OSV

The UK's Trusted Leader in Car Leasing and Sales

Polestar car reliability: an honest assessment of the brand

  • What is Polestar reliability like? 
  • Polestar 2 range – is it any good? 
  • Who makes Polestar vehicles? 
  • Why is Polestar so expensive? 
  • Is Polestar worth it? 
  • What is the Polestar 2 warranty? 
  • What is the Polestar battery warranty? 
  • Should I buy, lease or finance a Polestar car? 

Polestar cars turned heads with the arrival of its fully electric vehicle in 2020, the Tesla Model 3 finally had a real rival. The Swedish automotive brand has been challenging the traditional ways of doing a lot of things. There are no in person showrooms to see the Polestar vehicles, everything is digitised and sustainable. If you ever do need to visit in person for a service for your Polestar, you’re to be treated as royalty (almost). But what exactly is Polestar reliability like? Does it offer the best electric car on the market? Could the Polestar 2 be your next vehicle? 

White Polestar 2 electric car on gravel floor with a dark background

What is Polestar reliability like?

Are Polestar cars good? The Volvo brother brand offers just two different models. The Polestar 1 is a hybrid model, and then the fully electric Polestar 2. Offering just a simple line-up aligns very well with Polestar’s “detail-oriented minimalism”. 

But what is Polestar reliability like? Is it a manufacturer you can trust? As the brother brand of Volvo, we can assume that both the brand’s reliability will align together. Volvo’s V40 was scored a 93% reliability score thanks to a 2021 reliability survey by What Car? Want to find out more about Volvo’s reliability? Read our thorough article which investigates how reliable is Volvo

The hybrid model Polestar 1 overall got impressive reviews and ratings, with What Car? giving three out of five stars. However, with only a left-hand drive, this model isn’t ideal for UK drivers so it’s not a car that’s accessible to all. 

If you’re considering going electric, then the Polestar 2 is a fantastic first choice. Polestar 2 received collective praise from a multitude of reviews namely Top Gear, Auto Express, What Car? and Car Magazine giving it an average rating of 8/10. So, it’s easy to trust that it’s a reliable vehicle.  

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Polestar 2 Range – Is it any good?  

The model offers an electric range covering from 255 to 339 miles, with 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds. The all-wheel drive vehicle can charge from 10-80% in 32 minutes with rapid charging. Who has time for that? Well, you see, the mileage of the average UK driver is 130 miles a week. Let’s assume they drive a Polestar 2; this means with a vehicle that has a range of 339 miles would need to charge maybe every two to three weeks. Unlike petrol and diesel cars, EV owners have the advantage of filling up the car from the comfort of their homes. So, if anything, you could be saving yourself not only money but time as well! 

If you’re interested only in the technical spec of the Polestar 2, then we’d recommend you stop reading from here. Otherwise, answer this question: would you prefer to invest in a company that treats you well? Seems like a silly thing to ask. Well, to Polestar customer service is no joke. Any Polestar buyer or owner that approaches a Volvo dealership is to be treated like a VIP. On top of this, the premium brand offers innovative digital customer service challenging the existing conventional car dealerships and showrooms…this basically means that their showrooms are online – very covid friendly! Plus, this means it’s accessible to people across the globe, furthering their brand belief of keeping things as environmentally sustainable as possible. 

Who makes Polestar vehicles?

So, who makes Polestar vehicles? Well, Polestar was established in 1996 by the more famously known Swedish automotive brand Volvo, and then finally developed as a brand by 2015. It has been Volvo Cars’ performance partner for over two decades. 

Volvo logo on the left White and black Polestar logo on the right, both on the front grille of a car

In 2017 it was announced by Volvo that Polestar would begin making premium electric cars under its own name and badge. Its vehicle production centre takes place in Chengdu, China. Polestar’s vehicle production centre is reportedly one of the most environmentally responsible in the country, with the goal of winning Gold Status in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings.  

Polestar is also known as Volvo’s performance vehicle brand. So, if you’re a fan of Volvo vehicles, but want something more exciting or exhilarating, Polestar is the way to go. It’s stated that the performance brand’s engineering philosophy is to create a predictable, safe and balanced driving experience.  

Why is Polestar so expensive?

Are you wondering why polestar is so expensive? Have you fallen in love with its looks, what the company stands for and then seen the price tag? There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to the cost of a Polestar car.  

Firstly, the brand offers just two vehicles. This along with their promise for an engaging, fun, and confident drive, without compromises, it’s safe to trust that these vehicles are reliable and well worth the price.  

When you compare the Polestar to its direct rivals such as the Tesla Model 3Audi Q4 e-tron and the Mercedes EQC – with the highest asking price of around £65,000. Compare this to the electric Polestar for just £49,900 can it really be said that the Polestar 2 is too expensive?  

The question you really may be asking is, why are electric cars so expensive? The answer to this relies on electric vehicle technology. The hefty price tag on electric vehicles is due to the fact that the EV market is still relatively new, and the technology is ever-growing, similarly to smartphone technology. Typically, when the latest Apple iPhone is released it’s often around £1,000 more expensive than its predecessor. Why? Because it offers new and innovative technology that the other models cannot. The expense of EVs, in addition to this, is down to the recent effects of COVID-19 and the microchip semi-conductor shortage that was impacted by the pandemic.  

One thing that’s often forgotten are the savings that actually come with electric vehicles. A few prime examples are the tax benefits, fuel-saving costs and the amount of time you save. For more in-depth information about EVs read our article about the advantages of electric cars.  

How expensive electric vehicles are is also a very good reason why leasing your electric car is a fantastic way to invest in going electric. Not only do you enjoy all the financial and time-saving benefits, but you are also saving yourself from the worries and stress of the vehicle depreciating.  

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Is Polestar worth it?

Whether or not it’s worth investing in a Polestar vehicle completely depends on if you buy, finance or lease your electric vehicle. OSV’s advice for all electric vehicles at this point in time is to lease. This is partly due to the fact that the EV sector is still relatively new and not quite developed to its full potential. You could compare investing in electric vehicles the same as you would with a mobile phone contract. Smartphone technology is forever changing and developing, there’s always a better model to upgrade to every few years and it’s never guaranteed that the phone you buy outright will be up to scratch in three years’ time when better options will be available.  

Although there are a lot of plus points to leasing a Polestar, it is a brand that is rarely enquired about. More often than not, people want to drive a Tesla, usually because of it being known as a Tesla. When it comes to finding your perfect vehicle, the service you receive is a vital part of the process. So, what did Trustpilot have to say about Tesla and Polestar? According to Trustpilot, both electric car brands came on par with a score of 2.4 stars out of 5 (as of writing 7/1/22). The general comments from Tesla’s customers questioned how effective its customer service was. With Polestar, customers criticising the brand for software and delivery issues.  

Polestar, which is a relatively new brand, received just 27 reviews to date versus Tesla who has received a total of 800 reviews. These ratings are likely to change over time however as it currently stands the brands aren’t too dissimilar in the eyes of their customers. 

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Polestar Warranty 

So, maybe now you’re considering going electric, maybe even choosing which colour of the Polestar 2 you’d like. Before thinking about specifics and jumping ahead, it’s important to plan how and if you’ll be covered for scrapes on the paintwork and general mishaps. The cover ranges from three, eight and 12-year types of alternative warranty which promise to fix any part of your Polestar that breaks down due to faulty materials and/or manufacturing issues.  

What is the Polestar 2 Warranty?

Anyone thinking of getting a Polestar 2 will be pleased to hear the warranty offers up to 12 years of cover. However, this does only include repairing and/or replacing any affected panels of sheet metal that has rusted due to faulty materials or construction. Within the first three years of ownership or before 60,000 miles, you are covered for any faulty materials or manufacturing issues, this includes the battery pack.  

What is the Polestar battery warranty?

The lithium-ion battery is a very important part of your Polestar car, so you’d expect a decent warranty for your electric ‘engine’. Thankfully, they offer just that. You can enjoy free repairs on any material defect within the first 8 years of ownership or 100,000 miles driven – whichever comes first. It’s also worth mentioning that any decrease in battery capacity is considered normal and so is not covered under the warranty. 

Should I buy, lease or finance a Polestar Car?

Going back on what was said before whether you should buy, lease or finance a Polestar car completely depends on your circumstances and what you want to do. Fans of electric vehicles, whether Polestar or other, would normally opt to lease. Why don’t we recommend outright buying an electric car? In this day and age EV technology is still very new and have years of future development to come. In addition, the cost of doing something as simple as changing the battery of your EV outweighs the ‘investment’ of buying the vehicle altogether. Changing the battery can’t be that expensive, right? On average you’ll spend around £8,000 on swapping the battery out for a new one. Currently, batteries need replacing between 10 and 20 years although this could easily change in the future.  

To conclude, leasing a Polestar 2 helps you not only save yourself from future vehicle depreciation and financial savings, but it also gives you the opportunity to experience an electric vehicle without the full commitment. So, exactly how reliable is Polestar? Keep in mind the customer service, incredible build quality and the abundant positive reviews of both Polestar and Volvo. It’s more than easy to trust you’ll be driving an electric car that radiates reliability. 

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Is car leasing worth it?

  • How does a car leasing contract work? 
  • What are the advantages of a lease?
  • What are the disadvantages of a lease?  
  • What are the business benefits of a lease?   
  • What are the business disadvantages of a lease?  
  • Is car leasing worth it?  
  • Is car leasing right for me? 

Are you wondering if car leasing is worth it? Is it good value for money? Maybe you know people that have leased before but you are just not sure if it is right for you. 

There are so many different elements to take into consideration for example the ins and outs of a car leasing contract, how it works and is it worth the money?

OSV took to their 61k YouTube subscribers asking the question ‘Do you think car leasing contracts are good value for money?’. Here is what they said: 

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The poll collected 895 votes in 2 days and 73% of those voted that car leasing contracts are not good value for money with a small 27% seeing the benefit to leasing a vehicle. As we can see, there seems to be the notion that car leasing contracts are not good value for money. But why is that and is that correct? Let’s find out. 

The general consensus among the comments is that it depends on the vehicle. However, many people believe that it makes sense when leasing a premium vehicle, but is this true? 

When it comes to flagship premium saloons, generally, if buying new it wouldn’t be sensible not to lease your vehicle. This is due to the manufacturers heavily supporting this niche of cars so people see more of them out on the roads. However high-performance premium vehicles such as BMW M4, Audi RS range, Porsche and the likes of, genuinely would not make sense to do anything other than own, as manufacturers do not support these vehicles with discounts. However, whether this is a suitable solution for you does depend on you as the customer and your situation as we would need to understand your business or individual situation in order to give you suitable advice. Not all of us could afford to purchase one of these high-performance premium vehicles outright and therefore leasing might be the most suitable option. We would also always recommend you talk to your accountant. 

When it comes to mainstream vehicles each brand defines certain models for high production or for traditional retail business. For example, if we look at Ford the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo are all high volume production vehicles so attract larger discounts when leasing, compared to the C-Max and S-Max which are retail vehicles and although do attract some low APR and retail incentives, discounts are nowhere near as generous as on the mainstream models and therefore purchase makes more sense. However, again purchasing may not be the right solution for you so we would encourage you to speak with our Vehicle Specialists and your accountant to explore your options in more detail. 

This tends to be the norm, however, there are always exceptions where larger discounts are found on vehicles. The reality is you need to speak to an expert that knows what to look for, and we have a team of experienced vehicle specialists that can do exactly that. 

