Audi PHEV Car Leasing
Thank you to our business car leasing customer for allowing our dealership partners, Worcester Audi , to photograph their brand-new Audi SUV plug-in before delivery.
As a broker, not a lender or dealership, we sit very much in the middle of the transaction but we rely on our dealership connections to provide an exceptional service to our customers.
In the case of Worcester Audi, their fleet team have been hugely supportive of the CarLease and eCarLease team during 2021 and we have worked cohesively to arrange delivery of Audi A3’s, Q5’s and even some e-Trons (for all you electric car lease fans!).
What some customers don’t realise is that we hold no stock on our premises; we effectively offer any make or model of new vehicle but this needs to be procured directly from a recognised dealership. As we only supply new vehicles (we do not offer “used-car leasing”), our finance companies expect us to use reputable and trusted dealers only.
We are very much in partnership with the dealer network and are not, as some believe, in competition with each other. Between us (as a credit broker), the dealership and finance company, the right vehicle should be supplied to a customer at a competitive price.
So are PHEVs essentially just electric cars? The Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle is not a new concept. Circa 2012, this technology was brought into the market as some manufacturers could see the success of the hybrid options Toyota were supplying.
With a hybrid, you have a small lithium-ion battery which supports the engine to be more efficient and, in some cases, offer electric-only driving for a very short period of time. With a PHEV, you have a bigger battery which effectively allows the car to be driven for 15-30 miles on an electric charge.
The PHEV has quickly pushed itself into company car/salary sacrifice schemes, with the lower CO2 producing a more sensible company car tax bill. We now have Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Skoda and VW producing some fantastic options, and offers, on the PHEV.
But PHEVs are not simply “electric cars”. Too often they are referred to as the gateway to electrification., as this is essentially a petrol or diesel combustion engine coupled with a lithium-ion battery.
As such, the notion of “range-anxiety” does not exist as the car will continue to operate on the combustion engine when there is insufficient charge in the battery.
Quite crucially, unlike the hybrid, which is interestingly called a “self-charging hybrid” by some manufacturers, the PHEV actually need to be physically charged. By this we mean the vehicle accelerating and braking (regeneration) is not sufficient enough to charge the battery.
Because of the size of the battery, there will be an obligation on the driver to connect the vehicle to an external charge point or a standard plug at home. There is effectively a normal fuel cap (like any normal combustion option) and a second fuel-cap for the electric component.
You will need to connect the car to a charge point (using a Type-2 cable) or to your standard socket at home (type 2 at the car and 3-pin plug at the other end). Do be aware that the charging cables in a PHEV are not always included free of charge and you will need to purchase these separately.
Disappointingly, there is evidence that some drivers are using a PHEV without charging the electric element. Why would a driver do this – this makes the vehicle less efficient? It pollutes more? The driver does not “learn” about the future of electric?
Much of this is down to the driver benefiting from an improved BiK status on their company car tax without any real regard for the actual proposition. When you have a company car, or salary sacrifice arrangement, this is not “free”.
Yes you don’t pay for the car directly with the company car (your employer does) but HMRC recognise you enjoying this benefit and will apply a tax to be deducted at source. For tax year 2021-22, a car emitting between 1-50 g/km will offer tax savings to a customer based on its electric range.
For example a car which can travel 30-39 miles on an electric charge will produce 11% BiK whereas a 1-29 mile range car will produce a 13% BiK rate. Of course this isn’t the 1% you get with a pure electric vehicle but it does represent a significant cost saving for some drivers where their vehicles would be producing BiK rates of 25-30%; this is a tax saving of literally hundreds of pounds per month.
While the tax savings are there to genuinely encourage a change in attitudes and culture of low-emission on our vehicles (bearing in mind by 2030 there will be a ban on the sale of new combustion vehicles in the UK), there are some drivers who are using the PHEV as a gateway for cheaper tax – the environmental effects are disregarded.
There have even been calls for those drivers who don’t charge their cars to be taxed retrospectively on their inefficient petrol vehicles as a result of this – we couldn’t agree more on this point!
In some situations, a PHEV is the right vehicle for the customer and will clearly meet their needs and requirements. However, with increasing ranges on EVs we are educating customers on the benefits to them, the environment and their tax position with EVs. As long as you conduct the correct research, you should get a vehicle which meets your needs and requirements.
In terms of the car shown, the Audi Q5 Estate 50 TFSI e Quattro Black Edition 5dr S-Tronic [Tech Pack] PHEV, this is based on the following configuration:
- Special solid Paint – Quantum grey
- Alcantara/leather -Black with rock grey stitching
- Black piano finish inlays
- 20″ 5 arm rotor design sport alloy wheels in gloss anthracite black, diamond cut finish
- Electric panoramic glass sunroof
As standards, the car includes pre-sense collision, alcantara/leather upholstery, cruise control, LED interior light, parking system plus.
Front/rear parking sensors, Audi sound system, light and rain sensing wipers, privacy glass, hill descent control, hill hold assist, dynamic suspension.
Wireless charging, virtual cockpit (12.3” screen), navigation plus with an 8.3” MMI screen, auto dimming rear view mirror, body coloured externals, climate control, LED headlights with LED rear lights.
High beam assist, titanium black styling pack, pedestrian protection, heated front seats, 40/20/40 split folding seats, keyless go, 20” alloys and anti-theft alarm. In terms of additional options, consider – electric panoramic sunroof and the fine Nappa leather upgrade.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £53,585.00 and CO2 at 55g/km for a standard vehicle.
The 1984CC petrol engine is combined with a 14kWH battery which produces 299ps, 117MPG, 6.1 seconds times on the 0-62 and an electric range of around 26 miles.
Service intervals on the Q5 PHEV are every 12 months or 9,000 miles, whichever lands sooner.