Who is eligible for car leasing in the UK?

 Published 21st August 2023
Driver Guides 

There are a few purchases throughout your life that will be considered rather pricey. Your home will of course be the number one, closely followed by your children, holidays and weddings. We live in a digital age that offers us multiple comparison sites and opportunities to find the best deal helping to make most people shrewder consumers. Another costly purchase that would reoccur throughout your life would be your vehicle.

Not just the initial cost - but the upkeep, repairs and depreciation. For many years this was just a fact of life until, in the early 1990s, when an idea was introduced into the automotive industry, giving people an alternative to purchase or finance. An idea that meant they could afford a top-of-the-range, high-spec vehicle without paying a small fortune. Automotive contract hire was born, more commonly known as ‘leasing.'

But what are the benefits of leasing your vehicle instead of buying and who is eligible for car leasing? We intend to answer these questions and more, so you are loaded with all the right information when it is time for something new.

Who is eligible for car leasing in the UK?

The first thing you want to know before you read any further is of course whether you would be eligible to lease a car in the first place. You will need a full UK driving licence and be over 18 to sign a financial agreement. Some finance companies may accept international driving licences and some companies may have a higher age requirement of 21 or 25. It is good to shop around to make sure you fit these criteria.

The next step will be for the finance company to ascertain you can afford to lease a vehicle and they can be assured you will maintain the agreed monthly payments. This is where a good to excellent credit score and clean history will come in handy to get the best deals available. During the credit check process, you will be required to supply bank statements and/or payslips to demonstrate you are in a position to make the payments without default.

To summarise, with a driving licence and regular income, you will likely be eligible for car leasing in the UK – but what are the benefits?

Improve your credit score

As with all credit applications, it is highly recommended to sign up to one of the major credit bureaus to view your credit score and understand ways to improve it before making an application. This way you have a greater chance of getting the car of your dreams.

Get a higher-quality vehicle

A used 2023 BMW 8 Series could set you back the best part of £80,000 on a popular auction site whilst a new one could cost significantly more. This price is out of reach for most people but with car leasing in the UK, you may be able to drive away in one for a fraction of the price. The BMW 8 series is a very high-end vehicle, but whatever your budget is, with leasing, you can certainly get a higher-spec vehicle than buying outright. The BMW 1 Series Sporthatch is a beautifully designed car, stacked full of features as standard. It has the quality of performance and reliability expected from BMW and comes at a much more affordable monthly cost. Don't worry if BMW is not for you, there are plenty of options out there offering better tech, better features and newer models for your money. How about leasing a Ferrari or a Rolls-Royce?

A great first car for young people

What was your first car? This is often a security question used by companies to make sure they are talking to the right person but why do they use this question? Very few extremely lucky young people have a first car memorable for its class, elegance, power or cost but the reason most of us remember our first car is for all the problems we encountered. It is often considered a rite of passage to own that 20-year-old Fiat Punto being held together by rust or inheriting the pass-me-down family starter that rarely starts. Though cheap to purchase the costs soon rapidly increase through the failures of the banger. Rusty arches, old engines, worn gears and chassis full of holes keep these vehicles in for repair a lot of the time and seldom pass their MOT without even further financial outlay.

Car leasing in the UK eradicates these issues. Not only are they newer models but they come with warranties that generally last the whole term of the lease. This means in the unlikely scenario something should go wrong with the vehicle, the company will repair it without costing you anything. Also, a newer model is a much safer choice. With all the modern safety features that come as standard, parents can rest assured their young drivers are as safe as can be as they venture out on the roads alone for the first time. Read our list of five great car leasing choices for new drivers.

Stress-free future sale

There is nothing more tedious than having yet another tyre-kicker ‘umm' and ‘err' around your vehicle while trying to get your price down. It is a frustrating scenario to be waiting to complete the sale of your old car so you can then proceed with procuring your next. Particularly if you have already missed out on vehicles you wanted due to time wasters never committing to a purchase. You also often find yourself reducing the price to way below its value just to move it on. Very annoying.

With car leasing in the UK, this situation would be a thing of the past. You don't need to worry about advertising your vehicle, time wasters or even potential scammers and you don't have to worry about missing out on the car of your choice. At the end of the leasing contract, you will usually have two options, return the vehicle or pay off the balance to own it, depending on the lease deal you've agreed upon. Returning the vehicle means you can then enter into a new agreement with another vehicle. An updated model with new features, new specs and since you have kept up with your repayments during the previous agreement, maybe now is the time to go for that dream model.

Where do I start?

At Gateway2Lease we pride ourselves on making sure the customer leaves with a vehicle they love. We know a loved vehicle is better looked after and so it is a benefit for all. We are a trusted family business with over 15 years of experience in the industry and our customer reviews speak for themselves. If you still have any questions, then our experts are available to discuss everything with you and guide you through the whole process to make sure you drive away in your perfect car.

Get in touch to get the wheels turning.

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