How to compare car leasing deals

We look at the best way to compare leasing deals...

How to Compare Car Leasing Deals title with couple looking at car and talking to car salesman in a dealership

When you are making a big purchasing decision, you are naturally going to want to think carefully about your choice. And, leasing a car is no different there are some big decisions to be had. 

Leasing a car is a big commitment so it’s important that you are sure you’ve made the right choice. Therefore, it is understandable that you would want to, for want of a better phrase, shop around before you make your choice.

But how do you compare car leasing deals? How do you know what to look for, and how do you know if you are getting the best deal out there?

At OSV, we think it’s important that we are completely transparent with our customers, and that means educating them on how they can find the best deal for them. So, in this article, we are going to look at how to compare car leasing deals, and what to look out for when looking at deals online.

How to compare car leasing deals

When looking at car leasing deals online, you should know what to look out for. So, here are some of the things you should be looking for when comparing car deals to ensure that you can make an informed decision.

Mileage

Not all car leasing deals are presented the same online and if you aren’t aware of this then you can end up comparing two vastly different deals.

When you lease a car, you agree to a set amount of mileage per year. You cannot go over this mileage, and if you do then you will be subject to an excess mileage charge. This mileage tends to range anywhere from 5,000 miles a year to 30,000 miles a year. You won’t see many lease contracts go over 30,000 miles unless you look at a finance lease.

Mileage counter 940399

Your pre-agreed mileage can greatly affect how much your lease car costs. This is because the more a car is driven, the more it depreciates and the less it will resell for. So if you’re doing a lot of mileage then your lease price will most likely be higher.

So, when you are comparing lease deals, you need to make sure that you have a rough idea of how many miles you will be doing and that this matches up with the quotes you are comparing because often deals have a set mileage that might not be your required mileage.

Initial Payment

The initial payment (or down payment or deposit) also varies from deal to deal. You can choose how much you put down as your initial payment, and the more you put down initially the less you will have to pay monthly. Likewise, you could be happy putting less down upfront and have higher monthly payments. Ultimately, it’s up to you. But there will be lease deals you see online that will have been calculated with an initial payment that might be more or less than what you are willing to put down. So when you see lease deals online, double check what they have (hypothetically) put down as an initial payment.

When looking at lease deals it wouldn’t hurt to vary the initial payments to see the potential outcomes. However, when you are comparing specific lease deals, make sure the initial payment is the same.

Stock car or factory order?

Another factor that could influence your decision when looking at lease deals is whether it is a stock car or a factory order.

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What is a stock car?

A stock car is a car that is in stock at a dealership in the country. This means it has already been built, shipped over to the UK and is now sitting in a showroom waiting for someone to drive it.

If you opt for a stock car, you will simply receive it as it is. So the colour and the specification and any other additional extras are already on the car (or not on it) and you can’t change anything about it. A stock car takes much less time to arrive and is great if you aren’t that bothered about customising every aspect of your car.

What is a factory order car?

A factory order, however, is built completely from scratch, catered to your tastes. This means that you can choose the colour, specification and any additional extras or features. A factory order will take longer, so it’s not ideal for those who need a car in the near future. You can read about how long a factory order car can take here.

The only way this will affect price is if one of the cars has a higher specification, but otherwise it shouldn’t impact the lease price. It will, however, affect the delivery time. So it’s important that when you are comparing lease deals that you note whether its a stock car or a factory order.

Contract length

Another thing you will want to look at when comparing lease deals is how long the contract is for.

It’s a common misconception that the longer the contract, the lower the monthly payments will be. This can be the case sometimes, but not always.

One of the reasons it might not be is because the longer you have the car, the more it will depreciate. This means that it will resell for less, so you will have to make up the difference in the monthly payments.

This doesn’t always apply, and sometimes it is cheaper to go for a longer contract but this isn’t always the case. Most lease contracts last for 2-3 years, though some allow you to have your car for up to 5 years. If you are unsure how long you want your car for, or you don’t mind too much, then it is worth looking at your options to see how the prices differ.

Maintenance

Some lease deals may offer a maintenance agreement that is included in your lease contract. It’s important that you check this before you compare lease deals as it can bring the price up.

A maintenance agreement is an additional monthly payment that covers all servicing costs for the duration of your lease contract. When you lease a car, you have to get it serviced and you have to pay for it. A maintenance agreement simply spreads these costs across the duration of your contract so you don’t have to pay for servicing up front.

person inspecting car engine

As we said, some lease deals will offer this on top of your monthly payments and on others you will have to ask for it.

Business vs. Personal leasing

When looking at lease contracts, you may have noticed that there are two different types of Contract Hire; Business Contract Hire and Personal Contract Hire.

They are the same in essence, but one is for businesses and the other private individuals. You may be in the position where you can choose to either lease through your business or privately, in which case it is a good idea to compare the two to see which one would suit you better.

There are times when business contract hire is cheaper than personal contract hire. This is not always the case, but can be. This is mainly due to the fact that business users can gain access to fleet discounts that private lease customers cannot. You can read more about that here.

As we said, it’s not always the case but it can happen. When you look at lease deals online they are usually listed as business contract hire, which means that the price might not apply to you as a private lease customer. Therefore, it is important that you confirm which contract hire you are looking for in order to get the right price. You can read more about business contract hire vs. personal contract hire here.

So those are some of the things that you will be wanting to look at when you are comparing car leasing deals.

How do I get the best lease deal?

Now we’ve discussed how to compare car leasing deals, how do you know you’re getting the best deal? Here are some of the things you might want to look at to ensure that you are getting the best deal for you;

man in shirt and tie with glasses looking at a diary with a calculator and laptop
  • Think about your initial payment
    • Are you prepared to put down more in favour of lower monthly payments? Or vice versa? Ultimately, it’s down to you how much you put down, but if you want lower monthly payments then you should be willing to compromise on the down payment.
  • Excess mileage vs. larger mileage allowance
    • There may be times where it is more viable to pay the excess mileage fee than it is to pay for a larger mileage allowance. 
  • Choose the right leasing company for you
    • The best leasing company for you might not always be offering the cheapest deal on their website.
    • Choose a company that listens to your needs and is committed to getting the best lease deal for you.
    • You can read more on how to choose a vehicle broker here.
  • Be flexible on the length of your contract
    • As we said above, the longer the contract doesn’t necessarily mean lower monthly payments.
    • Just like your initial payment, it wouldn’t hurt to be flexible with the length of your contract, you may find you can get a better deal that way.

Hopefully this has given you an idea of what to look for when comparing lease deals, and how to get the best lease deal for you. You can read more about how to get the best lease deal here. Leasing has a large degree of flexibility. You can call the shots for pretty much everything, from the mileage to the length of the contract but it does mean there is more to check when you compare lease deals. That said, being a bit flexible yourself wouldn’t hurt when it comes to looking at lease deals. You could find a great lease deal with a slightly larger initial payment or a slightly lower contract duration. Ultimately, though, it’s down to what you want in a lease contract.

Seen a lease deal that looks too good to be true? Click here to find out how legitimate cheap lease deals are!
Holly Martin

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