You’re probably thinking about leasing a car. And maybe, you’ve spoken to a salesperson and they’ve asked you about mileage.
When you lease a car, you agree to do a set amount of mileage each year. This is set out in your contract and is pre-agreed before you sign anything. If you go over this mileage, then you will incur an excess mileage charge. But, more on that later.
Now, you might be thinking ‘well, I don’t want to incur a charge, shouldn’t I just go for a higher mileage?’ which is a very valid question. However, it’s not always the way forward. Again, more on that later.
Say you want to lease a car. But, you do a lot of travelling. A lot. And, you want to know if there is a maximum mileage you can get on a lease car. Is there?
We at OSV advise people on this every day. So, we’re going to answer all your mileage queries, from maximum mileage to the basics of excess mileage charges.
Is there a maximum mileage on a lease contract?
I wouldn’t say there is a definite maximum mileage on a lease contract. However, the highest most finance houses will go is 50,000. Some will max out at 35,000 a year.
This is because the finance house want something out of the car at the end of the contract. And, if the car has done over 100,000 miles over the course of the contract, they won’t get anything out of it.
So, while there’s no official maximum mileage, the chances are no finance house will go over 50,000 miles a year or 150,000 over the course of the contract.
What do I do if I want to go over 45,000 miles?
Okay, so you think you may go over the ‘maximum mileage’. What do you do?
Your salesperson will probably have a look around for you, but as I mentioned before, it’s unlikely that they will find anything higher than 45,000.
You may want to consider going for a 45,000 miles per annum contract and simply pay the excess mileage should you go over this.
The excess mileage charges vary between manufacturers. And sometimes, paying the excess mileage charge is actually more cost-effective. How? We’ll come onto that in a bit.
But, if you know for a fact you are going to go over 45,000 miles per annum, and by quite a bit, then you may want to consider a finance lease.
What is a finance lease?
A finance lease is a perfect option for those who are going to be doing high mileage. It’s also great for those whose vehicle will suffer from more than fair wear and tear.
During a finance lease, you will pay a fixed monthly payment for a period of time. At the end of the agreement, you will have something called a balloon payment, which is larger than your monthly payments.
The balloon is set by you. It is determined by how much you want to put down as an initial payment, and how much you are going to pay on a monthly basis. At the end of the contract, however, you have the option of doing something called a peppercorn rental.
A peppercorn rental is normally the cost of one monthly payment. This allows you to keep the car for as long as you want. However, you must pay off the balloon at some point. For more information on finance lease, you can download our finance lease guide!
How does mileage affect lease price?
Mileage is one of the biggest factors affecting lease price. This is because the more miles you do, the lower the value of the car when you hand the car back.
If you hand the car back and it’s only done 20,000 miles over the two years, then the finance house will get significantly more money for it than if it’s done 90,000 miles. And, when you lease, you are paying for the depreciation of the vehicle. The higher the miles, the higher the monthly payment.
On average, the monthly payments increase by £30-35 per 5,000 miles. While this isn’t the case all the time, it’s a general rule of thumb.
What is excess mileage?
I did say we’d come onto this later. Excess mileage is when you go over your pre-agreed mileage.
When you go over your pre-agreed mileage you will incur an excess mileage charge. This can vary, and can be anything from 1.5p/per mile + VAT to £1/per mile + VAT. So, it can vary quite a bit.
However, I also mentioned that it might be worth going over your mileage, and paying the excess mileage fee. Let me explain;
Sally drives between 20,000 miles and 25,000 miles a year. If she pays for a 25,000 mile allowance, it will cost her £100 more a month. That’s £1200 a year. However, she decides to go for the 20,000 miles and pay the excess mileage charge. This is because she calculated that if she does 22,000 miles at 6p/per mile + VAT then she’ll only pay £120 extra.
Of course, this is a pretty extreme case, but you get what I’m trying to say. So, if you don’t want a finance lease but you think you’ll go over the maximum mileage, then this is something you should consider.
How is the excess mileage price determined?
The manufactures determine the excess mileage fee. And, if we’re being honest, there’s no rhyme or reason to the fees. For example;
- Mercedes – 9p/per mile + VAT
- VW – 6p/per mile + VAT
- Ford – 6.66p/per mile + VAT
- BMW – 13.96p/per mile + VAT
- Mini – 7p/per mile + VAT
*This is correct as of February 2016 and is subject to change.
So, you can see how much it varies. We’ve only touched upon excess mileage but you can read our article dedicated to it here for more information.
Ultimately, while there is no maximum mileage charge, I haven’t come across a finance house that will go over 45,000. Some won’t even go over 35,000. This is because the higher the mileage, the less the car is worth at the end of the lease agreement. If you think you are going to go over 45,000 then you have two options;
- Pay the excess mileage charge
- Look at a finance lease agreement, which has no mileage restrictions
The choice is yours.