How long does it take to lease a car?

Car Leasing
How to Lease a car

One of the questions car leasing companies like CarLease UK get asked fairly often is – how long is the leasing process?

The first step for every car leasing customer, personal or business, is to review our website. With thousands of vehicles, prices and terms, this should provide at least a basic understanding of what cars are available within your budget and parameters.

Speeding up the leasing process….

To help a car lease broker or company speed up the leasing process a customer needs to provide the following information as soon as possible:

1. The Term – 2, 3 or 4 years;

2. The annual mileage – 5,000 to 50,000 per annum;

3. Maintenance – do you want to service and maintained the car yourself (driver-maintained) or do you need the cost of this included (funder maintained)?

Taking into account the parameters above, leasing customers also need to be aware of monthly budget limitations – including Vat if you are personal and plus Vat if you are a business. This should also take into account your “initial rental” which is the amount of capital you pay in month 1. With contract hire the first rental (which some call a deposit) can often be as high or low as you need this to be; some customers prefer to make this a higher amount and pay less per month whereas as others look for a no initial rental (“no deposit”) arrangement to ensure the capital outlay is minimised.

There is no right or wrong answer, a leasing company just needs the facts to present you with a solution which best meets your individual needs and requirements.

When you raise an enquiry with a leasing broker, based on the information above, you should receive a quote (or quotations) within 24 hours or so from one of the sales team. These quotes are designed to assist customers in working out which vehicles present the best value to them; consider the whole life costs too i.e. combined MPG, CO2, insurance and service intervals as part of your decision-making process.

Remember, the monthly rental is not always the most important part of your consideration! Some customers will receive quotes from a number of providers to ensure they receive a competitive price – while this is a prudent approach to leasing online, do consider how many providers you liaise with as you need to carefully control the detail.

Car Leasing Top Tip!

Our suggestion – get three quotes or use a car lease comparison site.

Once a customer is content with a new quotation, they will be asked to complete a Credit Proposal Form, whether or not you are a personal or business customer. These online forms a customer completes should take 15 minutes and should be completed as accurately as possible.

This is the form a leasing company will use with their panel of selected finance companies and the details on the form will determine if these finance companies are able to offer credit to a customer based upon the vehicle requirements.

A car leasing broker should take about 10 minutes inputting these details into the system and the results are often available within minutes; many of the accredited UK car finance companies offer instant credit proposal acceptances. As soon as credit is in place, a customer will be informed and the leasing process can continue.

The next step of the leasing process is that a customer will receive an order form, information notice, key contract hire info and information of DPF/Ad Blue technology. These forms must be signed and retuned to the chosen leasing company so that they can order the vehicle. A customer will then also be asked to pay an administration fee of around £150 plus Vat, which represents the time and costs involved in ordering a vehicle.

Notably, if a customer chooses to cancel within the cooling-off period, the leasing broker may or may not return part of this sum to you (less any costs involved in ordering the vehicle). Once a broker has ordered the vehicle, a customer will receive an ETA for the vehicle which can be up to 14 days for a stock vehicle OR many weeks/months for a factory order.

In addition, the leasing company will send finance documentation to the customer from the finance company which must be signed and returned before delivery.

Many of the finance companies now operate “e-docs” which means that you need to complete the documents via an online link. As soon as finance documents are correctly executed and the vehicle can be delivered, the leasing company will arrange this to your home or business address.

Based on the above, a customer can expect the leasing process to take a minimum of 14 days, which does rely on the vehicle being in stock. While some brokers can arrange parts of the process much sooner, if a vehicle is in transit to the UK or is subject to factory order times, the process can take longer.