There are so many companies offering lease deals these days that choosing the best contract for your next car can be a minefield. To make matters worse, no two deals are the same. With contracts being offered with different contract lengths, initial payments and mileage – and that’s before we get started on optional extras, paint choices and excess mileage charges. So, how do you know you’re getting the best lease deal possible?
We have put together a guide to help you avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to car (and van) leasing. Take a look below, and drop us a message on Instagram if you have any questions:
1. Are the vehicle descriptions and cost options the same?
The long list of makes and models can be confusing and it is often difficult to spot the slight differences, for instance a 2.0 TFSI Sport Coupe could be confused with a 2.0 TDI S Line Coupe. If one of your quotes has subtle differences, it can change the price significantly. Also, make sure that any cost options you have asked for are included in all of your quotes, such as metallic paint or a panoramic sunroof. If something is missing on one of your quotes, you’ll notice that it can change the price significantly. For example, an automatic model could be around £10 more per month than a manual model. This can add up over the course of a 48 month contract!
Don’t just double check this yourself, ask for confirmation from your sales representative that you haven’t got any missing, or incorrect, items on your quote.
2. Is the payment profile the same?
The payment profile is the initial payment and the contract length – these are usually shown in this format: 6+23, 3+35, etc. The most common payment profile are 3 or 6 months initial payment followed by 23 / 35 / 47 monthly payments. If one of your quotes is significantly more expensive than the other, it’s possible that your payment profile is different on each quote. If you want a custom quote for a different initial payment, for example, you could ask your sales representative to make you a custom quote so that all of your quotes are working off the same payment profile.
On the Stable Vehicle Contracts website, you can configure quotes (including initial payment, contract length, mileage and optional extras) for a live quote – visit our website now to check out some of our latest offers.
3. Is road tax included for the duration of your contract?
Always check to make sure road tax is included for the duration of your contract. It should be included in your quote, but some companies will try and send you a cheaper quote, and then add it on at a later date just before you sign. If you can’t easily see if it’s included in your quote, just contact your sales rep and ask them – if they say it is, but you can’t see it on the quote, ask them where you can find it or ask them to send you a new quote with it clearly included.
With Stable Vehicle Contracts, you can rest assured that all of our quotes (whether on our website, or sent to your by one of our Sales Executives) include road tax for the full contract length. That’s one less thing to worry about.
4. Is there a processing fee or delivery charge?
Processing fees are common, but the amounts vary from company to company. Always ask how much a processing fee is when you’re looking at quotes. If a quote seems too good to be true, check to see if the company is trying to pass on costs to you by upping their processing fee. Here at Stable, we show our processing fee clearly on our offer pages – if a company is trying to hide their processing fee price, or it’s not entirely clear, it’s worth asking what that charge will be.
Some companies will charge for delivery, or only deliver free for a set distance and then pile on the cost when you’re outside of their ‘normal’ radius. We think this is unfair for customers who are looking to get a great deal, so Stable offers free delivery to mainland UK addresses and Belfast Port. If a delivery cost isn’t shown on your quote (whether it’s free or not) it’s worth asking if there will be a charge added on before delivery.
5. Who is the finance company on your contract?
You should always know who the finance company is for your contract, and the pros and cons of using them for your next car. Every finance company has slightly different terms, so discussing this with your sales representative could point out a red flag that wasn’t previously obvious.
On our offer pages, you will be able to find out the name of the finance company in the Terms and Conditions section by scrolling down the page. If you need to discuss this further with us, you can reach your Sales Executive on 0151 728 4711.
6. What does your maintenance plan include?
If you have asked for a maintenance plan to be included in your quote, it’s worth double checking what is included in your plan. All maintenance plans should cover all routine servicing as appropriate to your vehicle as determined by the finance company, all oils and fluids required within the service and brake fluid change as per the service requirements. You should also be entitled to the replacement of any vehicle parts, subject to fair wear and tear, that need to be repaired or replace during your contract period (some parts are not included in this, so you could even check that).
Some maintenance plans also include replacements tyres subject to fair wear and tear. Brand new tyres would be supplied and fitted during the contract period. Tyre plans should also include repairable punctures, valves, wheel alignment and wheel balance. If you’re unsure, just ask.
Your quotes might be different if the incorrect maintenance plan is on one of them.
Fair Wear & Tear Guide
7. What is the excess mileage charge?
This is the amount charged per mile for any mileage travelled in excess of the original contract. This amount can vary, so always check what it is. On our website, you can find the excess mileage charge in the Terms and Conditions section if you scroll down, but if you can’t find it on the company website, or on your quote, just ask your sales representative. Some companies operate a two-tier policy and charge different rates for hitting different thresholds, for example 6p per mile for the first 5,000 miles and 12p per mile after that. Here at Stable, we will always offer a fixed mileage charge (we don’t operate two-tier policies) regardless of how many miles over the agreement you are.
Mileage charges do vary depending on the model of the car, so again it’s important to make sure all details are correct between quotes.
8. What happens if the car is damaged at the end of the contract?
Vehicles are expected to be returned in a condition that is expected for their age and mileage. Some companies will have a small refurbishment allowance (usually £150 per vehicle). It’s always a good idea to ask the question when you’re getting quotes as it could end up costing you more money at the end of your contract.
As a rule of thumb, you should be looking for a company that states they work within the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association) guidelines – we do at Stable Vehicle Contracts – as these operate with a standardised Fair Wear & Tear policy.
9. Do I really need any optional extras?
Having a car with a sat nav, sunroof, leather upholstery and more is great, but it’s worth pointing out that most leasing companies will advertise their offers on a standard car (with no optional extras included). Adding on these optional extras will put the price up. If you have multiple quotes and they appear to be different in price, it’s worth seeing if one of the offers has an optional extra included by accident.
So, if you’re trying to save money, don’t tick any extra boxes purely on the basis that it makes the car look good. If it bumps the price up considerably, you need to consider if you actually want it or if it’s for other people’s benefit (the people who are looking at your car from the outside).
10. Who are you dealing with?
Don’t be afraid to ask about the company you’re about to pass your cash to. What is their company background? How long have they been trading for? The internet is a powerful tool in your search for a new car, so use it. Google the company name and see what people have been saying about them. It’s definitely worth your time doing a bit of digging to make sure they’re a legitimate company.
At Stable Vehicle Contracts we have been Audi and Volkswagen contract hire leasing specialists since 2009. By focusing on a limited number of brands, we are able to focus on offering the best lease deals available with excellent customer service. We are able to secure the most competitive rates due to our group’s purchasing power. This is what differentiates us from most online brokers. With over 50 years of collective experience, our team is always happy to help.
You can see our latest offers on our website www.stablevehiclecontracts.co.uk or call our team on 0151 728 4711.