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Another reason raised for not leasing was that you do not own the vehicle, and some cannot understand paying for something that will not be theirs. While this is true, it’s worth remembering that when you lease a vehicle. Overall, the understanding is that a car leasing contract is great for the incredible discounts available on high volume cars, but also for the convenience. In a car leasing contract things like warranty issues, depreciation and road tax isn’t something that you have to worry about.  

We have addressed what our audience thought about the question ‘Is car leasing worth it?’ so let’s dive in and understand how a car leasing contract works including the advantages and disadvantages, the benefits to businesses and of course answering the ultimate question: is car leasing worth it?  

What is a car leasing contract and how does it work?  

A car leasing contract is a long term agreement usually between 2 – 5 years where you pay a fixed monthly cost for a vehicle. At the end of the agreement, you give your vehicle back with nothing further to pay subject to mileage and condition. When you lease a vehicle you never actually own the vehicle and therefore have no responsibility for the value of it. You are effectively renting the vehicle for the agreed time period.  

Leasing a vehicle is an attractive option for both individuals and business owners due to the multitude of benefits that come with car leasing. 

What are the advantages of a lease?  

So, let’s explore the benefits of leasing your next vehicle and why 27% of our audience deemed car leasing as good value for money. The advantages to leasing include: 

  • Fixed monthly payments  
  • Road tax included  
  • No need to worry about vehicle depreciation  
  • No risk of negative equity  

The great thing about leasing is you know what you are going to pay from the very beginning, there are no hidden costs, for example when leasing a vehicle, you see upfront the fixed monthly costs you have to pay throughout the contract. Everything besides the costs for fuel and possible damage is presented to you right from the start. So, you won’t need to worry about guesstimating vehicle costs throughout the lease, as everything is shown to you ahead of time.  

Are you someone that loves to have the latest technology, safety equipment and stylings in your vehicle? Or maybe you like to upgrade your vehicle every few years. If this is you, then leasing could be the perfect option. It not only means you get to drive the most up to date vehicles, but it also saves you money in the long run. But how? 

Let me explain…  

When you lease a vehicle, you don’t have to worry about selling it at the end of the contract, as you are renting the vehicle for a set period of time. Your monthly payments are often lower than they would be on a Contract Purchase agreement as the payments on a vehicle lease cover the amount that the vehicle will depreciate over the time that you have it for. This also means that the depreciation of the vehicle isn’t something that concerns you as there is no risk of you being in negative equity. All you need to think about is the latest vehicle you’d like to lease, and we take care of the rest. Although it is important you are aware that you will be responsible for the fair wear and tear of the vehicle at the end of the agreement. 

A car leasing contract also gives you the opportunity to drive the latest vehicles on the market, which may not be a sustainable option if you were to outright purchase it – you also often get a much bigger discount when you lease as opposed to buying high volume cars such as the flagship saloons mentioned earlier on. 

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What are the disadvantages of a lease? 

We’ve spoken a bit about the basics of a car leasing contract and the great benefits you can expect, but it is also important that you are aware of the possible disadvantages when it comes to leasing. These include: 

  • You don’t own the vehicle and there is no option to own 
  • The contract is for a set period of time 
  • Mileage and Condition charges will apply 
  • The vehicle has to be serviced at an approved dealer 
  • Servicing is not included in your lease unless you take out a maintenance package 

When leasing a vehicle you are effectively renting it for a fixed period of time. This fixed contract also means that, although you do not actually own the vehicle, you are responsible for it until you give it back. This means you must cover the service fees and any damages to the vehicle. One way to save money and eliminate worry would be to add a maintenance package to your car leasing contract.  

If at some point you decide to leave your car leasing contract early you’ll be faced with fees that are unknown until the time of leaving. You can get an early termination figure at the start of your contract, but it completely depends on what happens to the vehicle in terms of depreciation.  

In car leasing contracts your road tax is included, however with this comes a downside as if the Government decides to increase the cost of road tax for your vehicle then the additional cost will be passed onto you.  

Additionally, if you miss any payments throughout your lease contract, your credit score could be affected. For more about what you need to know about credit checks and car leasing read our in-depth article for the ultimate guide. 

What are the business benefits of a lease? 

If you’re a business owner in need of a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you may ask yourself “Is car leasing a good idea for my business?” and the answer really does depend on your business and the vehicle you are looking for.  

You may be a business that wants to own vehicles which would mean that a lease wouldn’t be suitable for you. Whereas other businesses will see a vehicle as a depreciating asset and would rather focus on developing their business than to deal with the hassles of purchasing and selling vehicles themselves. So these businesses could benefit from the cost and time savings that come with car leasing. 

Advantages of leasing for business include: 

  • No need to worry about depreciation 
  • Maintenance package 
  • Time savings 
  • Tax benefits 

With a car lease contract, as a business you don’t have to worry about the depreciation of the vehicle, re-selling it once you want to upgrade or paying tax on it. 

Another attractive reason for business car leasing is the option to add a maintenance package – this is particularly useful if you’re getting a fleet of vehicles. A maintenance package relieves the stress of sorting out any accidents employees have, checking that drivers have got driving licences, vehicles haven’t gone over the agreed mileage and more. Having this support package ensures you have more time for yourself and the development of your business. For more in-depth information about the benefits of business car leasing read our detailed article here. 

So, for a busy business, whether you need just one vehicle or a fleet for your employees, to be able to save time and money for your company could definitely make car leasing worth it. We would always recommend that you speak to your Accountant before committing to any finance or lease scheme. 

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What are the business disadvantages of a lease?  

In terms of how and if car leasing is a disadvantage for your business, there really is not a lot to say. If you compare a car leasing contract to a personal contract purchase (PCP), then perhaps there isn’t quite as much certainty of the costs of leaving a lease early compared to a PCP.  

If a lease contract for your business seems too expensive, you want to keep the vehicle for longer than five years or you simply question “is car leasing worth it?”, it’s could be that leasing a car is the wrong option for you or you just need some more information from our experienced team. If you’re really unsure about the best option for you and your business when getting a vehicle, we recommend talking to one of our Vehicle Specialists and together navigate the best solution for you.  

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Is car leasing worth it? 

You now have all the important facts about leasing so, is car leasing really worth it?  

The answer is it really does depend on you as an individual or your business and your needs. A vehicle lease is worth it if:

  • You need to save time 
  • You want to enjoy tax savings if it is a business rental 
  • You don’t want to worry about vehicle depreciation 
  • You prefer fixed monthly payments 
  • You don’t want to own your vehicle 
  • You want to change your vehicle regularly 

Many people don’t realise that with leasing your fixed monthly payments are covering the depreciation of the vehicle which for premium vehicles they can depreciate at a slower rate, in turn, this can be the reason for monthly payments being lower and makes high end, premium vehicles more accessible via leasing.  

However, it doesn’t mean vehicle leasing is your only option or that it is right for you. At OSV we provide all finance options which you can learn more about in our Finance section or speak with one of our Vehicle Specialists

Is car leasing right for me? 

Now that we have explored if car leasing is worth it, you may be wondering if it is the right option for you or your business. Let me ask you a few questions: 

Are you looking at adding vehicles to your current fleet?  

Do you want the latest vehicle?  

Would you prefer fixed monthly payments? 

Are you happy to return the vehicle at the end of the agreement? 

Are you happy upgrading your vehicle every two to five years?  

If you’ve answered yes to any of these then it’s highly likely a car leasing contract is right for you. However, if you are unsure, have more questions or would like to explore your options, our team of experienced vehicle specialists are on hand to help. 

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5 common car problems you can fix at home

  • Common car problems
  • How do you change a flat tyre?
  • How do you fix a flat car battery?
  • How do you replace a lightbulb?
  • How can you fix faulty spark plugs?
  • Changing your oil

Do you ever hear your car make a weird noise? Wish you knew what it was? What about a time when your car didn’t feel quite right? Have you ever wished you just had that little bit of extra knowledge about common car faults so you could know what was wrong without having to take it to a garage?

We’ve all been there. And we’ve also been at the garage hearing a mechanic tell us the very simple problem with the car that only takes five minutes to fix. If only you knew more about common car problems, and how to fix them.

Well, cringe at your lack of car knowledge no longer. In this article, we look at some of the common car problems people have and the best way to fix them.

Common car problems

So, you know your car will at some point run into problems. You also know you’ll need to learn the best ways of taking care of your vehicle yourself. But what exactly are some of the most common car problems? Here are some of them:

  • Flat tyre
  • Flat car battery
  • Blown lightbulb
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Low oil levels

Keep on reading to discover the best ways to take care of some of the most common car problems.

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How do you change a flat tyre?

Everyone should be able to fix a flat tyre and the chances are you do know how to fix this common car problem. However, it’s always good to refresh your memory. Fixing a flat tyre is pretty easy, and here’s how you do it;

  • Use a car jack on a stable part of the frame to hoist the vehicle upwards
  • Remove the lug nuts using a locking wheel nut and ratchet
  • Put the spare tyre on
  • Tighten the nuts
  • Bring down the jack

For a visual guide on how to change a flat tyre, watch a quick video here.

Flat tyre of a car on gravel pavement

How do you fix a flat car battery?

You’ll definitely know if your battery is dead because your car just won’t start. This is where preparation comes in as it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair of jump leads in your car in case this happens. Alternatively, having a car battery charger in your garage is also a good idea.

If your car battery hasn’t completely discharged, you can charge it back up with a car battery charger as we mentioned above. This simply plugs into the mains. However, if your battery is completely flat, then charging it up won’t work. Instead, you can try and jump-start the car using jump leads and a ‘donor’ car. If you don’t have a second car to jump-start the battery, you can use a power pack. Before you try and jump start your car, you need to check the battery. If it is leaking, corroded or damaged then DO NOT try and jump-start it. Call someone out to have a look over the battery. Keep all metal objects away from the car and don’t have any naked flames (no smoking either). Remove the key from the ignition and make sure everything is off, and keep loose clothing away from the battery as well.

Mechanic standing besides a vehicle holding paperwork whilst working out how to fix the car

Now, here’s how you jump start a car;

  • Park both the cars next to each other – not touching but close enough so the jump leads can reach both vehicles 
  • Open the bonnet and connect the first end of the red positive lead to the positive terminal of the battery that works (in the donor car) 
  • Do the same for the other end for the flat battery
  • Connect the black negative lead to the negative terminal on the working battery
  • Attach the other end to a metal point (a bracket, for example) away from the flat battery
    • Your car may have a negative jump-starting pole so refer to your handbook in this case
  • Check the leads are away from all moving parts
  • Start the engine of the working car
  • Leave it for about a minute, and then try and turn on the car with the flat battery
    • If it doesn’t turn on, leave it for a few more minutes but if the leads get hot then you should turn the engine off
  • Once the car with the dead battery is running then you need to leave it running for a couple of minutes to charge the battery
  • Remove the jump leads in the reverse way you attached them
    • Ensure that they don’t touch each other or any other metal surface

You will need to either keep your car running or drive for at least thirty minutes after your car has been jump-started. If this doesn’t work, then you will have to call someone out.

Please only try jump-starting a car if you feel comfortable doing so and know what you are doing. If you are in doubt, don’t try it.

Also, it’s worth noting that if you do successfully jump start your car or recharge your battery then your car battery might be shortened significantly. So, if this does happen then you should look into getting your car battery replaced anyway.

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How do you replace a lightbulb?

