The best deal in July 2019 so far – the Audi A4 without a shadow of doubt. Quick off the blocks for the Summer seasons, Audi have produced some aggressive pricing and discounts for their A4 saloon and avant (estate) models, in particular on the Black Edition model (which is the “top of the range”).
So would you select the Audi A4 as your next car leasing option? Or would the new BMW 3 series, Jaguar XE or Mercedes C-Class get your vote?
In truth, Audi have experienced a quieter year in the contract hire and fleet market, as Mercedes and BMW have continued to be more forthright in the broker market.
As a result, Audi have seen a decline in sales and have truly needed to get the 2nd half of this year resolved.
NO manufacturer is immune from failures or issues; the once infallible Jaguar Land Rover group have spent just over a year trying to resolve falling demand for their product (and the diesel engine).
The speed at which automotive requirements are changing is making manufacturer form strategic allegiances or merge in order to create the necessary economics of scale and investment that enables them to survive.
While customers may at some point enjoy fire-sale level discounts on their cars, it is in all our best interests that manufacturers keep in business to support the notion of choice, competition and a non-monopolistic environment.
I need a diesel company car for high mileage – can I still get one? Can you lease/contract hire for high-mileage?
The notion of diesel being illegal (or immoral) is actually a funny one. It just shows the strength of online articles, scare stories and social media and their ability to mislead an “educated” audience. Combustion engines as a whole, including petrol, have been under review more recently as the move to alternative forms of fuel have been discussed and implemented.
The “anti-diesel” feeling started much longer ago however.
Traditionally policy makers and manufacturers told the public that CO2 and MPG were the two most critical aspects of a car. The UK’s company car tax regime became emissions focused and therefore all things company cars went diesel regardless of driving styles and behaviours.
Two important things then happened 1) Manufacturers were found to be misleading the public on the true MPG and CO2 of their cars (not just VW!); and 2) Further research into diesel engines raised questions about their impact on the environment in particular the NOX emissions they produced.
Instead of putting together messages which highlighted how these would be resolved, the reaction was to demonise manufacturers and diesel engines as whole, thereby making customers jump into other vehicles and engines not really taking into account that these are even less suitable than the diesel options!
The focus and efforts have been invested into discussing the problems and not the solutions; indeed some customers still think diesel engines cannot be procured.
To be clear, a diesel engine is still perfectly legal and permissible. The crucial point is that this is an engine which is suitable to those drivers who have a suitable driving style – longer distances, higher speeds and higher mileages. To provide more comfort to the end user a more rigorous testing standard, the Worldwide Harmonised Light-Vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP), together with the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) are placing higher standards and obligations on manufactures. The information produced should not only be accurate but it should also conform to new emission levels and standards.
The modern diesel, which will be the “Euro 6d”, will be a legitimate engine to choose.
**** Continue to search for your diesel car! ****
If you need help and advice relating to selecting the right fuel, just head over to our simple guide and decisions tree…
So if I am covering high-mileage leasing isn’t suitable for me … right? For anyone covering higher-mileages, which we would suggest to be in excess of 25/30,000 miles per annum, there is some additional concern about the right financial product to choose for their new car.
Should I rent one? Lease it? Buy it?
The main obstacles to contract hire are always the same – 1) it is too expensive; and 2) I will be charged at the end of the contract for excessive vehicle damage and wear. Leasing a car at a higher mileage is more expensive than a lower mileage; the way in which prices are calculated are based on your car, specification, term and mileage.
Mileage is the most influential aspect on the price, as this ultimately determine the end value of a vehicle; a car with 20,000 miles on the clock is far more valuable than one with 50,000 miles – contract hire cars are sent to auction for disposal at contract end.
Renting a car in the long-term is a not a sensible solution, even though the “unlimited mileage” may seem appealing. For those customers, personal or business, needing a 2 year or more solution, this will not be the right way forward. In contrast buying a car may seem more comfortable as the payments could be significantly cheaper, as they are not always mileage based or influenced. However, with contract hire you have a more honest and truer reflection of how the car is depreciating. What you have to consider with car purchase is that you don’t know from month to month how quickly your car is depreciating; while you are not experiencing this month to month you will find out when you sell the car as to the impact of the mileage.
For customers needing certainty of cost, contract hire is the route forwards whereas for those customers who are happy to undertake risks/rewards of ownership a purchase-style product is suitable.
On the notion of “damage”, the end of contact process is about a vehicle being appraised based on its mileage/term; this is not about having a perfect vehicle. You will be charged for anything which exceeds the fair wear and tear standards as set by the BVRLA; large dents and scratches plus curbed alloys are going to be flagged by the vehicle inspector.
You have to think that if you part-exchange a vehicle with a dealership to what extent they appraise your vehicle.
The car’s value is intrinsically linked to its condition. If you abuse the vehicle and fail to service it correctly, the value you receive will be significantly lower. In some ways the collection with contract hire and the sales process when you sell a car are not altogether dissimilar. However, for some strange reason customers feel more comfortable losing money on an end value in comparison to being actively charged for damage even though the net result is often the same.
In terms of the car shown here, the Audi A4 DIESEL SALOON 35 TDI Black Edition 4door S Tronic (Auto), this is based on the following configuration:
· Brilliant Black Solid Paint
· Alcantara/leather – Black with rock grey stitching + front sports seats
· Piano black finish inlay
· 19″ 5 arm rotor alloy wheels in diamond cut titanium matt finish
As standard the car includes LED headlights with LED indicators, LED interior light pack, Audi sound system, electric adjustable/heated/folding door mirrors, alcantara/leather upholstery, heated front seats, hill hold control, cruise control, 19” alloys, acoustic windscreen, blue tinted glass, privacy glass, multi-collision braking, front/rear floor mats, Audi connect, Bluetooth, pre-sense collision avoidance, Audi parking system plus with front/rear parking sensors, 7” colour driver information system, MMI navigation, auto dimming rear view mirror, 2 x USB interfaces, DAB radio, body coloured externals, automatic headlight sand wipers, high beam assistant, LED daytime running lights, climate control, 3-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, warning triangle and first aid kit, 40/20/40 split folding seats, keyless start, immobiliser and Thatcham Cat 1 alarm.
In terms of additional specification consider – the rear view camera, comfort and sound pack or upgrade to the Tech pack (upgraded 8.3” navigation, wireless charging and virtual cockpit).
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £38,880.00 and CO2 at 120g/km. The 1968CC 7 speed auto diesel engine delivers 150ps, 61.4 combined MPG (EC), 47.1 (WLTP) and 8.9 seconds to 62mph. The service intervals on a diesel A4 are set at every 12 months or 9,000 miles, whichever lands sooner.