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Car leasing – where to start?

Leasing options can vary from one company to another, and the contractual jargon can be complicated and confusing

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This article is brought to you by Kudos Vehicle Leasing.

So you’d like to lease a new vehicle? Well, hold on a minute before you go and put your foot on the accelerator. It’s important to be well educated on the ins and outs of leasing contracts, so you can be informed and confident you are getting the best deal possible. A car lease, though not an outright purchase, is a major financial decision.

Leasing options can vary from one company to another, and the contractual jargon can be complicated and confusing.  Before committing yourself, it is imperative to shop around and obtain quotes. Then take time to understand the details within each quote. When shopping around for a good lease there are a few key factors that should be looked at closely. These include mileage stipulations, maintenance agreements, interest rates and buy-out options, just to name a few.

To ensure you’re well informed when it comes to the time of leasing a vehicle, here are some key points to remember from Kudos Vehicle Leasing, a car and van leasing company in the North West UK:

Budget first

The very first step in preparing to sign a new lease should always be some personal accounting. Carefully go over your budget – income vs. expenses – to be sure what you can afford and set a reasonable, sensible budget for your new car.

Investigate the financial profile

Look carefully at all the financial details, including the payment schedule.  Standard lease agreements generally require three months of payments upon signing, with either 23, 35, 47 subsequent rental payments; depending on if it is a 2, 3 or 4 year term.

Be sure to look at the finance company that is funding the contract; use a reputable and reliable broker; and pay close attention to the information the company provides about the quality of the contract, the level of service that can be expected and amendment options.

Hidden costs and fees

Be certain to have all the facts and figures included in your quote, and take special note of any extra costs or hidden fees you may be incurring.  Make sure you enquire into any administration or delivery fees, new account charges, or any other expenses that may not be immediately obvious. These extras can seriously affect the bottom line in the lease cost and should be carefully considered.

Mileage on a leasing agreement

Pay extra close attention to any and all mileage stipulations associated with a potential lease.  Leases will allow for a total number of miles to be covered under the agreement, and everything above that is then at the driver’s expense.

Be very cautious when negotiating these details, as any use over and above the conditions in the contract can be quite expensive, and some companies have confusing two-tier systems for calculating their fees.

Read and re-read the fine print

Contracts need to cover a lot of details, and you want to be sure you’re not missing anything. So take the time to carefully read everything in the documents and take special note of the pertinent details.

Several key points will be laid out in these papers and it is important to take note, so you can compare details from one company to another.

Look in the fine print for information on things like:

  • Maintenance cover – The dealerships’ standard maintenance should cover all regular servicing, unlimited tyres, and all remedial work, even battery and exhaust coverage.  Accidental and impact damage is generally not covered, however.
  • Refurbishment costs – Vehicles are expected to be returned at the lease’s end within mileage and in good repair.  Some companies offer refurbishment allowances while others don’t, so be sure to know the details on how these costs are calculated.
  • Road fund allowance – This investigates whether the contract offers a road fund allowance and if it is included for the full term of the contract, as this is ideal.

Also check out The Car Expert’s Car Finance Glossary for more help in understanding leasing jargon.


Most car finance agreements in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and anyone involved in the selling of car finance must be accredited by the FCA. You should always consider the terms and conditions of any agreement carefully before taking out any form of car finance, as you are making a substantial ongoing commitment and there may be significant costs if you change your mind or are unable to meet your commitments at a later date.

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