You might have discovered this at a very inopportune time, most likely when other drivers start flashing you like mad and you don’t know why. Bulbs in your car go every now and again, just like a lightbulb in your house. And, like lightbulbs in your house, they are fairly easy to replace. You will have to make sure that you buy the right bulb, you can check this by looking at your handbook. You will also have to refer to this to find out how to access your lights. Some cars might have plastic coverings, and others will have lights that simply pop out. Once you have worked that out, you will have to make sure your car is turned off before you unplug the bulb. Then you simply attach the new bulb, replace the cover and check that it’s working. It’s as simple as that. You can get bulbs from your local car parts supplier or online. Halfords allow you to search for bulbs by entering your car details to ensure that you don’t order the wrong ones.

How can you fix faulty spark plugs?

If you are having difficulty starting your car or it sounds a bit off when idling, then your spark plugs may be faulty.

Again, this is relatively easy to fix once you know how. Firstly, you have to buy a new set of spark plugs, these are fairly cheap to replace, but you will have to make sure they are right for your car. Once you have those, here’s how you replace them;

  • Open the bonnet
    • Remove any HT leads and other obstacles that may obstruct access to the spark plugs
  • Brush away any dirt from around the spark plugs
  • Unscrew them with a spark plug socket spanner and remove them
  • Use the feeler blades or gap setting tool to check the electrode gap of the new plugs
    • You should refer to your vehicle manual for this to see if it’s applicable
  • Put some copper grease on the threads of each of the new plugs and screw them in
  • You will then need to tighten them with a torque wrench
    • You will need to check your handbook to check the correct torque
  • You will have to reconnect the HT leads and put back in any other parts you may have removed

And that’s it. You can watch a video on how to change your spark plugs here.

Changing your oil

This isn’t so much a car problem, but car maintenance. That said, you can have some serious problems if your oil levels get too low so prevention is key when it comes to oil levels. If your oil levels get too low the engine will overheat and that increased friction can cause permanent damage.

It is advised that you check your oil levels every two weeks. You can do this by finding the handle labelled “Engine Oil”. Then you remove the oil dipstick, clean it and place it back into the pipe. You will then remove it once more and check where the oil film comes up to. It’s that simple.

The front bonnet of a car is open, a person is filling the oil. They are holding a funnel and an oil container.

If you have found that your oil levels are too low, then you can replace this quite easily. Here’s how you do it;

  • Find your vehicle’s oil pan
  • Unscrew the drain plug and drain the old oil into the pan
  • Replace the drain plug
  • You will remove the oil filter using your oil filter wrench
  • Then lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter using new motor oil
  • Fill the new oil filter about two-thirds of the way
  • You will then screw in the new oil filter
  • Fill the engine with the new oil
  • Double-check the oil levels
  • And then you will need to dispose of the old oil filter and the old oil

You can recycle your old oil at an oil bank. You can locate your nearest oil bank here, there are probably more local to you than you think. 

And that’s how you replace your oil. Be aware that it can be messy work and can be a bit fiddly. Only change your oil if you are completely comfortable doing so. For more information on how to take care of your car read our article about car maintenance.

So there are some of the common car problems and how to fix them. These are the most common and the most simple to fix. That said, if you are unsure about any of what we have written about then we do recommend you pop into your local garage. Only fix your car yourself if you feel comfortable doing so and you think that you will be able to do it safely. Hopefully, though, this has explained how to fix some of the most common car problems.

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What should you know about UK Clean Air Zones?

  • What is a Clean Air Zone?
  • What are the LEZ and ULEZ?
  • What vehicles are exempt from ULEZ charges?
  • Where are the proposed Clean Air Zones?
  • Are Clean Air Zones effective?
  • What can I do to avoid CAZ charges?

What is a Clean Air Zone?

Are you someone who regularly drives through busy cities? Have you been hearing a lot about Clean Air Zones but aren’t sure what they are and how introducing one could affect you?

Quite simply, a Clean Air Zone, also referred to as CAZ, is an area where action is being taken to improve air quality. There is no specific size restriction on the zone, so it can be a single road, postcode, stretch of road or an entire town.

Clean Air Zone - Busy road in London

A Clean Air Zone is set up with the intention of cutting pollution and encouraging drivers to choose vehicles that produce less in the way of polluting fumes or use alternative methods of transportation, such as bicycles or public transport.

If you happen to drive your vehicle into one of these zones then you will be charged for it – an effort to deter the use of a car in the area. In fact, drivers of vehicles that pollute the most can be charged up to £100 per day to drive in areas where it’s believed the air is most toxic. These areas are usually heavier traffic zones such as highly-populated towns and city centres.

As well as creating Clean Air Zones that are specific to locations, these zones can also be applied to different groups of vehicles, such as lorries, vans or private cars.

What is a Low Emission Zone and an Ultra Low Emission Zone?

In 2008 the first Low Emission Zone (also referred to as LEZ) was set up in London, though this came a full 5 years after the Congestion Charge was introduced. The London Low Emission Zone covers most of Greater London and was set up to try and encourage diesel vehicle drivers to make them cleaner and less polluting. Unlike the Congestion Charge which is only active during the busiest parts of the working day and only on certain days of the week, charges to drive in the Low Emission Zone are valid between 7 am and 10 pm seven days a week. The daily charge is expensive for any vehicle that isn’t exempt in an effort to encourage drivers to move away from less environmentally friendly vehicles.

The charge is determined by vehicle weight, at present they are:

  • £100 per day for vans or specialist diesel vehicles (over 1.205 tonnes unladen weight, up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight), including minibuses up to 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro 3 standards
  • £100 per day for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.6 tonnes, as well as buses/minibuses/coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards, but meet Euro IV standards (PM)
  • £300 per day for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes, as well as buses/minibuses/coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro IV (PM)

In October 2021, the Ultra Low Emission Zone currently covering most of Central London will be expanded to make a single large zone up to, but not including, the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205).

Clean Air Zone - ULEZ sign in the city

Charges for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for vehicles that don’t meet exemption requirements, according to the Transport for London website are as follows:

  • £12.50 per day for most vehicle types – this includes cars, motorcycles and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes in weight)
  • £100 per day for heavier vehicles (including lorries weighing over 3.5 tonnes)
  • £100 per day for buses/coaches weighing over 5 tonnes

These charges are payable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only day excluded is Christmas Day.

The idea behind setting up the ULEZ in London was not to collect additional fees from owners of vehicles that don’t meet the emissions standards, but rather to encourage people to consider using a vehicle that meets them so they don’t have to pay a daily charge in order to use the area.

Are you looking for a new vehicle that will reduce your ULEZ fees? Not sure what sort of vehicles are available? Sign up for our weekly special offer newsletter and get the best vehicle deals sent right to your inbox.
 
 
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What vehicles are exempt from ULEZ charges?

At present, the vehicles that are exempt from paying to drive in the Ultra Low Emission Zone include all-electric vehicles and vehicles that meet the following European Standards:

  • Euro 3
    Also referred to as EC2000 and introduced in January 2000. This is the standard for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category). For petrol vehicles, the NOx (Nitrogen Dioxide) levels are 0.15 and for diesel vehicles, it’s 0.50g/km.
  • Euro 4 (NOx)
    Also referred to as EC2005 and introduced in January 2005, Euro 4 is the standard that petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles have to meet. The NOx level for petrol vehicles is 0.08.
  • Euro 6
    Euro 6, was first introduced in September 2014 and imposes stricter reductions in NOx emissions from diesel engines, including cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles. The NOx emission limit for Euro 6 vehicles is 0.08g/km and the PM (particulate matter) is 0.0005g/km.
  • Euro VI
    Lorries, buses, coaches and other specialist heavy vehicles need to meet the minimum Euro 6 (VI) standards. Diesel vehicles have a NOx emission limit of 0.08g/km and PM (particulate matter) is 0.0005g/km. Petrol vehicles have a NOx limit of 0.06g/km and a PM limit of 0.0005g/km.

*That have more than 8 passenger seats and over 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.

Where are other Clean Air Zones in the UK?

Since the Government announced that they were aiming to become completely carbon neutral by 2050, a number of cities across the UK have been asked to review the introduction of Clean Air Zones. Several have already put these zones in place, while others are proposed and more are in review.

Locations with a Clean Air Zone

  • Bath
    • Any non-compliant vans, taxis and minibuses are be charged £9 per day while other non-compliant vehicles (buses, trucks, lorries, coaches) are be charged £100 per day. Private cars and motorbikes are exempt
  • Birmingham
    • Cars, vans and taxis are charged £8 per day and HGVs, buses and coaches are charged £50 per day
  • Bristol
    • CAZ is going live on 29th October 2021. Non-compliant private cars, taxis and vans will be charged £9 per day and buses, coaches and HGVs will face a charge of £100 per day
  • Brighton
    • The low emission zone in Brighton only affects buses that drive through the city

Locations with a proposed Clean Air Zone

  • Bradford
    • The CAZ is due to be introduced in January 2022
  • Manchester
    • Expected to start charging from May 2022
  • Newcastle
    • The new CAZ is proposed for introduction in mid-2022
  • Portsmouth
    • The CAZ is due to start in November 2021

Are Clean Air Zones effective?

Though many see the Clean Air Zone as a great idea, there are still people and organisations that think it’s impractical and they don’t see how it can work. A lot of the concern has been from businesses who believe they will bear the brunt of the costs to change. Businesses such as haulage firms and taxi companies which will be required to update their fleets in order to meet the new regulations.

Organisations such as the Freight Transport Association has said that more public funds should be allocated to firms who will have to pay out to convert their lorries. The government, meanwhile, has allocated over £3billion towards tackling the issue of NO2, and this includes over £220million that is being put towards helping individuals and businesses that are affected by the changes their local councils are proposing.

Do you need help updating your fleet? Our team of vehicle specialists have experience in helping businesses find the right vehicle for every situation. Book a FREE consultation and let us help you find yours.

What can I do to avoid Clean Air Zone charges?

If you regularly drive into any of the cities or towns mentioned above, then it’s logical you will be considering ways to reduce the costs you’ll incur.

If you’re currently considering a new vehicle, then have you considered leasing, hiring or purchasing a brand-new 100% electric vehicle such as the very city-friendly Renault Zoe or the stylish Mini E. Or perhaps you want something for a larger family with great mileage like the Audi e-Tron, award-winning Jaguar i-Pace or one of the popular cars in the Tesla range.

Clean Air Zone - Electric vehicle being charged

Whatever vehicle you’re looking for, manufacturers are frequently updating their electric and hybrid ranges, increasing the number that they produce and improving the sort of mileage range that they can achieve.

As you can see, Clean Air Zones are felt to be a good way to reduce carbon emissions in more heavily populated areas and improve air quality. There are many cities across the country that already have set up these zones to reduce emissions, with others due to be established over the next year. There are several ways to ensure that your journey into a city with a Clean Air Zone won’t cost you, including upgrading from a petrol or diesel engine to an electric vehicle.

Are you looking for a new vehicle? Have questions about electric or hybrid? We have the answers. Book a consultation with one of our experienced vehicle specialists and let them help you get behind the wheel of a new vehicle.

What is the best work van?

  • What should I look for when searching for the best work van?
  • What types of work van are available?
  • What is the best work van?

Are you looking for the best work van for your business? Have you been searching and there are so many options that you need some help with the search?

Whether you’re a plasterer, scaffolder or carpenter, when it comes to finding the perfect work van there are many different things you need to consider.

Carpenter working with his tools.

Every business has different requirements when it comes to the vans they get, depending on the job that you need the vehicle for.

So, whether you’re looking for a van with a generous payload, the capability of pulling a trailer or enough space to drive your crew to a job site, we can help you find the right van that will fit every one of your business needs.

