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Leasing

Not all leasing companies are the same.....

If you currently lease vehicles, or are thinking of leasing in the future here are a few things that you should be aware of:-

  • If your vehicles are financed on a contract hire basis the finance company retains ownership. Therefore, some driving offences are reported back to them. Are you aware that it is possible for a leasing company to register their entire fleet with the London Congestion Charge, some refuse, why? Because, not only will you be paying a fine for forgetting to pay on the day, but the leasing company will probably charge you an administration fee, which can be £25.00 or more....If your company has vehicles that are either leased or have been purchased, then visit the Transport for London's website where you can download the relevant information to register these vehicles yourself;  https://congestioncharging.tfl.gov.uk/b/pb/accountType.faces?referrer=cc
  • End of contract, be aware and make sure that the leasing company is NOT allowing the direct debit to overrun; I am aware of some leasing companies, a couple of them who are in the FN50 that has been allowing this to happen for a number of years, another monthly payment is normally taken from your account after the vehicle has been returned, this will continue, especially if they remain unchallenged;

  • Collection charges - ask the leasing company if they charge for a vehicle to be collected at the end of the contract. Some will make a charge if you do not re-new with them, this can sometimes cost between £50-£300 depending on the distance;

  • If you are comparing quotations from various leasing companies be aware of the following. If a maintenance package is being offered, are tyres included? Is the Road Fund License included for the duration of the contract?

  • Early termination of the vehicle, depending on the finance method, the leasing company would have made calculations & taken risks on what they think the residual value is going to be at the end of the contract. While costs have been incurred most leasing companies will charge 50% of the outstanding rentals. Be aware some may charge up-to 100%. See the Early Termination section - How it is Calculated, This is a fairer system than settling early termination based on a percentage of outstanding rentals and is adopted by some leasing companies.

  • Damage re-charges, the leasing company will charge for damage, most of them work to guidelines set out by the BVRLA. Make sure you are only charged for the damage marked down on the collection sheet and what is considered fair wear & tear for the contracted period. Always get a copy of the collection sheet for your records, make sure you are present at the inspection:

  • Mileage review, if you think you are going over the contracted mileage tell the leasing company early into the contract, if you are on a non-maintenance agreement the leasing may not have any means of capturing this information. A good leasing company will stay in touch with you to make sure this is logged accordingly, be aware and read your master agreement some leasing companies can & will charge this pro-rata if it looks like you are going to be over. I know of one leasing company that has been known to do this without prior warning & take it by direct debit;

  • Grey fleet issues, the leasing company you choose should advise you on what areas you need to check with non-contracted vehicles. A good leasing company should be advising their clients on contractual & non-contractual issues, especially those connected to the running of the entire fleet.