If you’re anything like me, I didn’t have the first idea about car leasing!
Heard of leasing but don’t have a clue how it works? Think ‘renting’ a brand new car that’s maintained and comes with free road tax, roadside, warranty, as well as being delivered is one of those too good to be true deals? (I did!) Wondered why leasing is now the preferred way to drive away a new car to over 80% of the UK? You’re not alone, don’t worry!
Getting a new car used to be as simple as, save your money then go to a local dealer and buy one. If you couldn’t afford the price of a brand new car you simply went with second hand and tried your luck, hoping it wouldn’t break down days/weeks later! In today’s world, there are so many alternative options to get that new car without necessarily having all the funds to buy one. Car finance was first introduced which seemed simple, like a loan, you just borrow the money and pay it back with interest. Now however, there’s a whole host of other options and to most average car purchasers, the possibilities all seem a bit daunting and complicated.
I personally never understood it and didn’t do much research into it as jargon like PCP, Hire Purchase, Lease to Buy was frankly a tad overwhelming and I just didn’t have the time or patience to sit down and work out what they all meant! Not being one to lend or take out loans, I went with the buying option, with the money I had. I found an older Mercedes convertible, and was so excited! It was just within my small budget, it looked immaculate from the outside, drove well and I could just see myself with the top down through the summer going on long road trips with my friend Sue, totally Thelma and Louise style! (I was of course hoping for a young Brad Pitt to join us too!).
I drove the car for three days and this daydream was well and truly shattered in an instant. It turned out mechanically the car was not so wonderful and one rear axle, one new clutch and an exhaust piece later, I had spent over the amount I actually paid for it initially. Of course it was ‘sold as seen’ and after checking with citizens advice, I had absolutely no leg to stand on. What’s more my tax was sky high as it was an older car with bad emissions and I stupidly didn’t take breakdown cover straight away so all in all, it cost me an arm and a leg and I still didn’t feel secure driving it at all. No more Thelma and Louise or Brad Pitt fantasies, I was now in a positon where I couldn’t afford it, but couldn’t do what the ‘lovely’ couple did to me, to someone else, either.
Mini violins back in their cases, all was not lost. A friend suggested I try leasing to eradicate all these issues and said that I could even try and part exchange my beautiful yet troublesome car, to offset some costs. So a quick google later I contacted Hippo Leasing who were first in the list (I told you I had no time/patience!). From start to finish they were incredible.
For a novice in this broad leasing field, they held my hand (in a cyber / over the airways type of fashion), the whole way through the process. They thoroughly explained the leasing process to me in layman’s terms (thanks for your patience & kindness Sarah Pounder) and gave me the best, simplified options that would work for me as an individual. I was able to part exchange my unreliable Mercedes, so I didn’t feel guilty selling it to another private buyer. I then got a brand new BMW 2 series convertible (Thelma).