What should I look for when searching for the best work van?

When it comes to carrying the essential tools and equipment you require for any heavy-duty job it’s important to have a van that not only offers a sizeable payload but can also transport ladders, boards and other equipment that you might need for a given job, whatever your role in the construction process, whether you’re putting in the foundations or fitting kitchen cabinets.

If you’re looking for a new van for your business then we would always recommend you look at the sort of jobs you do. Are you a sole trader who only takes on small domestic jobs? Or is the business larger, regularly working with developers on big projects?

When it comes to searching for the perfect work vans it’s also a good idea to look for something that’s economical to run. So when you’re looking at the van specification it’s always worth considering how many miles it can do to the gallon. If you’re having to fill it up every other day then it’s not going to be an economical investment for your business.

Things you should add to the list when searching for a new work van include:

  • Payload
  • Loadspace
  • Type of equipment you transport
  • Type of jobs you carry out
  • Budget
  • Fuel economy
Unsure what you're looking for in a work van? Book a chat with one of our experienced vehicle specialists today.

What types of work van are available?

There are several different types of work van available and the best work van for you will depend entirely upon the sort of work you need them for.

Small vans

Small vans have a short wheelbase and you will often see them referred to as SWB. They have a lower payload and less interior space. However, this may be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re a sole trader looking for something that will transport the equipment and materials for a small domestic plastering job.

Medium vans

If you’re looking for something that sits perfectly between the small and large vans then this is where you need to start your search. These vans have a short wheelbase, like small vans, but they also have a more generous amount of storage and higher payload. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can transport the materials for kitchen cabinets or you’re a painter who is decorating a house then this could be just what you’re looking for.

Large vans

These are the largest vans that you can drive on a standard UK drivers licence, depending on the payload. A large van has a long-wheelbase (LWB). Vans like the Luton/box van are included in this group. These are ideal if you’re looking for something that can transport heavy bags of plaster, wood or materials for a conservatory.

4×4 and Pickup vans

These look so different to the others as they are a cab with an open cargo bed at the back. If you’re looking for something that is more cargo and only need room for a single driver and passenger then we’d recommend a single-cab pickup. Of course, if you want to use this as a family vehicle on the weekends or need to take a crew to the worksite every morning then the double-cab option is the best one.

Tipper and Dropside vans

This is the sort of van that you’ll often see piled high with scaffolding due to the fact that though it has a payload like any other vehicle, there is a little more flexibility to store items that can be piled and secured.

What is the best work van?

As we’ve already established, if you’re looking for a new work van then you’re going to be looking for the best work van that meets your business needs. We have put together a list of the 5 top vans, in our opinion.

Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Custom has multiple configurations and the short wheel-based L1 260 is a great option if you’re looking for a medium van.

Work van - Ford Transit Custom

It has a payload of 685.9kg and a load length of 2.5 metres. The interior of the van is lined for easy cleaning and protection against damage. Thanks to the generous load length it’s perfect for transporting long plasterboard or floorboards and you can customise it with a roof rack to carry a ladder or two depending on the job you’re doing.

Curious about the Ford Transit Custom? Find out more by arranging a FREE consultation with an experienced vehicle specialist at OSV.

Mercedes Sprinter

Looking for a van with multiple specification options? The Mercedes Sprinter is a very flexible vehicle that we would recommend you add to your list.

Work van - Mercedes Sprinter

Depending on the trim you select, the Sprinter can carry anything between 884 and 2,317kg – which is fantastic if you’re transporting roofing tiles, joists and the tools you’ll need to construct a roof. Another bonus to the Sprinter is the fact that it has a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg, so you could put a trailer on the back to transport a cement mixer.Of course, with a massive payload, you get reduced fuel economy, and the Sprinter gets between 29 and 32 miles to the gallon, but if you need to transport heavy goods on a daily basis from your business to the worksite then you’ll be happy with the generous payload.

Looking for a new van for your business? We can help. Book a FREE consultation with a member of our team today.

Citroen Relay

Whenever you’re looking for a new vehicle, whether for business or personal use, one question you should ask yourself is “what do I need my vehicle to achieve?” Knowing the answer to this can help you to make a decision when you have a lot of options to choose from.If you’re looking for a van with great payload and high sides – whether for transporting tall panes of glass or a hoarding promoting your business – one of the best is the Citroen Relay.

Work van - Citroen Relay

The Relay comes in 7 different height and length configurations with a load length of between 2.6 to 4 metres depending on the option you select. Payload is also incredibly generous, varying between 1,119 and 1,900kg.

Need help finding the perfect van for your business? Book a FREE consultation with an experienced vehicle specialist today. Let us do the hard work for you.

Ford Transit

If you’re looking for a generously sized van to transport heavy and large materials and all the tools you require for a job, then we would recommend something like the Ford Transit single cab chassis with a dropside body.  The longest of these is the L5, which has a load length of 5.1 metres. This model also has a gross vehicle weight of 4,700 kg, which means the driver will need to have a Category C driving licence.

Ford Transit

The payload on the longest wheelbase Transit chassis is just over 2 tonnes, at 2,077kg, which is enough for many, if not all, standard scaffolding jobs.

Have questions about the Ford Transit and all its configurations? Book a FREE consultation with an experienced vehicle specialist to get all the answers.

Volkswagen Transporter T6 LWB

We would always recommend you put together a list of the most important requirements you have for your van, whether it’s payload or load space, as this will make it much easier to determine which models are best when it comes to your individual business needs.

If you have a business that works with construction companies and also takes on smaller jobs then the Volkswagen Transporter T6 is a van that should be at the top of your list. It’s economical thanks to Bluemotion technology that can help you make a 15% fuel saving.

Volkswagen Transporter

With straight sidewalls, your equipment and materials can be protected from damage. The payload and load length of the Transporter T6 depends on which trim you choose, however, the payload is between 713 and 1,309kg and load length ranges between 2.5 and 2.9 metres with a standard load width of 1.7 metres, which is easily wide enough to load and unload a beautiful claw-foot tub or stunning handbuilt kitchen cabinets. 

Have you been looking for a new van for your business? Book a FREE consultation with one of our vehicle experts for help in finding the right van to meet your business needs.

As you can see, there are a lot of options when looking for the best work van for your business, no matter your needs. There are several things we would recommend you do before you start your search, including making a list of the type of jobs you carry out as a business, this will help identify the sort of van that best suits your needs. 

All of the vans we have mentioned have qualities that make them great vehicles with payload and load space that will meet your needs, depending on your individual business requirements. 

With over 20 years of experience helping businesses to find their perfect van, OSV can help you find the right vehicle to lease that will meet your needs.

Have you been looking for a new van? Do you have questions about the options available? Book a FREE consultation with one of our vehicle specialists and let us help you find the best vusiness vans that meet your needs.

What are the ins and outs of van leasing in the UK?

  • What are the best van leasing contracts?
  • What affects the price when van leasing?
  • What should I consider when looking at van leasing?

Are you looking for a new van? If so, have you been considering van leasing and wondering whether this is the option for you?

There are many benefits to van leasing; you get a brand new vehicle, overall it tends to be cheaper than buying and you can upgrade every few years. It’s a valid option if you’re looking to get a new van.

When it comes to van leasing there are things that you need to consider and in this article, we take a look at the pros and cons, the lease contract options available and give you ideas of the type of vans available.

What are the best van leasing contracts?

When you’re looking for a new van there are a few lease contract options for you to choose from. The one that you eventually select will depend on your individual situation and what you need from the van including the mileage, how long you want the van for and what you want to do with it at the end of the agreement.

Finance Lease

If part of your business requires you to travel a lot of miles in your vehicle (upwards of 50,000) and it’s possible you’ll need to make modifications to the van, or it’s going to regularly be driven over rough terrain then it’s worth thinking about getting a Finance Lease.

There are many benefits to getting a van on a Finance Lease, especially if your business is VAT registered.

You can claim 100% of the VAT back on a Finance Lease in your annual VAT return (if you get a car you can claim 50% of the VAT back).

Van leasing - image of a FedEx business delivery van

The cost of a Finance Lease is calculated using the overall cost of the vehicle, the duration of the contract (between 1 and 5 years if you get a van) and the amount you have agreed to make as the end payment (which is also known as the balloon payment).

The balloon payment is an estimate of what the value of the vehicle will be at the end of the agreement as mileage and condition won’t be available, it is based on how many miles you estimate you’ll do over the duration of the agreement and the wear and tear you anticipate it will have.

Even better, you can set the balloon payment, depending on how much you want to put down as your initial payment and the amount you’re willing to pay on a monthly basis.

When you reach the end of the agreement there are a few options you can take. You can:

  • Continue to make monthly payments on a yearly contract (you will usually have a charge that is equivalent to one monthly payment in order to arrange this – this payment is often referred to as a Peppercorn rental)
  • Return the vehicle
    • The Finance House will then sell the vehicle to cover the balloon payment
  • Sell the vehicle on to a third party to clear the balloon payment
    • Any profit from the sale will be yours (minus a small administration fee)
    • If the money from the sale doesn’t cover the balloon payment you will need to make up the difference

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a Finance Lease?

There are a considerable number of advantages to a Finance Lease for a business, especially if you’re looking for a vehicle or multiple vehicles. 

If you’re looking to convert your van – perhaps you need one to transport food requiring refrigeration, or a vehicle for transporting a number of dogs – Finance Leases give you this flexibility. There is no annual mileage allowance and you don’t need to keep to the Fair Wear and Tear conditions outlined by the BVRLA.

The pros and cons of Finance Lease

You can end the agreement early, which could be seen as an advantage, though you may be asked to pay a sizeable penalty for this. You also won’t own the vehicle at the end of the agreement.

Do you think Finance Lease sounds like the option for you? Book a FREE consultation with one of our vehicle experts to talk over your finance options.

Contract Hire

The other option when it comes to van leasing is Contract Hire. This is actually the most popular and traditional lease agreement available. It’s a perfect option if you’re looking to simply hand the van back to the Finance House at the end of the contract.

A business contract hire (or BCH) agreement enables a company to rent a van for between 1-5 years). Before you agree to the terms a mileage allowance is set and you will need to ensure the van is well maintained. 

When you reach the end of the agreement you return the vehicle to the Finance House and you have nothing further to pay, subject to fair wear and tear and any excess mileage.

As with any finance agreement, there are pros and cons that we believe you need to know about. 

Some of the pros are that:

  • You won’t suffer any depreciation loss as you don’t have to sell the van
  • As the monthly payments are consistent throughout it’s easy to budget for
  • Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) is included in the agreement

But with the pros come the cons, and these include:

  • You will need to ensure the van is well-maintained as you’re subject to fair wear and tear conditions
  • If you go over your mileage allowance you could incur excess mileage charges
  • You won’t own the vehicle outright – though this could also be considered a positive.
Want to know more about the different van leasing options available? Download our Ultimate Guide to leasing for answers to all your questions.

What affects the price when van leasing?

When you start to look into van leasing it’s important to know what can affect the price of a van. It’s a relatively small list of items and incredibly similar to the things that can affect the price when you look at leasing a car. These things include:

  • Mileage
  • Length of the contract
  • Type of van you’re leasing
  • Residual value of the van
  • Initial payment amount
Van leasing - Image of fleet of Amazon Prime vans

With a Finance Lease, the price is also affected by the balloon payment at the end of the contract. As we’ve already said, due to the fact that you don’t have any mileage or condition restrictions with a Finance Lease there is no way to truly tell how much the van will be worth at the end of the agreement. The balloon payment is one estimated on how many miles the van may do and the condition it will be in at the end of your lease.

