The way people shop for cars is changing. A transition from offline to online was already in progress, but the coronavirus lockdown has accelerated this transition with a significant switch towards online channels as the primary means of acquiring a new car.
However, with this shift to online, we wanted to highlight the best ways for consumers to cut through the noise and unlock the best lease deals in the market.
Here’s our top five money-saving tips to help you save on your car lease.
Five top tips to save money on your next lease car
1. Keep an eye out for special offers
As one of the largest car leasing providers in the UK, Intelligent Car Leasing offers a range of special car leasing deals. These come directly from the UK’s largest finance funders or they are bespoke terms that we have negotiated with specific manufacturers thanks to our size. While these deals can change daily or weekly, depending on stock availability, they are guaranteed to be amongst the most competitive in the UK. So, first things first. If you can be flexible on your choice of car, check out this area first.
2. Run a comparison to help you decide
It can be overwhelming choosing the right lease deal. There are so many makes, models and options that it can be all very confusing.
So how can you be sure you are homing in on the right choice of car?
We suggest that you use a car leasing comparison tool. Intelligent Car Leasing has created an easy-to-use ‘help me decide’ tool which lets you compare lease offers side by side, based on a set of parameters. These include: price, the make of a car, how you plan to use the vehicle, the sort of performance you want, and so on. It’s a handy little tool that can save you a lot of needless searching.
3. Reducing your monthly payments
A lease car contract can include an initial rental payment. This is an agreed amount paid upfront at the start of your new lease and the more you are willing to put down at this stage, the lower your ongoing monthly payments will be. An initial rental can range from 1 month to 12 months. Those looking to pay less upfront may favour a slightly higher monthly payment. Balancing out this choice depends on your personal circumstances.
4. Ensure you have enough miles agreed from the outset
Current Government advice is to avoid public transport if possible to reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection. So there is an expectation that people will spend more time driving their personal cars as a safer way to get to work.
For those who are driving more frequently, make sure that, when agreeing your new lease contract, you build in an accurate estimate of your annual mileage.
The agreed mileage can be anything from 5,000 miles per year to 30,000 miles per year. If you go over the contracted amount, there will be a small surcharge to pay for every additional mile driven. As a guide, this is typically in the region of 3p to 11p per mile depending on the vehicle funder or vehicle chosen.
On the other hand if you know you only drive 5000 miles per year, do not opt for a 10,000 miles a year contract as you will end up paying for mileage you won’t use.
5. Go electric
We are strong advocates of the benefit of electric cars, not just from a sustainability perspective, but from a financial one too. We would urge those who are in a position to make the switch to this cleaner mode of transport to take a closer look at the variety of options now available. These include Plug-in Electric Hybrid models (PHEVs) which have a standard engine as well as the ability to travel in zero emission mode for anything up to 54 miles; and electric vehicles (EVs) which have zero tailpipe emissions. For those looking at business lease contracts in particular an Electric Vehicle will carry zero BIK (benefit in kind) tax payments in FY 2020/21, rising only slightly to 1% in FY 21/22 and then 2% in FY 22/23. Not surprisingly, insight from the UK’s leading independent fleet management provider has recorded huge growth in ULEV (ultra-low emission vehicles) registrations amongst business car drivers, with Tesla, BMW and Land Rover seeing the biggest growth.
COVID-19 and changing consumer attitudes
While new car orders and registrations may be depressed in the short-term, research suggests that post-lockdown the UK is likely to see a similar trend to what has taken place in China – where car sales have rebounded strongly post-lockdown, particularly online.
√ April #China car sales have tripled since their Feb trough and are back to 5-year average
√ Overall retail sales rebounded by 8.3% m/m (+65% in March) and have made 84% on path to trend level pic.twitter.com/2dyISjNvQF
— Patrick Zweifel (@PkZweifel) May 15, 2020
For many, this is also a period of incredible uncertainty, so if you’re concerned about how coronavirus is affecting your mental health, read all about it here.
The COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly accelerated the purchasing and leasing of cars online. The whole process is faster and more efficient – source, select and wait for your car to be delivered (without contact), all from your home.
If you are shopping for a car online for the first time, just remember to follow our five top saving tips!