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Can I lease a car?

Car leasing eligibility explained

Confused about car leasing eligibility? Our short guide will help you work out if you – or your business – can qualify to lease a car

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 16 October 2020

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Taking out a lease on a car can be a useful and flexible alternative to making a full purchase – if you’re eligible, it means you’ll be able to rent a car for a few years, and when the lease is up you return the car and have the option of leasing a different vehicle.

Can anyone lease a car?

Not everyone can qualify to lease a car. A car lease is a finance agreement between you (the lessee) and the finance provider (lessor) funding the deal, so you’ll need to provide some personal and financial details before you can be approved. None of the information you give to a leasing provider will be used for anything other than checking your eligibility to lease.

You should meet the criteria for leasing a car if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You have a full valid UK driving license
  •  You have a good to excellent credit score

You can find out more about whether you should lease a car by reading our guide to buying vs. leasing.

What information do I need to lease a car?

To set up a lease, the information you will need to provide is:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Contact details (phone number and email address)
  • Five years of address history
  • Marital status
  • Number of dependants
  • Employment details
  • Bank details (name of bank, sort code, account number)
  • Income and expenditure details
  • Photocopy of your driving license card

Can I lease a car with bad credit?

As with a mortgage or a loan, you’re less likely to be approved to lease a car if you have a poor credit score. This is because your credit history suggests there is a higher risk of you failing to meet your monthly payments. If you’re considering leasing a car, it’s therefore a good idea to check your credit score first.

If you have a low credit score, it will show up when the leasing company runs a credit check on you prior to offering you a car lease agreement. Don’t worry about this check harming your credit report, though; it’s a soft check that won’t affect your credit score. It just involves sharing a few details about your income and outgoings so the finance provider can determine if you can afford the car.

How old do I need to be to lease a car?

You can pass your test and drive legally in the UK when you’re 17 years old, but you need to be at least 18 to lease a car. In some cases, you’ll also have to wait until you are a bit older and have time to build up a credit profile and start earning enough money to afford the monthly lease payments on a car. The good news for older drivers, however, is that there’s no upper age limit to leasing.

Can my business lease a car?

Business leasing is an option for companies looking for an affordable, hassle-free solution for commercial vehicles. Whether you’re a start-up company with a small team, or a large corporation with multiple offices, business car leasing is available for a variety of businesses.

Just like personal leasing, you’ll need to provide some details in order to be approved for a business lease deal. Most leasing providers ask businesses for:

  • Business details, like the name, address, company registration number and annual revenue
  • Company director information, including their full name, date of birth and marital status
  • Business bank details, such as the bank name, account number and sort code

Start-up businesses may also be asked for additional information, including:

  • At least three months’ worth of bank statements and/or audited accounts
  • Information about management accounts
  • A director’s guarantee stating that a director will pick up the monthly payments if the business can no longer afford it

Compare car leasing deals

It’s easy to find and compare cheap car leasing deals with MoneySuperMarket’s leasing partner Moneyshake. Just enter the model and make of car you would like to lease, and you’ll be given a choice of deals from up to 12 providers.

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