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How do you choose the correct mileage for a car lease?

 Published 28th May 2020
Driver Guides 

There are several things you need to consider before you lease a new car.

Your budget for the monthly rental; how long you would like the lease to last; and how many miles you will travel in the car over the rental period.

As well as the sort of car you want, obviously.

Most people have a good idea of the budget they can afford for the rental and the maintenance of the vehicle, as well as how long they wish to drive the new lease car before they change again.

But the mileage is always the difficult one. And usually involves far too much chewing of pencil ends.

Put that pencil down, though. With some intelligent guesswork, it can be fairly easy to work out what your mileage will be. For example your weekly commute. Assuming you have five weeks of holiday a year you will need to plan for 47 weeks of commuting, plus what you might cover at the weekends and during your holiday periods, especially if you like to go on motoring holidays.

Still unsure?

Average mileage = 28 miles a day

If you still need some extra guidance, new research from the RAC Foundation shows that the average motorist drives 10,377 miles a year - or the equivalent of 28 miles each day.

The RAC Foundation collected this information from cars that were three years old at their first MOT anniversary.

The results make interesting reading. New diesel cars cover an average of 12,496 miles in each of their first three years - which is to be expected because buyers value the fuel economy over long distances.

The diesel car mileage is much greater than new petrol cars which only cover an average of 7,490 miles per year.

So far, so predictable, but here's the interesting part.

Pure battery electric cars are driven an average of 9,435 miles per year. And if we take the Tesla Model S, drivers covered an average 12,392 miles each year, just short of the diesel car average.

Other electric cars included the Nissan Leaf - 8,241 miles; and the Renault Zoe - 5,736 miles.

When it comes to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), it's the most popular PHEV on the market with the most average mileage: that's the Mitsubishi Outlander at 12,500 miles per year - just over the combined diesel average.

To help you a bit further we thought we would list the average mileage of cars from the report depending on whether they were petrol or diesel:

Make & model Petrol average mileage Diesel average mileage
Skoda Octavia 9,230 14,986
Ford Focus 8,313 12,650
Vauxhall Astra 8,640 12,929
Audi A3 8,670 12,208
Nissan Qashqai 7,690 10,587
Mercedes C-Class 8,349 11,124

Source: RAC Foundation .

Final tips on choosing the correct lease mileage

We have some further great advice for you.

The first is this. Don't pay for mileage you won't need. For example, if you think you will do 5,000 miles each year over the three year period but you want to be ‘safe' and choose 10,000 miles per annum, by the end of the rental period you will have paid for an additional 15,000 miles you have not used. Which is daft.

And the second: do not try to squeeze the monthly rental down by choosing 5000 miles a year when you know that you will travel 10,000 miles a year. At the end of the lease you will face substantial end of lease charges for the excess mileage. Which is also daft.

If you want more information, here's our guide to The Leasing Process . Alternatively, you can always call us on 01299 407 360 and our helpful sales team can assist you in choosing the right mileage for your lease.

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