What should I consider when looking at van leasing?

So, what sort of things should you be looking for when you’re thinking about van leasing? We always suggest that you put together a list and below are a few of the things that you consider when you start your search:

  • Type of contract best suited to your situation
  • Size of the van
  • Mileage
  • Initial payment amount
  • What the van will be used for
  • Payload and loadspace
  • Running costs

All of these things will come into play when you start to consider the best van to lease for your business. There are so many different vans available and each of them has something different to offer when it comes to your business needs. We’ve put together some articles that will give you some guidance on the type of vans available depending on your business, these may help when you start your search.

Image of man unloading a van

Conclusion: What are the next steps?

As you can see from the article, there are a few things to consider when you’re looking to lease a new van, including putting together a list of your business requirements, such as the sort of work you’re going to be doing, which will lead to decisions on payload, range and load space. You’re also going to need to think about your budget, mileage and how long you want to keep the van for. Once you’ve put together all of this, the next step is to speak to someone and that’s where we come in. 

At OSV we have over 20 years of experience helping people like you to find the right van for your business. Whether you’re looking for a fleet or a single van, give our experienced team a call and let us help you to find the right vehicle to fit all your business needs.

Have questions you'd like answered about van leasing? Want to to talk to someone who can help you find the right van for your business? Arrange a call with one of our experienced vehicle specialists today.

7 types of customer that aren’t a good fit for a vehicle broker like OSV

  • Do you have bad credit?
  • Are you based outside the UK?
  • Do you conduct all your business over email?
  • Do you prefer to do business face-to-face?
  • Do you want your lease car for a taxi?
  • Are you happy to talk budget?
  • Are you looking for the cheapest price?

Wondering if OSV is the right vehicle broker for you? In an ideal world, OSV would be the perfect choice for everyone when it comes to leasing.

However, we know that this isn’t the case and that there will be some people who aren’t a good fit for us, and we’re not a good fit for you.

At OSV, honesty and transparency are at the heart of our business. Since we were established in 1997 we have prided ourselves on the customer service we provide to every person who contacts us.

Vehicle broker - find out more about the vehicle leasing process with OSV.

It is because, as a company, we like to be honest with our customers that we’re writing this article, so you know who will and won’t be a good fit for the business, depending on individual needs.

We know that we’re not the right vehicle broker for everyone and we believe it’s really important we talk about that.

Do you have bad credit?

If we’re being completely honest here, if you have poor credit or county court judgements (CCJs) in your credit history, we won’t be able to help you when it comes to leasing a new vehicle, even if you have outlined a sensible budget.

We always recommend customers sign up for a credit check service when they’re looking at big-ticket items such as buying a house or leasing a car. This gives you a really good idea of what is in the last six years of your credit history.

Vehicle broker - picture of credit score on computer

We’re experts at working with complicated finance applications, but we can’t help you if your credit rating is poor.

It’s for that reason that we might not be the right fit for you.

Are you based outside the UK?

If your legal base is somewhere outside mainland UK, unfortunately, we aren’t in a position to help you.

Essentially, if you live, or have a registered company, in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, on Hayling Island or the Isle of Wight then we can help you to lease a car.

However, if you’re someone who lives on the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands then we won’t be able to help you. This is because though they are part of the British Isles, they aren’t part of the UK mainland so they have their own DVLA, and therefore their own registration system for new vehicles.

Vehicle broker - Isle of Man numberplate

Because the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have their own DVLA, you would have to change the registration plate of a car to drive it there as a resident. Unfortunately, you cannot do this when you lease a vehicle because you don’t own it. A leased vehicle is the property of a Finance House and they are based in mainland UK, so they are unable to do this.

Do you conduct all your business over email?

Are you someone who does all your business via email and doesn’t like to talk to anyone over the phone? If the answer to this question is yes then we’re not the right vehicle broker for you.

At OSV we offer a bespoke service, catering to you and your vehicle needs and this is not something we can do effectively by email.

We like to ensure that we offer a high level of service and that you get the benefit of our team’s expertise as well as ensure we fulfil requirements set out by the FCA that ensure we’re offering you the best and most suitable leasing options for your individual circumstances. This is something we need to communicate over the phone.

Vehicle broker - Email on a computer screen

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t communicate with you over email, but we really want to understand your vehicle needs. We have so many options available to offer you and speaking on the phone makes it a much more personal experience. At OSV, no one is a number, every customer is an individual and we feel it’s important that we can provide you with the personal touch.

Feel OSV is the right fit for you? Click this link to book a consultation.

Do you prefer to do business face-to-face?

As a vehicle broker, we aren’t the same as a dealership, our business is carried out primarily on the phone and online.

This isn’t because we don’t want to see you in person, but our business is very rarely carried out face-to-face.

OSV offices

We’re based in West Sussex, but do business with people across the whole of the UK. So we may be just a little too far away for you to pop in for a visit.

If you do want to have a chat and see the friendly face of the person who’s helping you on your new vehicle journey, you can always speak with us on Zoom. We’re only a call away.

Of course, if you do want to visit us we’ll welcome you with open arms and a cup of something hot. Though we would recommend you give us a call to let us know.

Is your main concern not being able to speak with us face to face? Book a Free Zoom consultation with us today.

Do you want your lease car for a taxi?

Have you been looking for a new car? Are you thinking about using it as a taxi or an Uber? If the answer to the second question is yes, then we’re probably not the right vehicle broker for you.

Vehicle broker - A row of London taxis

We’re not saying that you can’t lease a car to use as a taxi, but we would definitely recommend you go through a specialist lease company that leases taxis.

It’s incredibly rare for manufacturers to send lease deals for taxis across to a vehicle broker like OSV.

Are you happy to talk budget?

Some customers simply don’t want to talk about their budget and just want to be sent offers. 

Of course, your budget is not the most important factor in the beginning. However, having an idea of the budget you have set aside for your new vehicle will give us an idea of the direction we should be going when it comes to the requirements you have given us. 

Person looking through and signing paperwork

It’s important for us to be able to provide you with vehicles that meet your individual requirements and are affordable for you.

Are you looking for the cheapest price?

We’re always looking for ways to give you the best deal when searching for vehicles. However, we’re not a company that just looks for the cheapest price, we focus on value. 

We’re going to look for the ideal price, and sometimes that may not, on the surface, be the cheapest one.

We pride ourselves on finding deals that are tailored for you and your situation. All this means is we listen to what you tell us about your specific needs and then we search for the vehicles that are right for you and fall within your budget.

Vehicle broker - Multiple vehicles in a carpark

We know that some companies focus on getting prices without considering whether the vehicles and offers they have found are right for your situation. For example, they may find an offer that has the monthly payment you want, but the mileage is too low, or your initial payment is higher than you originally budgeted for.

If you simply want the cheapest deal, then we’re not the right company for you.

Our focus is on customer service and ensuring you have a great experience when you work with us and get exactly what you are looking for. 

As you can see, the list of people we are not in the best position to help is rather short. But in summary, if you are not a resident of the UK mainland, want to do all your business via email, or want to lease a vehicle for use as a taxi or an Uber then we’re not the right vehicle broker to help.

We’re also not a good fit if you‘re only looking out for the cheapest deal and don’t want to discuss your budget.

We work hard to be a good fit for everyone, offering advice and finding the most suitable vehicle offers for our customers. However, we understand that we aren’t for everyone, and we hope that this article has helped you to decide if OSV is a good fit for you.

Who is a great fit for OSV?

Have you just started the search for your next vehicle? Do you live in the UK? Do you have a healthy credit score and want to get rid of some of the stress that can go with getting a new car or van? 

If you’ve been searching for a vehicle broker and we’ve just described you, then we’re the company you’re looking for.

With just a phone call or Zoom meeting, we can start the search to find the car or van you’ve been looking for, one that meets your requirements and budget. 

We hope, in the future, you will join the thousands of happy customers we have been able to help since the business was founded in 1997.

Do you feel OSV is the right fit for you? Are you searching for a new vehicle and happy to have a chat over the phone with an experienced vehicle specialist? Book your FREE consultation today.

5 things you need to know about credit checks and car leasing

  • Why a credit check is carried out when leasing a car
  • Information on my credit report
  • How to improve my credit score?
  • Does leasing affect my credit score?
  • Can I lease a car without a credit check?

Are you looking to lease your next vehicle but aren’t sure how or even if this will impact your credit score?

Have you ever wondered why a Finance House will carry out a credit check before your finance is approved?

In this article, we take a look at why a credit check is carried out, the information that shows up in your credit report, the steps you can take to improve your credit score going forward, the impact that getting a vehicle lease will have on your score and whether you can lease a vehicle without having a credit check.

1. Why is a credit check carried out when leasing a car?

A credit check is the best and most reliable way for a Finance House to discover whether you will be able to make the monthly payments or not.

Your credit score will show the underwriters whether you’ll be able to make the payments, the higher your credit score the better. 

Credit check - person going through and filling out a paper credit check document

Because you don’t own the car, the Finance House needs reassurance that you’re going to be able to meet the commitment of your monthly payments. The easiest way of determining your financial commitments is to take a look at your credit score.

As much as we are sure they would like to, finance houses can’t look at each case on an individual basis, so they do a quick credit check that is done by a computer.

2. What information is on my credit report?

Your credit report will actually tell you a number of things about your financial status as well as information about you. The things you will be able to see on your credit report include:

  • Name and date of birth
  • Electoral roll information
    • Including information about past addresses
  • List of credit accounts
    • Including accounts that have been closed and settled in the past six years
    • Information on credit limits and loan amounts on mortgages
  • Credit cards and loans
    • Details of your current account overdraft
    • Information about application searches
    • Any missed or late payments and how many
  • Any financial links to other people
    • If you have any joint credit applications
  • Any history of debt problems including bankruptcies or CCJs.

A credit report will go back six years and will also include information showing whether your identity has been used for anything fraudulent.

As you can see, there’s quite a lot of information to be obtained from your credit report that the underwriters need to then go through.

3. How can I improve my credit score?

If you’re concerned that your credit score isn’t what you want it to be, there are some things that you can do to improve it going forward. These things include:

  • Paying bills on time
    • This one may seem obvious, but it’s actually the easiest way to improve your credit rating
  • Keep your credit card balances low
    • Having a high debt-to-credit ratio could be considered a sign that you’re facing financial difficulties
  • Only open new credit accounts if you need them
    • Having too many open credit accounts can be detrimental to your credit score
    • Having too few accounts is also bad, so ensure you have a healthy mix of accounts
  • Pay off any debt
    • You can also improve your credit score by paying off any existing debt you may have.
Credit check - person handing over their credit card

Where can I check my credit score?

There are quite a few places online where you can check your credit score. At OSV, we use Experian most of the time, but there are others available.

Some websites will charge you for the service, however, the following will allow you to conduct a check without any fees:

4. Does leasing affect my credit score?

Any loan will have an effect on your credit score. From a credit standpoint, car leasing is exactly the same as getting a car loan.

Over a third (35%) of your credit score is based on your payment history, and car leasing is a payment. So, leasing does impact your credit score.

A further 25% of your credit score is the length of your credit history and the number of new accounts or enquiries you have.

Person checking their credit check details online

Can car leasing positively affect my credit score?

It’s important to be aware that car leasing will likely have a negative effect on your credit score before it has a positive one, but this is the same as any loan you get on your credit account. However, as long as you stay on track with your payments and ensure that they are all made on time, it will improve.

