be sure that if you go through a company regulated by the FCA, you will be dealing with a company that is completely transparent.
Car leasing can be quite complicated, so it is imperative that you get accurate information. If the company is FCA regulated they should state this on their website, but it’s always best to ask when you first make contact with the company.
Is the leasing company a member of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association?
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVLRA) is the trade body for Vehicle Rental and Leasing in the UK. They set the pre-agreed standard for the condition of the vehicle on its return. This should be provided by your vehicle broker at the start of your lease agreement. It will save you the risk of incurring extra charges at the end of your agreement.
All BVRLA members must obey the Code of Conduct. This means you benefit from the highest standard of service, accurate and transparent information, and fair terms and conditions.
BVRLA members are inspected to ensure that they keep the BVRLA standards. This includes checking that they;
- Provide safe and roadworthy vehicles
- Use accurate advertising
- Give clear information about their products and services
- Have all the required licenses
- Act as agents for – or have a direct relationship with – at least two leasing companies
- Have a track record of strong customer service
If you have a complaint, and you don’t feel your leasing company resolved the issue, you can raise your complaint with the BVRLA. They will then investigate how the leasing company have treated your complaint. They can get involved if they do not feel that the leasing company has handled the situation in line with the industry trade standard. So, as you can see, there are significant benefits to ensuring the leasing company you deal with is a member of the BVRLA. Not enough information head over to our article today.
Are the lease company’s staff Specialist Automotive Finance experts?
The Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) qualification was introduced by the Finance and Leasing Association. Its aim was to help build confidence in the automotive industry.
To become a SAF expert, you must pass their competency test. This means that if you are speaking to a SAF expert they will have up to date knowledge of all car finance options. Therefore, you will receive accurate advice and recommendations. The test must be taken every 12 months to ensure that their knowledge is up to date.
You should see the SAF logo on emails and they will also have a certificate to show that they are SAF experts. All SAF approved companies are added to the FLA’s dealer directory, which you can find here.
When considering lease options, you don’t only need expertise on what cars to recommend. You need to know you are speaking with someone who has a deep understanding of the finance options available to you. This will save you money and remove the risk of disappointment during or at the end of your agreement.
There is no doubt that if you find a great leasing company who has the above accreditations, then getting a new car will be a highly enjoyable experience. If you are in doubt about a company’s accreditations, don’t hesitate to ask them. Ultimately, accreditations are important. And to ensure that you get the treatment you deserve as a customer, your leasing company should be able to boast a number of accreditations.
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