Car finance and lease deals are becoming increasingly more popular in the UK
Car financing and leasing deals are becoming increasingly more popular in the UK, as they are more attractive and accessible way to own a new car.
With the costs of owning a car rising, more drivers are turning to finance.
However, there are a number of ways drivers could needlessly be losing cash or risk forking out for needless errors in the long run.
According to a survey made by Leasecar.uk, there are 10 common mistakes drivers are regularly making that could cost them thousands a year.
In addition to this, drivers are failing to understand their obligations when they return their vehicle, and undermining the savings by paying substantial fines.
Here is a list of the most common mistakes drivers who lease a car make:
1. Underestimating mileage
Mileage can be a tricky thing to estimate as you could change jobs and have to commute over a longer distance or make more trips in a year than anticipated.
However, when filling out the form you need to make an accurate guess to how much you are likely to drive.
Drivers are advised to look at their most recent MOT and see if there have been any changes since then (such as a longer commute).
Going over your agreed mileage could see you land some hefty penalties at the end of your lease.
2. Ignoring minor scuffs and scrapes
All cars and drivers susceptible to scuffs and scrapes no matter how careful you are but there is a line between what is acceptable and unacceptable.
Each lease company will have varying tolerances so drivers are encouraged to check with them to avoid having to pay out at the end of the lease.
3. Not having repairs fixed professionally
Ensure you have any repairs professionally carried out, or you could be paying double the amount to have them fixed.
4. Not having the car cleaned professionally
A professional valet should get your car looking as good as new and is recommended before handing your vehicle back.
5. Not leaving enough time to check the car over
It’s a good idea to check your vehicle over 10-12 weeks before handing it back to your lease company. This ensures you have time to get any necessary repairs done.
6. Haven’t ensured the vehicle is regularly serviced
Cars should also be serviced regularly, at least once annually by the dealer and your service book should be stamped correctly.
Keeping your vehicle consistently working in top condition will minimise its depreciation and ensure you leave the leasers fee-free.
Drivers are required to provide as accurate as possible information on their lease form
7. Not removing decals
Perhaps you’ve used your lease vehicle to promote your business, using a decal or a car magnet sign? That’s no problem! However, these must be fully removed and you should ensure there is no damage to the paintwork underneath.
8. Leaving chips in the windscreen
It is important that you not only get this fixed to avoid a fee but to ensure the safety of the person behind the wheel of the car.
9. Returning the car with low fluid levels
You should regularly check under the bonnet, especially before long journeys, to ensure your fluids are at the right level and it’s important these are topped up before returning your lease vehicle. Check the oil, window washer fluid, brake fluid and coolant to ensure they are correct.
10. Not checking the BVRLA standard
All leasing companies should adhere to the BVRLA standard when inspecting cars returned by customers.
That’s why it’s a good idea to check this yourself and compare your vehicle to what the guide says is acceptable.
Request a copy through your lease company and feel confident that you have used the correct guidelines while checking over your lease car.
Tim Alcock, Head of Online Marketing at Leasecar.uk, insists that most of these mistakes are easily avoided.
“When you lease a car, there are certain requirements your vehicle has to meet when you get to the end of your lease.
“If the car is damaged, poorly maintained or dirty, your leaser will charge you a fee, and this will almost always be more expensive than if you simply fixed the problem yourself.”
“The requirements for returning your car will be detailed in your contract. Make sure you familiarise yourself with these requirements, and take note of when your lease ends.
“Give yourself plenty of time to make repairs and get your vehicle cleaned so you don’t pay any more than you have to.
“At LeaseCar, we contact our customers before they return their vehicles to make sure they don’t run into any surprising costs, but not all car leasing companies do that.”