If you don’t have much of a credit score, because, for example, you’ve not had time to build one, then leasing a car can be a great way to build your credit rating. 

As a car lease is an instalment account it can improve your credit score simply by appearing on your credit report.

10% of your credit score is the type of credit you use. So having a varied number (but not too many) of accounts open can improve your credit score.

While car leases are instalment accounts, credit cards are revolving accounts. So, if the only debt you have is credit card debt, adding an instalment account will improve your credit mix.

Can car leasing negatively affect my credit score?

There is a chance that a car lease will have a negative impact on your credit score.

As with any sort of repayment, if you miss an instalment then this will have a negative effect on your credit score.

If you open a new account or request new credit then your credit score can go down, though this is dependent on how many applications you have made in the past six months. 

New enquiries will stay on your credit file for two years. However, the good news is that any negative impact on your score from said searches is normally removed after 6 months. Though a car lease may have a negative impact initially, as long as you keep making your payments on time then your credit score will improve.

5. Can I lease a car without a credit check?

The short answer to this question is ‘no’.

If a vehicle broker or a leasing company claims you can lease a car through them without a credit check then we would advise you to be very wary.

There will be leasing companies and vehicle brokers that allow you to lease if you have a bad credit score, but they will still have to carry out a credit check.

We would never recommend you go through a leasing company that doesn’t carry out a credit check as it’s unlikely they will be reputable, and this means that if you experience any problems during the leasing process you won’t be protected by organisations such as the FCA and BVRLA.

If you don’t want a credit check because you have bad credit, then the best thing to do would be to find a reputable vehicle broker that has been set up specifically to help individuals or businesses with bad/poor credit.

Unfortunately, OSV has not been set up to aid those with bad/poor credit or CCJs and would therefore be unable to help you finance a vehicle. 

So, as you can see, a credit check is a vital part of the leasing process. Not only does it provide the Finance House with information about your credit, but also reassurance that you are able to meet the monthly payments you are committing to when you lease a vehicle.

Leasing can also be a really good way to build your credit rating, especially if your credit record is new. Making regular monthly payments and having a different type of credit account can also contribute towards building your credit score.

If you want to check your credit score before you apply for a lease then there are multiple online resources available that are free to use.

A credit check isn’t something to fear, it’s simply a way for a Finance House to reassure themselves of your financial status.

Do you have other burning questions? Need to get them answered? Or maybe you are ready to start your vehicle search? Book your FREE consultation with one of our vehicle specialists now.

5 things to know about how to lease a vehicle for business

  • How to lease a vehicle for business?
  • How do you qualify for business leasing?
  • My company is new, can I get a business car lease?
  • How can I improve my company credit score?
  • What are the business benefits of leasing?

Do you run your own business? Have you just started the search for a new business vehicle? Perhaps you’re thinking about leasing and aren’t sure how to lease a vehicle for business and if you qualify.

There is a lot to know when it comes to business leasing, and having questions is understandable. Questions like: How do I lease a vehicle for business? What do I need to do to be eligible? What credit requirements do I need to meet?

We’re here to answer all of these questions and offer you support when it comes to finding your next business vehicle.

How to lease a vehicle for business - branded van

There are a huge number of benefits to business leasing, so it’s easy to understand why it has become such an appealing option for businesses when they are looking to get a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles.

But, how do you get a business car lease? Are you eligible and how can you get a business car lease if you run a new business?

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1. How to lease a vehicle for business?

So, you’ve been searching for your new vehicle, but before you start the application process you want to know the answer to the big question. Can I get a vehicle lease through my business? 

There are several different types of organisations and businesses that qualify for a business lease.

If you or your business are any of the following, then you can qualify for a business vehicle lease:

  • Public limited company (PLC)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Limited company
  • Sole trader
  • VAT registered business
  • Charity
  • Local authority
  • Embassy

As you can see, there are a number of ways that you or your company can be eligible for a business lease.

2. How do you qualify for business leasing?

Whether you’re leasing a car through your business or privately, a credit check is carried out. 

If you’re a business customer, then the Finance House will carry out a credit check on the business, as well as possibly the director(s) of the company.

How to lease a vehicle for business - people looking over paperwork

The credit check will be carried out so that the Finance House can be sure that it is able to meet the monthly payments and going through your financial history is the easiest way to do this.

A business credit report actually tells the Finance House a lot about your company, including:

  • Basic company information, including the company’s address, past addresses, suppliers and the number of years it’s been trading
  • The history of the business
  • Government activity summary
  • Company operational data
  • Industry data
  • Past payment history
  • Business registration information
  • Any public filings including judgements and legal filings.

It’s possible that the Finance House will ask for additional information and you’ll need to be prepared to send some (or all) of the following for them to look over:

  • Bank statements that show a positive net worth, likely from the previous three months
  • Valid addresses and identification of the company director(s)
  • An opening balance sheet – if available

Unfortunately, if you have a bad/poor credit score, or you have CCJs on your credit history, OSV will be unable to help you to get a new lease vehicle.

3. My company is new, can I get a business car lease?

Have you just started your business? If so, then it is a little more difficult to get approval for a business car lease due to the fact that your company won’t have a very long financial history. However, we can show you how to lease a vehicle for business that is new.

Without a financial history to look through, the Finance House will have to use different tools to check your eligibility for a business lease.

How to lease a vehicle for business - person with keys to new property

In order to maximise your chances of getting a business car lease, you should be prepared to provide the Finance House with all the information we have already mentioned, but you should also be prepared to go above and beyond. This may include showing them a realistic cash flow forecast. If you provide the Finance House with a forecast that is unrealistic then it won’t be taken seriously, which will impact your chances of getting a business lease.

The more information you are able to show the Finance House, the more likely you are to be able to convince them that you will be able to make the monthly payments.

4. How can I improve my company credit score?

If your company is new, or your credit score is in need of improvement there are a few ways that you can improve it, though they aren’t an immediate fix and can take some time. These include ensuring you:

  • Pay all invoices on time
  • Avoid court judgments, though if one does occur ensure that it is settled within one month
  • File annual returns and financial accounts on time
  • Register your business with a credit reference agency or directory
  • Check the credit position of your suppliers to ensure that you won’t be left in a difficult situation should one go into administration
  • Keep an eye on the company credit score so that when the time comes and a credit check is carried out on the business there won’t be any surprises.

It’s worth taking a look at your credit rating using one of the free online resources available, such as Experian. This ensures that you’ll know what’s on your credit report when the Finance House carries out their credit check.

Do you have unanswered questions about your business vehicle needs? Are you ready to chat through your questions with an experienced vehicle specialist? Book a call with a member of our team today and we can help.

5. What are the business benefits of leasing?

There are quite a few benefits when you lease a vehicle for business, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular.

Cash flow

One of the benefits of leasing a car through your business is cash flow. No doubt you’ve heard the phrase ‘Cash is King’ when it comes to business, and it’s true. Having your cash tied up in a depreciating asset is not ideal, nor is spending a huge amount of cash in one hit. When you lease, your money is not tied up in an asset that is losing money and, quite often, the monthly payments are lower than if you got the vehicle through a purchase scheme.

Leasing vehicles for your business frees up funds so you can continue to do your daily business. You also have the freedom to put down as little or as much as you would like as an initial payment. If you would prefer to pay a larger amount initially then you benefit from lower monthly payments. If you pay a smaller amount upfront then your monthly payments will be larger. However, leasing gives you the flexibility and ability to free up money for your business.

Time-saving

This benefit is often overlooked. But it has to be said, you can save a lot of time by leasing your vehicle, especially if you go through a vehicle broker like OSV.

All you have to do is tell us about your current situation, your requirements and your budget and we’ll do all the legwork for you.

How to lease a vehicle for business - Find out more about how OSV can save you time

We’ll do the research using the requirements you have given us, negotiate some great deals and then show you what we’ve found. You can choose which one of the options you feel suits your purpose the best and let us know. It’s really that simple.

Running your own business can be time-consuming and this means that you don’t always have time to trawl through a multitude of vehicle websites, looking at specifications to find the right vehicle to suit your needs. If you go to a vehicle broker, like OSV, for help then this is a responsibility that we will take on. Our team of vehicle specialists will do all the hard work for you. This will give you the opportunity to get on with looking after the day-to-day running of your business.

Tax benefits

A huge benefit of business leasing is the tax benefits, these are mainly seen when you look at Contract Hire agreements, making this a hugely popular scheme for businesses.

If you’re a VAT registered business and you have a vehicle on a Contract Hire agreement then you can claim 50% of the VAT back on the monthly and initial rental in your quarterly VAT return. If you don’t use your vehicle for personal journeys then you can claim 100% back.You can also offset the rentals against your monthly tax bill, the percentage of which depends on how much CO2 your vehicle emits. If it emits less than 110g/km of CO2 then you can claim 100% back. Any more than that, however, and you can only claim 85% of the rental against profits.

How to lease a vehicle for business - electric car being charged

When it comes to how to lease a vehicle for business, as you can see, there are several different types of companies that are eligible to get a business vehicle lease and when a Finance House requests your credit history they will get a lot of information about your business. If your business is new and therefore has a very minimal credit history it’s possible that the Finance House will ask for more documentation but with the help of the information in this article, you’ll be prepared.

At OSV we work with businesses every day helping guide them through the business leasing journey. 

Have you been looking for a new business lease? Want to talk about your vehicle needs? Book a FREE consultation with one of our

Is Dacia reliable?

  • Is Dacia unreliable?
  • Why are Dacia reliable?
  • How reliable are consumer reports and surveys?
  • Common Dacia problems to look out for
  • Dacia vs. Peugeot vs. Renault

Dacia, the comeback kid of the automotive world. Once a communist-state owned company, Dacia is now owned by Renault and thriving, but are Dacia reliable?

You may have noticed how many Dacia’s are currently on the road, there seems to be more and more every day. They are becoming an ever-increasing sight on the UK road network, and for good reason. Their cars are affordable, they are now well built and they are reliable.

That word; reliable. Reliability, or unreliability, has plagued Dacia since the days they were owned by the State, with it not uncommon to see drivers fixing their cars on the side of the road. And though that was a long time ago, and Romania is no longer a communist country, the unreliability tag seems to have stuck.

But is this still the case? Is Dacia still as unreliable as they once were?

In this article, we look at everything to do with reliability and Dacia, including comparing it to some of its main rivals.

Is Dacia unreliable?

Contrary to popular belief, Dacia’s are pretty reliable. In fact, they are very reliable. The AutoExpress Driver Power survey of 2016 put Dacia in third place for dependability, with a score of 96.17 out of 100. This was higher than Toyota and Honda. The only two that beat it were Tesla and Lexus. For a budget car brand, that’s extremely impressive going. Owner reviews are just as good. Both the Duster and Sandero receive an average of 87.83% on AutoExpress, with the reliability coming in as the highest ranking. The reviews on carbuyer are mainly positive, with a few negative reviews thrown in there. But overall, drivers seem to be very happy with their Dacia’s. However, there were reports of rust a few years ago. There were reports from customers about issues with rust on the Dacia Dusters. As a response, Dacia instigated a fix and offered an inspection and a free repair for the affected vehicles.

Blue Dacia Sandero car driving on a road surrounded by trees

It was rumoured to be the reason that Dacia moved their production from India to Romania, where they already produced their left-hand drive cars. However, Dacia said that this was not the case and it was purely coincidental. Regardless, there was an issue with rust a few years ago. However, that seems to have been cleared up and Dacia is currently on the top of their game when it comes to reliability.

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Why are Dacia reliable?

