What are the positives and negatives of car leasing?

We look at the pros and cons of car leasing when compared to car purchase

  • What are the advantages of car leasing?
  • What are the disadvantages of car leasing?
  • Is car leasing for me?

Car leasing isn’t for everyone, in the same way that not everyone wants to purchase their car. That said, there are huge benefits to both but it all depends on what you want out of your car and what suits your situation the best.

So should you lease or purchase a vehicle? What are the pluses and minuses of car leasing over car purchasing?

In this article, we go over the good points and the bad points of leasing when compared to car purchasing.

What are the advantages of vehicle leasing?

If you are looking to lease a vehicle then it’s important to have all the information at your fingertips. We have put together a list of some of the advantages of leasing a vehicle rather than purchasing one.

Audi

You don’t own the car

The reason this is an advantage is that someone else is taking responsibility for the depreciation. Depreciation is when a car loses its value. All cars depreciate, it’s simply what happens when you drive the car. There are also other things that affect depreciation such as the market and any potential scandals that may have hit the manufacturer.

This means that when you come to resell your vehicle you will lose money on it. The amount you will lose varies, but it can still be painful when you paid so much money for it.

However, if you lease a car, then you don’t have that responsibility. When you have a lease car you hand the car back at the end of the contract without having to think about disposing of the vehicle. The monthly payments that you make during your lease contract are fixed, so are not affected by the market, the economy or even whether the vehicle manufacturer is still in business, your monthly payments will stay the same and selling the car is not your responsibility.

You get a new car every few years

Is your current vehicle not everything you dreamed it would be? Found out there’s a new model coming out soon? Fear not, with a lease, you get to renew your car every few years.

At the end of your lease contract, you hand the car back, and simply get a new one. You can arrange it so your lease car goes back at the same time as your brand new car is delivered.

This is appealing to those who like to have the latest car with the latest technology and the latest safety equipment, but don’t want to have to go through the re-selling and the buying process all over again.

It is also very appealing to businesses. If you provide your employees with brand new vehicles every few years then this not only saves money on things such as repairs and fuel (as modern cars are more fuel-efficient) but it also raises morale and keeps the best employees at your company. After all, who doesn’t want to drive around in a brand new car every few years? Also, it looks great for company image if your employees are driving around in the latest models.

All your servicing and maintenance costs are in one monthly payment

When you lease a car, you can have the option of a maintenance agreement. This covers all the servicing costs for the duration of your lease.

When you have a lease car, you have to get it serviced. This is in line with the terms and conditions you agree to in your contract and it is recommended that it’s at a franchised dealership. As you are aware, getting a regular service can cost, and you might not necessarily want to part with that much money in one hit.

mechanic working on car engine

Which is where the maintenance agreement comes in. A maintenance agreement is an additional cost on top of your monthly leasing cost. This covers you for all your servicing for the duration of your contract. It essentially spreads it out over the duration of your contract rather than paying for the cost of servicing upfront.

What are the disadvantages of car leasing?

There are some disadvantages to leasing a car, however, just like the advantages, they are dependent upon your individual situation.

You won’t own the car

This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on what you would like to do at the end of your contract.

We understand that there is a lot of satisfaction and peace of mind in knowing that your car is bought and paid for. It’s also good to know that if your employment stops unexpectedly or illness strikes then you have a car that won’t be taken away or you have to hand back.

MINI

If you don’t own the car, then you also have to think about your mileage and keeping it in good condition. When you lease a car, because it is not yours, you have to stick to a certain mileage and keep the car in good condition. If you own the car, however, then you don’t have to worry about this.

This isn’t to say you aren’t going to keep it in good condition, it just means that leasing might not be good for those doing high mileage or if they are going to be doing off-road driving or might get the car a little bit roughed up.

So not owning the car might not be for everyone. It’s something that you will seriously have to consider.

You can’t customise your car

When you lease your car, you don’t own it, so it’s not yours to change. If you want to add a sound system, add personalised decals or change the colour or modify it in any way, you should think about buying your car instead of leasing it.

The general rule is that you can modify your car, but when you hand it back you will have to reverse those modifications. Otherwise, you will face a fine. So really, there’s not much point in modifying your car if you are going to have to change it back in a few years anyway.

Therefore, if you’re a bit of a car nut and want to improve your car and add all sorts of things to it then we would say that leasing isn’t right for you.

You can’t take your car with you should you move abroad

This is fairly specific, but it is something you will need to think about. While it might not seem like a long time, a lot can happen in three years. You could meet the man/woman of your dreams and go from being single to a parent of many or you could be driving to work in Surrey one day and be asked to move to Germany for your job the next. Of course, nothing might happen at all, but you can’t discount the possibility of changes occurring.

Man with suitcase with open car boot

If, and here we’re playing devil’s advocate, you do end up having to move abroad for your work then you won’t be able to take your lease vehicle with you.

Getting out of lease contracts can be tricky, so you need to make sure that the next few years of your life are pretty solid before you get into one. If you feel that there is a chance you may have to move abroad, then maybe hold off on getting a lease contract, or perhaps look at a Short Term Rental instead.

You have to think about the mileage

We touched upon this earlier in the article but it is something that you have to consider.

When you lease a car, you have a set mileage that is pre-agreed at the start of the contract. The higher the mileage, the more your monthly payments are likely to be. This is because mileage is one of the biggest factors when it comes to depreciation.

Car odometer

If you go over this mileage then you will be subject to an excess mileage charge. This ranges from 6p+VAT per mile to £1+VAT per mile, depending on the manufacturer.

If you’re someone who thinks that they will need a generous mileage allowance, then it may be worth considering something other than leasing. You could always consider a Finance Lease. This works similarly to a normal lease but you don’t have a mileage limit to stick to.

So those are some of the downsides to leasing a car instead of purchasing a car.

Is car leasing for me?

In conclusion, there are some great benefits and some negatives to leasing a car instead of purchasing. On one hand, you get a new car every few years. New cars are more efficient, more reliable, more advanced and come with more safety technology. Leasing is also good for businesses who want to give their employees new cars every few years. However, if you do lease a car then you can’t take it should you move abroad and you don’t get the satisfaction of ever owning it. Whether you decide to lease is up to you, it is suited to different people and we would always recommend you thoroughly going over your options before you make a decision. We help people make this decision every day, so if you have any questions or any doubts about leasing then please get in touch with us.

If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle…

Please contact us for a FREE consultation

Rachel Richardson

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