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Your first car lease

Car leasing for young and new drivers

Just passed your test and need a first car? Find out why new drivers are turning to car leasing for more affordable motoring

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 15 October 2020

Personal lease

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Young drivers can lease cars. As long as you’re 18 years old, have a full valid UK driving license, and have a good credit score, you should be able to get a lease.

Many young and newly qualified drivers choose a lease car as their first vehicle because it means they can enjoy the reliability and functionality of a brand new car for fixed monthly payments.

Benefits of leasing your first car

The benefits of leasing your first car include:

  • Fixed monthly payments: Leasing a car makes it easy for new drivers to plan their spending, as the payments are fixed for the term of the agreement
  • Access to the latest models: Because all lease cars are new, many of them feature the latest safety technology and gadgets. For young drivers especially, leasing is often a more affordable alternative to buying a brand new car
  • Hassle-free maintenance: A full manufacturer warranty is included in every lease deal, meaning you won’t have to pay for any mechanical and electrical problems not caused by driver error. You can also opt for a maintenance package that covers MOT costs (if necessary), servicing, and wear and tear
  • An opportunity to build your credit score: If you’re a young driver, you may not have much of a financial history. Leasing a car can therefore improve your credit score if you continually make your lease payments on time. This can help you qualify for other credit agreements such as a mortgage or loan in the future

What do I have to pay to lease a car?

There are five main things to pay for when you lease a car:

  • Initial rental: This is a non-refundable, upfront payment made at the beginning of the agreement. It’s offset against the total cost of leasing the car, so a higher upfront payment means lower monthly costs
  • Fixed monthly payments: The amount you pay each month will depend on the type of car you choose, the initial rental amount you pay and your annual mileage
  • Insurance: Car insurance is not included in the monthly repayments with most car lease deals, unless it’s specified in the terms. New/young drivers often face high premiums, so it may be worthwhile considering cost-saving options such as telematics/black box insurance to lower the price of your cover
  • Fuel: It’s important to keep your car sufficiently well fuelled while you’re using it, and to always take care to fill up with the right fuel
  • Maintenance: Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals and pay to have a full service with oil/fluid changes at least once a year to avoid any extra charges at the end of your lease. If your agreement is longer than three years, you’ll also need to take the car to have an MOT on its third birthday

Is there a minimum age to lease a car?

Most finance providers require you to be at least 18 years old to lease a car. So car leasing for 17 years olds is not usually an option, even though you can legally drive at the age of 17 in the UK.

Car leasing is also only possible for 18-year-olds who have enough financial history in order to pass the credit check required for a lease car. This is usually the case, but if you’re a young driver under 24 years of age it’s good practice to check your credit score for free online before applying to lease a car.

Best car leasing deals for young and new drivers

To find out how much it could cost you to lease a car as a first-time driver, the list below shows the most popular lease cars for young drivers, all of which are reliable, affordable and easy to drive.

Car

Average monthly lease cost*

Vauxhall Corsa

£130.27

Fiat 500

£131.62

Toyota Aygo

£143.50

Volkswagen Polo

£161.87

Ford Fiesta

£175.08

 

*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

Car leasing tips for young and new drivers

Choosing your first car can be daunting, so we’ve come up with some useful tips to help you get the right vehicle at a price that fits your budget.

  • Use a budget search: Most leasing companies allow you to search for car lease deals using your monthly budget allowance. If you work out how much you can put aside each month for a new car, you can use this figure to filter your options and find a vehicle that suits your requirements
  • Be honest about your mileage: Before you sign a car lease contract, it’s important to decide on an annual mileage limit that reflects your driving habits. To get a rough idea of how many miles you drive per year, multiply your average weekly miles by 52, then add an extra 5% for any emergency journeys
  • Choose an approved provider: When you’re looking at car lease deals, remember to check the legitimacy of the companies offering them. Approved companies should have a four-digit BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) membership number somewhere on their website. You can also check a company is approved using the BVRLA’s member directory
  • Compare deals from different providers: Using a car leasing comparison website such as Moneyshake can help you to find the best car lease deals for new drivers
  • Check special offers: Throughout the year, leasing companies often provide special discounts on popular car makes and models. So if you want a good price on a high-spec model for your first car, it’s worth checking out the ‘special offers’ page on their websites

Compare lease cars for young and new drivers

It’s easy to find and compare cheap car leasing deals for young or new drivers 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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