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Used car leasing

Is it a good idea to lease a second hand car?

Victoria Russell
Reviewed by  Victoria Russell
5 min read
Updated: 19 Feb 2024

Leasing a used car can be an even cheaper way to buy a car. Find out if leasing a used car is the right option for you

We’ve joined up with partner Moneyshake to bring you car leasing deals from the UK’s top lease providers.  

What is used car leasing?

Used car leasing is an alternative to buying a car outright or leasing a new one. It allows drivers in the UK to enjoy the perks of driving a car without the long-term commitment of ownership. This financial arrangement spans over a set period, usually between 1 and 4 years, after which the car is returned. This opens up the possibility to either walk away or start a new lease, potentially with a different pre-owned vehicle.

How does leasing a second-hand car work?

The process of leasing a second-hand car is not too dissimilar from that of a new vehicle. It starts with an initial payment, usually equivalent to a certain number of months rental, followed by fixed monthly instalments for the duration of the lease. The key difference lies in the car being pre-owned, which often means a lower monthly cost due to the vehicle's depreciation.

Is it cheaper to lease a second-hand vehicle?

Many find that leasing a used car is more affordable on a monthly basis. The initial depreciation hit has already been taken, resulting in lower lease payments. Additionally, insurance costs may be more favourable because a used car won’t cost the insurance company as much to replace it in the event that it’s written off. However, it's important to factor in other potential expenses such as MOT tests and repairs, which can add to the overall cost.

Will I have to pay for repairs on a used car lease deal? 

The leasing company will usually require you to pay for any repairs if your used lease car gets damaged. 

Some used car lease deals may come with a short-term warranty (e.g. six months) which could cover you for any faults to the car that weren’t caused by driver error. 

Pros and cons of leasing a used car

Leasing a used car comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages:


  • Drive a relatively new car at a more manageable cost.

  • Lower monthly payments compared to leasing a new car.

  • Less risk than if you were to buy a used car outright.


  • Mileage restrictions with potential penalties for overuse.

  • Fees may be incurred for early termination of the lease.

  • Additional costs for MOT, servicing, and any repairs not covered by warranty.

How long can I lease a second hand car for? 

The length of your lease contract on a used car will usually be up to you. But typically a lease will last anywhere from between one and four years. 

Is leasing a used car right for me?

Used car leasing could be an excellent fit if you're looking for a fairly new car without the hefty upfront cost or the risks of ownership. It's particularly appealing to those who prefer not to invest heavily in a new model but still wish to drive a modern and reliable vehicle.

Financial considerations

Before you leap into a used car lease, remember to check your finances. As with leasing a new car, you’ll be required to do a credit check to prove your ability to afford the monthly payments. Lenders will scrutinize your credit score, so it's crucial to have your finances in good shape. If necessary, you can take proactive steps to boost your credit record.

Driving Habits and Preferences

When considering a used car lease, reflect on your driving habits. Mileage limits are a significant factor, and exceeding them can lead to penalties. It's also worth noting that you won't own the car at the end of the lease, which may influence your decision if ownership is a priority for you.

Other Useful Guides

We have a range of helpful guides to steer you through your car finance decision: 

Car leasing explained

Bad credit car leasing guide

Compare car leasing deals with our partner MoneyShake

We’ve joined up with partner Moneyshake to bring you car leasing deals from the UK’s top lease providers. 

You can compare a range of deals depending on your monthly budget or the make, model or mileage of car you want. 

Once you’ve picked your deal, the car will be delivered free of charge, with road tax and full manufacturer warranty included. 

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