Leasing has become increasingly popular as of late. As a result of this, leasing companies have also been more popular, and people are becoming more aware of leasing companies and the services they offer.
Despite the popularity, people are still wary of leasing and in turn, leasing companies themselves. This is understandable, when there are so many companies offering car deals that often sound too good to be true, people are rightly suspicious. So, are leasing companies good?
You may have noticed that OSV is, in fact, a leasing company, so of course, we are going to tell you that leasing companies are good. However, there are some leasing companies that are not good, and we think that it’s important that you know what to look for in a leasing company to tell you whether it is a good company or not.
We value transparency here at OSV, and we don’t like the thought of people venturing into the world of leasing with an untrustworthy leasing company.
So in this article, we are going to answer the question; are leasing companies good? And we are going to talk you through some of the things that you should be looking for when you are looking at leasing companies.
Are Leasing Companies Reputable?
One of the reasons people are a bit wary of leasing companies is that they are not sure whether they are reputable or not. This is understandable, and some leasing companies are more reputable than others. The good thing is, there are ways to spot how reputable a leasing company without having to pick up the phone.
When looking at a leasing company website, it’s always good to have a look at the contact information. This is one of the sure-fire ways to tell if a leasing company is reputable or not. As leasing has grown in popularity, there has been a rise in something called ‘bedroom brokers’. These ‘bedroom brokers’ are often one-man bands who do everything themselves in their own home. While there is nothing initially wrong with these ‘bedroom brokers’, they might not have access to as many finance houses.
How long they have been trading for
We’re not saying you shouldn’t work with a young leasing company, but a longer trading time potentially means more experience. Many businesses fail within the first two years, so if the leasing company has been going for longer than that then you know they are most probably trustworthy and reliable.
Leasing companies that have more experience are also more likely to have better relationships with finance houses and dealerships and therefore are more likely to get a better deal and better discounts.
The leasing company should have an About page on their website that will tell you how long they have been trading and sometimes they will even tell you how much experience their team has collectively (we currently have over 100 years of experience between us!).
Are Leasing Companies Accredited?
Another thing you should look out for when you are looking at a leasing company is that they are accredited. If the leasing company is accredited then you can be sure that they are reputable and have the experience to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
These are some of the accreditations that we recommend you look out for;
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is the trade body for all Vehicle Rental and Leasing in the UK. They are the body that set the pre-agreed standard for the condition of the vehicle on its return at the end of your lease contract.
All BVRLA members have to obey the Code of Conduct which means that you benefit from the highest standard of service as well as accurate and transparent information and fair terms and conditions.
The BVRLA also handle complaints if you are not happy with how the leasing company has acted or handled your complaint. They can get involved and their decision is final. So, it’s really beneficial to you if your leasing company is a member of the BVRLA.
If the vehicle experts at the leasing company in question are SAF qualified then this means that they are experts in their field. The Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) qualification was introduced by the Finance and Leasing Association to build confidence in the automotive industry.
To become an SAF expert, the vehicle expert must pass a competency test that they then have to retake every 12 months to ensure that their knowledge is still up to date. The leasing company should have the SAF logo on their website, and any emails they exchange should have the SAF logo at the end of their emails.
You can read more about what accreditations to look for in a leasing company here.
Will I get a better deal with a leasing company?
There is a good chance that you will get a better deal with a leasing company than if you were to go through a dealership, which is the traditional way of getting a new car.
This is because when you go through a dealership, you are limited to one brand and are often limited to a few funders. This means you might not be able to get the best deal for you or for your situation. However, an established and reputable vehicle broker will have strong relationships with multiple funders and manufacturers which means you could get a better deal.
This is not always the case, so it is vital that you do your research on the company before you make a decision. There will be some vehicle brokers who do not have access to as many finance houses and therefore might not be able to get you the best deal.
Are there any hidden fees with a vehicle broker?
As long as you go through a reputable vehicle broker, there should be no hidden fees. If there are any additional fees, which often include an administration fee, then the leasing company should be honest with you from the very start.
If you go through a dealership, then you might not have to pay an administration fee. You can read more about why you have to pay an administration fee here, and more about hidden costs when you lease a car here.
What should I look for in a leasing company?
There are several things you should look for in a leasing company before you decide which company to go for. For example;
- Make sure the company is reputable
o This is done by following the steps we outlined above
- Make sure the company has the right accreditations
o Again, by looking out for the things above, you can be sure your leasing company is trustworthy.
Find out what brands they supply
o Some companies have specific targets which means you might not get the best deal available to you
o They also might not supply the brand you are looking for or the brand you want
- Ask what finance methods they offer
o Some leasing companies will only offer Contract Hire.
o This is great if you definitely want a Contract Hire but not so much if you’re swaying towards a Contract Purchase.
Make sure you go for a leasing company that offers all types of finance agreements so you can keep your options open.
- Make sure they are independent
o Some vehicle brokers are not independent and have targets with certain brands and finance houses. This means that they could be pushing a certain brand or a certain deal on you even if it isn’t the best one for your situation.
o However, this isn’t the case with independent brokers, who will be able to give you their honest and unbiased opinion and present you with a range of deals that fit you and your situation.
So after all that, are leasing companies good? Yes, most of them are. Follow our guidelines above and you shouldn’t go far wrong. Hopefully, this article has given you some idea of how to tell if a leasing company is reputable or not. There is a good chance that you can get a better deal if you go through a vehicle broker, and you can read more about choosing between a vehicle broker and a dealership here. Ultimately, leasing companies are good, you just have to make sure that you go through the right one.