Can I extend my car lease?

Want to know if your lease car experience can be extended? This article explores in what circumstances this is possible

  • What is an informal extension?
  • What is a formal extension?
  • How do I get an extension on my lease?
  • Can everyone obtain an extension on their lease?

If you’re approaching the end of your current lease contract, you may be wondering ‘can my lease be extended?’ You’re not alone. Many people find that there is a period between one contract ending and another starting, and they don’t want to be without a car. Or, perhaps they’re just not ready to part ways with their trusty four wheels just yet. Whatever the reasons, there are certain ways to extend the lease contract on a car. It’s worth noting that some finance houses don’t offer any kind of lease extension, so call them to make sure you are eligible. We’ll take you through all the finer points you need to be aware of.

What is an Informal extension?

An informal extension describes when a customer continues to use the leased vehicle after the contract has expired. This is usually up until it’s requested for collection. You can’t just keep hold of the car until you’re ready to part with it though. You must contact your lease provider to obtain authorisation for an informal extension. These are designed to bridge the gap between leases and you continue to pay your monthly fee in arrears. If the informal extension extends for longer than 6 months the lease company are entitled to recall the vehicle.

What is a Formal extension?

If you require an extension for longer than 6 months then you will need to request a formal extension. This involves you signing a modified agreement which extends the lease for a further term, usually 6-12 months. This will start from the end of the existing contract and an end date will be set. You’ll receive an extended mileage agreement and the same rules will apply if you exceed this. There will be a revised monthly rental fee based upon the expected depreciation of the vehicle during the term and away you go.

How do I get an extension on my lease?

Contact your Finance House and ask for an informal or formal extension depending on your needs. If you want to opt for a formal extension then a modifying agreement as highlighted above must be signed. A new rental fee will be calculated and an admin fee will be charged. The process of contacting your lease provider through to obtaining your lease extension is quite simple.

  1. Contact your Finance House to request the lease extension.
  2. The Finance House will check to see if you and your vehicle is eligible for a lease extension. Your lease provider will then notify you accordingly.
  3. If you’re eligible then a new modifying agreement will be sent to you from the finance house. You’ll also receive your terms and conditions including mileage allowance and contract end date. These will be emailed to you to speed up the process. Please be sure to check all documentation before signing and returning to your lease company.
  4. Print off and sign the paperwork (modifying agreement) and return it to the address of your lease company provided.
  5. Once received this will be sent on to the finance house for review. This process can take up to 5 working days.
  6. Continue to pay the monthly rentals until the contract extension is complete and you are given the new end date.

Can everyone get a lease extension?

I’m afraid not. Not all funders offer lease extensions. It’s usually only allowed on Personal Contract Hire and Contract Hire agreements anyway. But the offering of a lease extension is at the discretion of the finance house. Even if the finance house does offer lease extensions you will not always be eligible if:

  • A request has been submitted to add or remove maintenance or a relief vehicle
  • The existing account has arrears or is subject to default or insolvency
  • The modifying agreement has not been completed in full
  • The Finance House want the vehicle back for commercial reasons

How long does it take to get a lease extension?

We usually suggest allowing a period of around 4 weeks for a lease extension to be processed. Usually, it will be much quicker than this, however, it’s worth allowing 4 weeks in order to ensure you don’t have a period without transport. Though obviously, this period can vary.

I have a Motability car, can I get a lease extension?

The same rules apply for Motability customers. Depending on the finance house you may be able to request a short lease extension to cover you through a new application. Alternatively, if you have adaptations on your car or the mileage is likely to be less than 15,000 at the end of the agreement, it may be possible to keep the car for a longer period. Alternatively, you also have the option to purchase your car at the end of the lease.

What are my options if I can’t extend my lease?

If you are seeking to extend your lease to cover you for a period between contracts and you are unable to obtain a lease extension, then you may want to consider a short-term lease to cover you. A short term lease is specifically for people who just want to lease a vehicle for between 1-6 months. Short-term leases cost far less than their traditional daily rental and ensure you won’t be without transportation when your existing lease ends.

What are the cons to extending my lease?

Before deciding to extend your lease you should be mindful of some of the cons of doing so. For example, if you extend your lease you may be extending it past the warranty period. This means that during your extended period you could be eligible for repair costs to the car. Some repairs can be very costly, so it is worthwhile checking how long remains on your warranty before you choose to extend your lease to avoid surprise repair costs.

