It’s not something that happens often, but it has happened in the past.
So, in this article, we are going to cover whether you can lease a car without a driving licence, and what your options are if you cannot.
Can I lease a car if I don’t have a driving licence?
No, is the short answer.
The likelihood is that you will struggle to find a finance house, dealership or broker that will allow you to lease a car without a driving licence. There may be some out there, but these will most likely be specialist vehicle broker and you should be extra careful that they are reputable. You can read our top tips on finding a reputable vehicle broker here.
Why do I need a driving licence to lease a car?
When you go through the documents process of leasing a car, you will need to provide your full driving licence. The dealership will request that you send the original to them so they can compare signatures.
Also, most finance houses will stipulate that you have to have the full UK driving licence to be able to lease a car. So, it’s pretty important, and very unlikely that you will be able to get a car without a driving licence.
When you lease a car you have to be the one to insure it. While you may have named drivers, you have to be the primary driver. Therefore, you can understand why insurance companies would be less than thrilled to insure someone who does not have a driving licence. While you may not be driving the car yourself (and we’re sure you wouldn’t) the insurance company cannot guarantee that, and therefore you are a much higher risk.
Can I lease a car with a provisional licence?
I’m going to say that you can’t.
I have, in the past, had people who have leased cars with a provisional licence. However, recently I have had a customer who wanted to lease with a provisional and it wasn’t allowed. Many funders won’t do this, and it’s very complicated if it does happen. So, as a general rule, we say you can’t.
Again, insurance also comes into play. While you can insure other people to drive the car, the insurance costs for a learner driver will be considerably higher. So, that’s another factor to think about.
Can I lease a car for someone else if I have a provisional licence?
There might be a scenario in which a family member, your partner or close friend wants to lease a car but cannot, they might have poor credit for example. So you could be wondering whether you, as someone with great credit but no full licence, could lease a car for them.
The answer is still no. Unless there is a specialist finance house that will do this for you. The reason is the same which is that you are at a much higher risk than someone with a full licence. The finance house cannot guarantee that you won’t drive the car. And also, because the person driving the car won’t be the one with the financial commitment, so you can see why this is a huge risk for them to take.
Also, when you insure a lease car the policy usually has to be in the name of the person leasing the car and you can imagine that insurance companies will be less than thrilled for this to happen. Again, you are a much higher risk and the insurance will be considerably more expensive.
What are the alternatives?
If you can’t lease without a provisional driving licence then what are your alternatives?
It depends on your situation. If you simply want a car for when you pass your test then you could look at buying a second-hand car. Alternatively, you could wait until you pass your test before you apply for finance. We compare getting a new first car and a used first car in our article here.
Can I lease a car if I have an international licence?
As a general rule in the UK, you can drive for twelve months with an international driving licence. After that, you have to take the UK driving test in order to continue driving. The exception is if you are an EU national, in which case you can still use your original licence. You can check to see if you can drive in Great Britain with your non-GB driving licence here.
However, to lease a car you will still need a UK address and UK bank account. This also applies to international students.
Alternatives to leasing
So, you may have realised that you might not be able to lease a car. But, don’t worry, there are other alternatives that are available to you.
If you simply want a car for when you pass your test, then you may want to consider buying second hand. While this might not be as appealing as getting a shiny new car, it will cost you less and be much more convenient.
Alternatively, if you need a car for a short period of time on an international licence then you may want to consider a short term rental with a company such as Hertz.
So, unfortunately, if you don’t have a driving licence then your chances of getting a lease car are very slim. It’s the same with a provisional licence and if you are an international student. However, there are some alternatives to leasing, including buying second hand or looking at a short term rental.