Skip to content
Did you know your browser is out of date?
To get the best experience when using our website we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers.

Car leasing

Compare cheap car leasing deals with our specialist partner Moneyshake

  • Compare deals from 12 leasing companies
  • Find the cheapest deal 66% of the time*
  • Comparing car leasing deals is free, fast and simple!

*Based on 400 price searches with two leading lease car websites, looking at the 10 most popular deals, with a three-month initial payment, a three-year contract and 8,000 miles p/a, between April and June 2020

What is car leasing?

Car leasing is a type of car finance that works like a long-term rental. You sign a contract to pay a monthly fee, which gets you full use of a brand new vehicle for a set period of time – usually between two and four years. At the end of the contract, you hand the keys back to the leasing firm – and that’s it. 

It’s a neat way of getting to drive the latest model every few years without breaking the bank. 

Car leasing clipboard

How does car leasing work?

Once you know which car you want to lease, you’ll then need to choose the terms of your agreement. 

At the end of your lease, you won’t have anything more to pay – so long as the car is still in good condition and you didn’t exceed your agreed mileage

Upfront payment

Upfront payment

You’ll pay a lump sum equivalent to one,
three, six or nine months of the fixed lease
price for the car. The higher the upfront
payment, the lower your remaining
monthly payments will be.

Contract length

Contract length

You’ll usually be able to lease a car for two,
three or four years. Monthly payments are
cheaper for longer contracts, but if you
lease for more than three years, you’ll need
to pay for an MOT

Annual mileage

Annual mileage

You specify how far you plan to drive each
year, from 8,000 miles up to 30,000. A
higher estimated mileage will increase your
monthly payments, as cars lose value the
more they’re used

How much does it cost to lease a car?

The cost of leasing a car depends on a range of factors, including the type of car you choose, your initial rental amount, the contract length and your annual mileage. However, you can see the average monthly rates for a number of popular models. 

*Average price according to data collected from moneyshake.com for deals with a 48-month term, 8,000 miles per year and nine months paid up front

table

Here’s what you need to apply

Applying for a car lease is easy, but you will need to provide certain details and documentation:

Personal information

Personal information

Your marital status
and dependants

Financial details

Financial details

Your bank details, as well
as monthly income

Proof of address

Proof of address

Utility bills or bank
statements will work

Photo ID

Photo ID

A copy of your passport
or driving license

What are the benefits of car leasing?

  • Tick

    Freedom on the cheap (usually):

    You get to drive a new car every few years without the hassle of selling it once your contract ends

  • Tick

    Warranty protection

    Most leases let you drop your car off at the garage for no extra cost if something goes wrong

  • Tick

    Online applications

    You can enquire in minutes, and a leasing provider will be in touch to go through a quick credit check

  • Cross

    Good credit needed

    If you have bad credit you’ll probably be offered a worse interest rate, and you may even be turned down

  • Cross

    You won’t own it

    Leasing a car is cheaper because at the end of the deal you won’t own anything to show for your outlay

  • Cross

    Keep it in good nick

    You’ll be asked to keep your car in tip-top shape, and you’ll be charged if you hand it back in a state

Yes, unless your lease deal has insurance included, in which case it will be folded into the monthly payments for the car. These types of deals are often referred to as ‘Total Care’ leasing.

For the most part, standard leasing agreements won’t include insurance. The finance provider that owns the vehicle will require you to insure the car with a fully comprehensive policy. This covers damage to the vehicle and any injuries you or your passengers may have if you’re involved in an accident.

There are car lease deals out there which come with insurance included, however there are criteria you must meet in order to be approved for these types of deals:

  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • You must have a full EU driving licence valid for at least a year
  • You can’t have more than six points on your licence

In many cases leasing with insurance also includes breakdown assistance, maintenance and glass protection. 

Make sure that you shop around to find a deal which has everything you need included.

Business car leasing is for working professionals who need a car to use for work purposes. The finance agreement is in the name of the company and its director, which is responsible for paying for the vehicle.

Personal leasing is for private individuals who want to use a car for any means, including both private and work journeys.

The key difference between the two is that business leasing has cheaper monthly payments. This is because VAT-registered companies can claim back 100% VAT on the rentals for the car, provided that the car is only used for business purposes.

Once you’ve met all your monthly payments:

  • You can hand the keys back to the provider and walk away, or 
  • You can pick your next brand-new car and agree another lease deal

Don’t worry about getting the car back to the provider. Just remember to put enough fuel into it, and they will come and  take it off your hands at a time that suits you.

An inspection of the car will be part of this pickup, so be sure to check that there’s no damage to it that could be considered beyond fair wear and tear. The car doesn’t need to be in showroom condition.

The great thing about car leasing is that you don’t need a lump sum of cash to get behind the wheel of a new vehicle. You just need at least one month’s worth of the regular lease payments to pay upfront for the car. After this, you pay a fixed fee which you can afford each month for the remainder of your contract.

When buying a car, it usually takes months or even years to save up before you can meet the purchase price. Once you have it, you’ll have to pay for any unexpected repair costs if it’s out of warranty and factor in how much cash you would lose in depreciation when it comes to selling the car in the future. A lot of the time this can work out more expensively than if you were to lease the same car and only pay for the time and mileage that you use it for.

If you can’t afford to pay your monthly lease payments anymore, you should contact the leasing company you got the car from straight away. Stopping these installments will lead to late payment charges that could end up being more expensive than the monthly payments.

Leasing providers understand that circumstances can change during the course of a contract. As such, you may still be able to work out an alternative finance option if you happen to lose your job, for example. This might include a temporary price reduction in the price of your monthly payments until you can afford to pay in full again.

Please remember that any negotiations regarding the terms of a lease agreement are at the discretion of the lease provider.

There are two types of contract extensions available for car lease deals, which you may be able to make use of subject to the finance provider approving it.

  • Informal extension: A short-term agreement whereby the customer agrees to use the car beyond the contract end date under the same terms and monthly price. An informal extension lasts no longer than six months and is generally used to assist the change from one lease deal to another
  • Formal extension: A longer extension (up to 12 months) which allows the customer to continue using the car beyond the contract end date, but new agreement terms are drafted. This includes a ‘modifying agreement’ detailing a new monthly payment price, annual mileage and contract length.

Before being approved for a lease extension, you’ll need to pay an admin fee of around £95 per car. Should you decide to apply for a formal extension, you’ll also need to sign the modifying agreement. Not all providers will approve lease extensions, and they generally won’t be in the following circumstances:

  • The current agreement has arrears or you can no longer pay finance owed
  • A modifying agreement hasn’t been completed
  • There’s been a request to remove or add maintenance/relief vehicle 

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor 
  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service 
  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.