These results may come as a bit of a shock to some, as it is widely assumed that Dacia produces unreliable cars.

One of the reasons Dacia have been considered unreliable is because at one point in their history, they were. But as we mentioned before, this was in communist Romania, a country that was shut off from the rest of the West and therefore lacked the technology and had yet to develop their own technology to improve their cars. That’s essentially the reason they were so unreliable. But Romania hasn’t been communist since the revolution in 1989, so why do people still think Dacia aren’t reliable?

Possibly because they are so cheap. Dacia produces some of the cheapest cars on the market and definitely produce the cheapest SUV’s. In fact, some of their SUV’s cost less than many city cars. So people assume that cheap = unreliable. Yet, this has been disproven several times in regards to several different things, particularly with cars. It is assumed that the more executive and expensive the car, the more reliable. When this is not the case at all. And one of the reasons this is not the case is because of the amount of technology that is in these cars. While this extra tech is great for drivers and it makes the car more appealing, it is not always reliable. Many have put unreliability down to an increase in complicated technology that is prone to problems. Looking to get an affordable SUV? Watch our in-depth review of the Dacia Duster for more information about the modern and robust SUV.

And Dacia? Well, Dacia doesn’t have any of that. Dacia is all about keeping costs low, meaning that you won’t be getting a lot of complex technology. The drivers know this, and it’s why people choose Dacia’s. But this means that there are no problems because there is no complex technology to go wrong. That’s not to say there isn’t technology onboard a Dacia, it’s just not as advanced as the tech you would see in an Audi or Mercedes. And that simply means that they are more reliable.

Not only that, but they are also cheap to repair. The parts are common and easy to source, meaning that you won’t have to fork out a fortune for the repair costs.

So there are a few reasons why Dacia are reliable. Considering getting a Dacia Sandero? Check out our full Youtube review to learn more about the tough yet comfortable hatchback.

Orange Dacia sandero driving down a road in the sun

How reliable are consumer reports and surveys?

It’s at this point in the article where we justify our use of consumer reports and surveys in determining reliability.

Consumer surveys are accurate because it’s owner feedback. This means that those who drive the car every day are able to give feedback on how dependable, or not dependable, their car is. We also use reports from the likes of WarrantyDirect, which provide extended warranties for many makes and models. When someone makes a claim, they can record this. They then use this data to come to an informed conclusion about which makes and models are the most reliable and which ones aren’t.

The only problem with customer surveys is that you can’t know the longevity of a brand new car. Therefore, you won’t get a completely accurate judgement until the car is a few years old. Many, such as J.D Power, use predicted dependability, which is usually quite accurate.

Overall, using consumer surveys are a good and unbiased way of knowing how reliable a car is.

Common Dacia problems to look out for

When you are looking at a car, particularly a used one, then there are things that you should be looking out for. Some of the common problems for Dacia include;

  • Faults with the catalytic converter
  • Problems with the engine management systems
    • These aren’t too common, but some have been reported.
  • Rust
    • As we mentioned earlier, rust has been a problem for Dacia. If you’re looking at a used Dacia, then make sure that you check carefully for any signs of rust.

If you are looking at a used Dacia, then it’s worth asking the person selling if they have had some of these problems.

Dacia vs. Peugeot vs. Renault

It can be difficult to decide who to compare Dacia to in terms of rivals. In this section of the article, we have gone for brands that produce cars similar to the Duster rather than going by the price.

Both Renault and Peugeot also fare pretty well in terms of reliability. However, in the survey that put Dacia in third place, Renault and Peugeot were quite a bit further down the list. Renault came 11th, with a score of 93.72 and Peugeot were 13th, with a score of 93.09. These aren’t bad scores by any means, and they’ve done considerably better than many luxury brands, but they don’t quite meet Dacia’s third place. However, in a survey by Motoring Research, Peugeot came out on top in 5th place with 92 problems per 100 vehicles. This is compared to Renault who came 14th with 116 problems per 100 vehicles. And Dacia? Well, Dacia didn’t fare too well in this survey at all, coming in at 23rd with 174 problems per 100 vehicles. Which is quite a lot. However, this was in 2016, and the AutoExpress survey was this year (2017). So I think we can say that it averages out and it seems that these brands are pretty reliable. So, if you’re looking for reliability and price, then Dacia is the manufacturer for you.

In conclusion, Dacia is surprisingly reliable. This is considering their past reputation and the fact that their main focus is keeping costs as low as possible. They are so reliable that AutoExpress have put them third in their recent reliability table. That said, their main rivals, Peugeot and Renault, have been reliable for longer. Whether this means that they are actually more reliable remains to be seen. So, if you have faith in the most recent reliability tests, need a family car and want value for money, then a Dacia is perfect for you.

Self-employed car finance: The 5 things you need to know

  • Can I get car finance if I am self-employed?
  • How does self-employed car finance work?
  • Self-employed car finance and company car tax
  • Self-employed car finance with no credit history
  • The best car finance for the self-employed

Have you just started up your own business? Are you self-employed and looking for a new vehicle that is going to get you to jobs? Perhaps you’re unsure as to whether a vehicle lease is something available to you.

When you’re looking for the ideal vehicle to help your business grow we know that you’ll have questions. We are sure that the question at the top of your list is going to be “Can I lease a vehicle if I’m self-employed?”.

self-employed car finance - electrician fixing an outside light

We know that the idea of getting a lease can be rather daunting, finding the right vehicle, applying for the lease, going through the paperwork. And we can help you with all of that. At OSV we can take all the stress of the process away, helping you to get the right vehicle for your business.

1. Can I get car finance if I am self-employed?

Do you run your own business and are wondering if you’re eligible to get car finance? Perhaps you’re looking for a vehicle that you can use to deliver your wares or something that you can use to travel to your next plumbing job.

Whatever your business may be, the chances are you’re looking at this and want to know if, as you’re self-employed, you qualify for car finance through your business. The answer to that question is that yes, you can lease a vehicle through your business.

2. How does self-employed car finance work?

Believe it or not, if you’re applying for car finance through your business, even if you’re self-employed, the process is the same as if you were applying through a larger business. 

The first step is to put together a list of what you need from your vehicle, whether you need a van for transporting plumbing materials or a car to impress clients at business meetings.

Now that you have your list of wants and needs where your new vehicle is concerned, get in touch with a vehicle broker, like OSV. We can help you to find a vehicle that meets your business needs and budget.

When you speak with us we can talk you through your contract options. How long you want the vehicle for, what type of contract you want and how the leasing journey will work.

So, how long do you want your vehicle for? Do you want to upgrade regularly? If so, how often?

Once you’ve done all of that it’s time to think about the type of contract you want. There are two options when it comes to business leasing, contract hire and finance lease. We’ll come back to these two options later in the article.

Credit checks

As with any other finance application, the Finance House will carry out a credit check on your business to see if it is able to meet the monthly payments for the vehicle and if you pass this check it’s possible they will ask you to provide them with more information. This includes:

  • Your latest set of accounts – which will hopefully show that your business has a positive net worth
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of ID

You may also be asked to provide a copy of your most recent bank statements.

As long as your credit score is good and the Finance House is confident that you will be able to meet the monthly payments for your lease, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t qualify for vehicle finance.

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of leasing a vehicle as a sole trader? Book a free consultation with one of our experienced vehicle specialists and they will guide you through the journey to a new vehicle.

3. Self-employed car finance and company car tax

This is the moment where we have great news for you if you’re a sole trader or self-employed.

As, if you are, you won’t be liable for any Company Car or Company Van Tax. This definitely works in your favour, but you may be wondering why you don’t have to pay it. Essentially, it’s because, as a sole trader, you and your business aren’t judged as separate entities.

self-employed car finance - image of taxes being cut in two

How does Company Car Tax work?

Company Car Tax works on a sliding rate. The amount you’ll pay is worked out using the following information:

  • The amount of CO2 the vehicle you drive emits
  • the P11d value of the vehicle
  • the tax bracket you’re in

If you would like to find out even more about Company Car Tax we have an article outlining all the calculations, costs for this year and going forward.

You can benefit from massive reductions in Company Car Tax if you choose an electric vehicle.

How does Company Van Tax work?

When it comes to vans, the tax works on a fixed rate, which can be hugely beneficial, depending on the vans you choose. Cars work on a sliding rate that depends on the amount of CO2 that the car emits.

If you’re driving a petrol or diesel van then Company Van Tax works on a fixed rate of £3,500. Your annual payments will depend on the personal tax bracket you are in, so if you’re in the 20% bracket you’ll pay 20% of £3,500, which is £700 per year, or £58.34 per month. Of course, if you’re in the 40% tax bracket then you will be paying 40% of £3,500.

If you’ve decided to drive an electric van then, as of April 2021, Company Van tax has been reduced to £0 in an effort to encourage more businesses to drive electric. We have put together an entire section on the benefits of electric vehicles. We have also written a comprehensive article that covers everything you need to know about Company Van Tax if you have more questions.

4. Self-employed car finance with no credit history

If you’ve only just started your business or you don’t have a long credit history it can be a little more difficult to get approval, but it’s not impossible.

Self-employed car finance - office set up for new business

As your credit history is the way that the Finance House checks that your business will be able to meet the regular monthly payments, they will ask you to provide more information in order to help your application for finance. As a new business, there  are some things that you can do in order to improve your chances of getting your finance application approved and these include providing the Finance House with the following:

  • Bank statements that show positive net worth (from the previous three months)
  • Valid address(es) and identification for the company director(s)
  • An opening balance sheet

You may also be asked to provide them with a realistic cash flow forecast.

The more information you provide, the easier it will be for them to understand your situation and if you are able to meet the monthly lease payments consistently.

5. The best car finance for the self-employed

We briefly touched on the finance options available earlier in the article. As a business, the two best leases for you to choose from are Contract Hire and Finance Lease.

If you decide that you would like to get your vehicle on contract hire then you have the vehicle for a set period of time (between 1 and 4 years – though if you get a van this can be extended to 5 years) and have a pre-agreed annual mileage. At the end of the agreement, you return the vehicle at no additional cost (subject to mileage and condition).

Of course, if you’re looking for vehicle finance that has no mileage or condition restrictions then Finance Lease may be the better option for you. At the start of the agreement, you set a balloon payment amount (this depends on the size of your initial payment and how much you want to pay for the duration of the lease. You lease the vehicle for between 1 and 4 years (5 if it’s a van) and when the agreement ends you settle the balloon payment by selling it to a third party. 

Both of these finance options have been designed with businesses in mind and come with pros and cons. 

If you’re looking for a van and unlimited mileage is an important item on your requirement list then Finance Lease is the better choice, while the more traditional contract hire is perfect if you’re looking for a vehicle that you can drive, maintain and hand back at the end of your agreement.

Have more questions about the business finance options available to you? We have the answers in our Ultimate Guide to Vehicle Leasing. Download the full guide here.

Conclusion: What to do now

As you can see, if you’re self-employed or have just started a new company, you can still qualify for a vehicle lease through your business.

Sure, you may have to provide the Finance House with more documents than you would if you decided to lease privately, but this is standard for any business.

Of course, there is an added bonus if you’re a Sole Trader in that you won’t have to pay any Company Car Tax on a vehicle leased for your business. 

Now that you know you’re eligible to apply for a business lease as someone who is self-employed, the next step to getting your new business vehicle is just a phone call away.

Have you been searching for a new vehicle for your business and want some help? Book a free consultation with one of our experienced vehicle specialists and let us help you find a vehicle suitable for your business.

What are the best vans?

  • What are the best vans for small business?
  • What are the best vans for towing?
  • What are the best vans for families?