Mechanic inspecting engine

You also want to check any servicing or wear and tear items. Will your tyres still be legal or by keeping the car will you need to change them all? Will an additional service be required? Make sure you check this before extending your lease.

As the car increases in age and mileage, it can become unreliable. With the wear and tear of well-used vehicles comes the added risk of problems with the car. If you rely on your car for business then there could be occasions when you are left without transportation.

Just like the warranty, sometimes your roadside assistance will have expired with your lease, so you could be liable for paying for this too. If the car is reaching its fourth year you’ll also be liable for paying for the MOT and any repairs needed outside of the warranty. If you would like to find out more about what is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty we have an article that can provide you with all you need to know.

In conclusion, lease extensions can be useful under certain circumstances but you must be cautious and ensure you are covered for repairs, or it could end up being a very costly activity.

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Rachel Richardson
Latest posts by Rachel Richardson (see all)

16 Comments

  • BC| 29th September 2020 at 4:39 pm Reply

    One cautionary tale about lease extension. I have a Skoda Superb was on a 2 year lease, extended to three year – paying only £172 a month, took a 6 month informal extension (offered by Skoda in COVID circumstances) at the same monthly fee and then sought a further 6 month extension for which I have been quoted over £708.76 per month! I am assuming this is to claw back depreciation value. Obviously not keeping the car

    • Rachel Richardson| 30th September 2020 at 11:28 am Reply

      Hi Bryan,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, this increase will be related to the depreciation. If you are looking for a new vehicle, we are very happy to help. Call us on 01903 538835. We have access to all manufacturers in the UK and many finance houses.

  • Nicolette| 18th September 2020 at 3:50 pm Reply

    I am considering an extension as I’m in a 2018 Elantra now and want to wait for the 2021 Elantra to be rolled out. I spoke with Hyundai Motor Finance today and they said my payments would go up due to sales tax. Didn’t I pay the sales tax upfront? Why would an extension increase my payments by 20+ monthly. Can anyone provide any clarity on that? Thank you! -Nicolette (ponzonicolette@gmail.com)

    • Rachel Richardson| 23rd September 2020 at 11:11 am Reply

      Hi Nicolette,

      This is a question that we are unable to answer. The finance process in the US is not the same as in the UK (where we are based). We would recommend you visit a US forum about car finance for more accurate advice.

  • Paulo| 11th April 2020 at 2:38 pm Reply

    I have the same question as Nancy. I really didn’t understand your answer. If I extend my lease by 12 months, will the amount I would have to pay to buy the car be lower than the residual value that was agreed to when I first leased it? After all the car is one year older, it should be worth less. Thanks

    • Rachel Richardson| 14th April 2020 at 4:03 pm Reply

      Hi Paolo,
      Quite simply, the answer is yes. The value of the vehicle is not reduced by the number of payments you’ve made, but the length of time you extend the lease for, so the fact that you’ve extended the lease for 12 months will reduce the residual value by those 12 months.

  • Sherrell Toman| 1st February 2020 at 11:02 pm Reply

    I already have 6mo extension. I wanted 6 more months & I don’t have 30,000 miles on it. It’s 2017 Elantra. I haven’t made up my mind what to do and have several illness in family & lots of stress.

    • William Brennan| 15th February 2020 at 9:51 pm Reply

      Thank you for help on this Extension for my 2017 Elantra I have 5500 Miles on this car it’s like new My lease is up in May this Year is good ideal to do so if so Please get back to me to what to do to get My Extension Thank you again Bill 2/15/2020

      • Rachel Richardson| 24th February 2020 at 4:09 pm Reply

        Hi William,

        Thank you for your comment. We would recommend that you contact your Finance House to discuss your requirements when it comes to an extension of your lease.

    • Rachel Richardson| 3rd February 2020 at 9:39 am Reply

      Hi Sherrell,

      Thank you for your comment. We would recommend you contact your Finance House to discuss the options you have with them. As you are in the US the requirements may be different.

  • Dennis DePasquale| 24th July 2019 at 6:50 pm Reply

    I have a 2016 Honda civic and lease is up last payment is in sept, I have 16,350 miles which is almost 20,000 miles less. I have it from Honda Finance I am not ready financing or in a position to buy this car out right, Have any idea.s????

    • Rachel Richardson| 26th July 2019 at 8:50 am Reply

      Hi Dennis,

      Many thanks for your comment. If you are based in the UK we would be happy to help you find your next vehicle, simply call Amanda on 01903 223391 and she will able to help you.

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