Choosing the right leasing broker: 7 vital questions you should ask

If you’ve made the excellent decision to lease your next vehicle then you will have already evaluated the pros and cons of leasing vs buying and investigating cost savings long term and up front. Plus, the time saved not having to sell the vehicle when you want a new car. If you want to double check the pros and cons of leasing vs buying your next car take a look at this article.

Now comes the task of choosing the right leasing broker to handle your purchase. We’ve heard some horror stories in our time. If you’ve ever spoken to someone who is less than pleased with the idea of leasing a car, the chances are they have had a bad experience with the leasing broker. No one wants to have any nasty surprises when choosing to lease for the first time. To help you keep the process plain and simple we have devised a list of 7 vital questions you should ask your leasing broker.

When will my Direct Debit payments come out?

Your monthly leasing fee will be taken by Direct Debit. While this may seem like a small point knowing when your payment is going to come out is essential to help you manage your money and payments. Missed payments can result in a negative entry on your credit file and prolonged periods of missed payments means the car maybe repossessed.

Is road tax included?

Some leases will include your road fund licence for the term of the agreement, others will include the first year only and others include no road fund licence at all – it will depend on how you are leasing your vehicle. This is a point worthwhile being clear on from the start so make sure to ask.

What should I know about ‘wear and tear’?

When you return a car at the end of the lease term you are expected to return it in good condition. If you fail to do so there will be a penalty to pay. Asking ahead of time what counts as fair wear and tear will enable you to be prepared for the end of your contract. I’d also recommend asking what the penalties would be. Some wear and tear is inevitable throughout your length of your lease. But you must hand the car back in a safe and roadworthy condition. It’s worth noting you must hand the car back with a full-service history and thoroughly cleaned.  

What is my maximum mileage and what happens if I go over?

When you come to negotiate your lease contract you will agree upon the upper limit of miles. The higher the mileage the higher your monthly lease price will be. So it’s important to be as accurate as possible. If you underestimate your mileage and go over the contracted limit you will incur a charge (known as a pence per mile or ppm). Always ask what the charge will be if you go over your mileage allowance. Another handy tip is to ask if the figure can be changed during the lease period should your circumstances change and you end up driving long distances.

How much am I actually paying?

Before you sign on the dotted line be clear on the cost overall and the monthly lease figure. Also, ask what interest rate you are paying and the total amount to repay. Be aware of any ‘balloon’ payments at the end of your deal and be sure that you know of any fees or charges that your agreement includes.

What is included in my lease package?

You need to know exactly what is and isn’t included in your lease package. Running costs of the car such as regular servicing and insurance won’t be included as standard. Maintenance packages are available to purchase when you take out your lease which will help you ensure your car is kept in good condition. Many people opt for this as they prefer to pay a fixed monthly fee over sporadic higher bills when servicing and repairs are due.

What if I need to get out of my leasing agreement?

While a lease agreement is a legally binding contract (and of course you want to keep your car for the full length of the agreement), there may be situations which result in your circumstances changing. If the unfortunate happens and you are suddenly taken ill or experience a job loss then you may need to exit your lease agreement before the contract is up. Be sure to ask what the process is to cancel your lease agreement. You’ll also need to know what they payments would be if you choose to walk away before the contract ends.

What else should I look for?

Armed with these 7 simple questions you can embark on finding your trusted leasing broker.

Do your research online first to save yourself some time. Look for good websites containing lots of helpful information. Maybe some of these questions will be answered on there? If they are forthcoming with information about how leasing works on their website then that’s a really good start.

Excellent product knowledge of the cars is also a must. When seeking the advice of a car leasing expert you might have some questions about the cars themselves. Choosing a leasing broker with some good knowledge of the cars they offer will help you make the right choice for you. Whether you have a question about the boot space in a Mini or the infotainment system in an Audi the first port of call should be your leasing broker for advice.

The final key factor when choosing a leasing broker should be customer service. This is so, so important. Check up on social media for people reporting a positive experience and don’t just rely on the testimonials on the website. Independent reviews like Google or Facebook reviews are an excellent indicator. When you make your first contact with your chosen leasing broker for quotes, be vigilant.  You’ll get a good feeling of the levels of customer service when you get in touch and if they are friendly, offer great advice and you feel as though they are helpful this is an excellent starting point.

Give yourself back the confidence and ask these questions when choosing a leasing broker.

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