Have you just started the search for a new van to lease? Do you want something that meets all your requirements? Have you been looking for something that can transport goods or is it a vehicle you’re going to use to travel with your family to the Norfolk Broads? There are so many different vans to choose from and it can be difficult to know where to start. How can you possibly find the best van when you don’t even know what you’re looking for.

Whether you run a business and are looking to start a delivery service or need to replace your existing vehicle, or you’re going to take the family on a camping trip, there is an ideal van out there and in this article we’re going to help you find it.

What are the best vans for small business?

So, you’re looking for a new van for your business. Perhaps you’re expanding your services, or maybe you’re replacing a van you’ve had for a while. Let’s take a look at the vans that are perfect for a small business whether you’re starting out or growing.

Volkswagen Caddy Cargo

The Volkswagen Caddy has been produced by VW since 1980, though it wasn’t introduced to the UK until 1982. However, it was originally only produced as an MPV. In 2010 that changed and the Caddy Panel or Caddy Cargo as it is known in the UK was released. It is likely familiar to anyone who has ever seen a British Gas van as Volkswagen has had a contract to supply the utility company with vehicles since 2007 – this was renewed in 2015.

Volkswagen Caddy Cargo Van

The Caddy Cargo was given a huge facelift in 2021 and with the facelift comes a new name, the Caddy Cargo Commerce. It also has three brand new trims, the Cargo Commerce, Commerce Plus and Commerce Pro. As standard, all Caddy Cargo vans come with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Cruise Control and a handy multi-function steering wheel.

Pros

  • Plenty of safety features
  • Incredibly comfortable interior which can be vital if you drive it a lot
  • Great tech options, depending on your choice of trim
  • Fantastic choice if you’re not going to be transporting too much
  • Easy to put items in as load space is lower than many other vans
  • Great modern infotainment system similar to most other Volkswagen models

Cons

  • Payload isn’t as great as other small vans, at just 687kg
  • Storage space isn’t the most practical
  • Can be rather loud in the cabin

If you’re not looking to transport a bathtub, paving slabs or other heavy items then this van is absolutely perfect. In fact, it’s ideal if you’re going to be spending hours on the road at a time making deliveries or going to multiple locations in a day to make repairs this is definitely a van to look at. When you’re in a vehicle all day it really needs to be comfortable.

Want to find out more about the Volkswagen Caddy? We have the answers. Book a FREE consultation with one of our experienced vehicle specialists now and let us help you find the right vehicle for your business needs.

Mercedes Citan

Being the creators of the first-ever motorised vans, it wouldn’t be a complete list without a Mercedes. The manufacturer produces several different vans and the Citan, their smallest commercial vehicle is ideal for a small or new business. With a payload of up to 661kg, and comfortable seating in the front for driver and passenger, it’s a little on the small side in comparison with other vehicles. However,  if you’re looking for something practical, without all the trimmings, then the Citan is definitely a vehicle to consider.

Mercedes Citan van

As we’ve already mentioned, the Mercedes Citan doesn’t have the highest payload capacity of the small vans, but there are some advantages to its stature, and one of them is the fact that it is much easier to park. If, for example, you’re delivering packages or flowers in a busy city, parking is at a premium. When transporting light goods such as flowers or perhaps cakes you want to be closer to the end customer to ensure no damage occurs. With a small van, this becomes a much easier prospect.

Pros

  • You have a choice of three different wheelbase lengths
  • Very comfortable interior
  • It’s nice to look at

Cons

  • One of the more expensive options 
  • Low payload of 661kg

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mercedes if there weren’t upgrade options, and whether that’s parking sensors or an ISOFIX fitting, Mercedes gives you that choice. The Citan definitely isn’t lacking when it comes to customisation options.

If you think that the Citan meets your needs, call us or schedule a call with us now to go over your wish list and let us help you find the right option.

Best vans for towing

Are you looking for something that can tow a concrete mixer or a caravan?  Whatever your towing requirements it’s important to select the best vehicle for your needs. At OSV, that’s one of the things we always pride ourselves on, we want to find the vehicle that meets your needs, from towing to legroom.

Ford Transit

The Ford Transit has been on the market since 1965, so it’s an old boy on the block. It’s also one of the most popular vans available for sale. In fact, in 2021 it’s the second highest-selling van in the UK, only being beaten out by the Ford Transit Custom.

So, why is it that here we’re talking about the Ford Transit? Well, this van is one to consider if you’re looking for one that can carry a generous interior payload, as well as having the capacity to tow a pretty good weight.

Payload: 969 – 2,457kg

Tow capacity: 1,650 – 3,600kg (braked)

Best vans - Ford transit van

The maximum tow capacity offered by the Ford Transit is specific to a single trim of the van, the Heavy Duty rear-wheel-drive model. However, if you’re looking for the highest combination of payload and towing capacity then it’s important to know that the Heavy Duty model has a payload maximum of just 969kg.

Pros

  • Flexible configuration options – not as many as the Sprinter, but enough to make it easy to find one that suits your needs
  • Quiet and comfortable interior – some vans can have quite a lot of cabin noise
  • Low step-in height which is ideal for those of a shorter stature
  • The side sliding door opens to an incredibly impressive 1.3 metres
  • Load space is over 3 metres long

Cons

  • Higher towing capacity costs you interior payload
  • Some configurations have more cabin noise than others

The Ford Transit is probably one of the vans you’re most used to seeing on UK roads, they are the chosen transport of the ubiquitous white van man. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

If you’re a landscape gardener this van is ideal as you can load it up with all the paving slabs for a new patio or rocks for that feature rockery your new client wants. The 3-metre loading length of the van makes this perfect transport if your business is decorating, there’s plenty of room to slide in a couple of ladders, and all the wallpaper, paint and brushes you could need to complete multiple jobs.

Interested in the Ford Transit? Let us help you to find the right configuration to suit your business needs. Book a FREE consultation with one of our vehicle specialists now.

IVECO Daily

Believe it or not, the IVECO Daily has been around since 1978, though it was originally marketed as the Fiat Daily until 1983. Since 1978 over 3 million units have been sold globally.

There are several different models of the Daily available and each has advantages depending on your needs. If you’re looking for something that can carry a payload of up to 2,700kg then take a look at the twin-wheel model that has QUAD-TOR suspension.

There is also a Daily CrewVan that is perfect if you’re travelling with a small team and some equipment to a job site.

Payload: 1,900kg – 2,700kg

Tow capacity: Up to 3,500kg (braked)

Best vans - Iveco Daily van

Pros

  • Largest panel van on the UK market
  • Simple design very large load interior

Cons

  • The vans with a GVW (gross vehicle weight) of more than 3.5 tonnes need you to have a special driving licence
  • The build and interior are incredibly basic

The IVECO Daily has a very similar design to a truck and that harks back to the days when that is all IVECO produced. The Daily is one of the only panel vans where the chassis and body are two separate parts that are bolted together.

That having been said, if you’re in the business of transporting anything bulky, heavy or both then this is one of the best vans on the market thanks to the higher payload and towing capability.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the deals available on the IVECO Daily, get in touch with our vehicle experts today on 01903 538835.

Peugeot Boxer

The Peugeot Boxer is the largest in the company’s range of vans. There are several different trims that offer different options depending on your needs. Whatever your requirements, there is a Boxer (or another van in their range) to meet them.

If you want something that doesn’t rely on petrol or diesel, then the new e-Boxer is perfect. Depending on whether you select the 37kWh or the 70kWh you can travel between 73 and 139 miles according to official WLTP tests. Unfortunately, the e-Boxer has no towing capacity.

Of course, you want to find out more about payload and towing weights, so let’s take a look at the Boxer’s impressive stats.

Payload: 1,125 – 1,870kg

Tow capacity: 2,500 – 3,000kg (braked)

Best vans - Peugeot boxer van

Pros

  • Generous payload and towing capacity
  • Large loading area, wide-opening rear and side doors
  • Great value for the size of the vehicle

Cons

  • Quite a heavy vehicle can make for an exhausting drive over long distances
  • The cabin can be quite loud when driving on the motorway
  • Average fuel economy depending on the engine chosen, ranging from 26 to 35 miles per gallon

There are so many options when it comes to the Peugeot Boxer, whatever your business. The generous payload makes it great for landscapers, builders, carpenters and plumbers, but it’s also perfect if you’re someone who makes deliveries all day for Amazon or another delivery company. It’s also a great van for conversions so would be ideal if you wanted to convert it into a refrigerated van for transporting perishable goods such as meat and ice cream.

If you want to find out more about the options available when it comes to the Peugeot Boxer, call us now on 01903 538835 and talk your van needs through with one of our vehicle specialists.

Best vans for a family

Okay, so why are we talking about vans for a family here? As we’ve already established, vans aren’t just for businesses. Large families are a thing and if you need something practical and spacious that doesn’t leave anyone out then it’s definitely worth looking at a van. We have already mentioned that several of the vans in this article are also sold as crew vans, and if you’ve got 7 kids, you’ve got a ready-made crew.

Ford Transit Kombi

The Ford Transit Kombi is another vehicle that has space for 9. Like the Vito, it’s available in multiple lengths and heights so you can easily select the one that meets your specific needs. If, for example, you use your van for a big school run and luggage storage is something you are concerned about, then the short-wheelbase option is perfect.

Best vans - Ford transit kombi van

If you tend to take your family on holidays with a tent and camping gear plus luggage, then it’s worth taking a look at the long-wheelbase option.

Pros

  • Easy to drive
  • Comfortable seating
  • Stylish looking family vehicle
  • Servicing costs are relatively low

Cons

  • Fuel economy is not the best for a family car – between 30 to 36 miles per gallon

If you’ve got a bigger family then the 9-seat mini-bus style you get from the Ford Transit Kombi is exactly what you’re looking for. If you invest a little bit more and get the long-wheelbase model then you’re going to have room to pack a few suitcases or, better still, some decent camping equipment for a fantastic staycation.

Want to find out more about how the Ford Transit Kombi could be just the MPV you’re looking for then give our friendly vehicle specialists a call on 01903 538835 and they can help.

Citroen Berlingo

The Citroen Berlingo is probably one of the most commonly spotted MPVs on British roads. It has a rugged outward appearance. The Berlingo is practical, great for weekend trips whether you’re heading for a bike ride or out on the water with a kayak.

Best vans - Citroen Berlingo van

The Berlingo, like the e-NV200, is smaller than the other vans we have mentioned, but it’s a practical MPV that has up to 7 seats and is one of the best vans for a slightly bigger family.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Comfortable interior for driver and passengers
  • Decent fuel economy – between 36 to 57 miles per gallon depending on engine choice

Cons

  • The build style is not to everyone’s taste
  • It is very definitely a van disguised as an MPV

No matter what, the Berlingo is a popular vehicle, reliable, sturdy and a decent amount of storage space, so if you’re looking for something that can cope with rugged terrain or a campsite then you’re in luck.

If you’d like to find out more about why the Berlingo could be the MPV you’re looking for, call us and we can help you find the right vehicle to meet your needs.

As you can see from the list we have put together, there are many vans available suitable for multiple purposes. Whether you have or are setting up a business that delivers flowers or you’re a landscaper needing something sturdy enough to transport concrete slabs we’ve got you covered. Of course, it may be that you’re simply looking for a vehicle large enough for a bigger family, there are plenty of options available.

Looking for a new van? Whatever your vehicle needs may be, book a FREE consultation with one of our experienced vehicle specialists and let us help you get behind the wheel of your next vehicle.
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