Thank you to our account director from Leaseplan, one of the select finance companies we work alongside, for visiting the team in their brand-new 6 Series from BMW.
As CarLease UK are a broker, not a lender, we do not provide the finance directly to the customer. What happens in practice is that we introduce you (or the business) to the finance company who offers the most cost-effective solution or a solution which meets the needs and requirements of the customer.
The finance company, which could be Leaseplan, Lex, Hitachi or Alphabet for example, will be the registered owner and keeper of the car.
There are two crucial points to note with contract hire and leasing – 1) you will never own the vehicle; and 2) the V5/log book will be retained by the finance company. However, with Summer now here, how does this affect you travelling around the UK and Europe in a lease car?
When you have a lease vehicle any charges, penalty notices or parking offences will be sent to the finance company as they are the registered owner. They will either pay the fine for you/the business and then re-charge you or send the notice to you along with an administration fee.
Some customers do get frustrated by this but all the relevant administration involved with the vehicle, such as road fund licence and fines are being handled by them.
Unfortunately the only piece of advice we can offer is to not get a fine or commit an offence (or quickly pay for it when you do so to avoid any admin fees from the finance company).
All of the relevant charges are set out in the contracts you sign with the finance company.
Changes across the UK are perhaps going to make this an even hotter topic. One of the biggest changes across the UK is the Clean Air Zones (CAZs) which are being introduced across the nominated Local Authorities.
Essentially, a CAZ is a targeted zone which must introduce targeted action to improve air quality. The focus is very much on NOx and particulate matter from HGVs, buses, vans and cars.
In the short-term, the Government wants a reduction in pollution and in the long-term they want older and more polluting vehicles to be removed from the roads. This is seen as a way to encourage more businesses and fleets into electric vehicles (cars and vans).
Each local authority needs to set a category for its area ranging from A (this means measure affects buses, coaches and taxis) to D (this means HGVs, LCVs/vans and cars will be affected)
In Greater Manchester, 2021 will see Category C being introduced so those businesses operating vans will be affected. In a recent article from the GM Chamber criticism was put forward to the Government as they are unwilling to provide the £25m which is seen as necessary to help deliver these ambitious plans.
The concern in the article is that some businesses cannot prepare in time and will be hit with non-compliance penalties.
For those operating in and around the London area, the use of emission based charging zones is not a new concept.
Already there are congestion charge zones, low emissions zones and the recent (April 2019) ultra-low emission zone charge was introduced to operate 24 hours a day/7 days a week in central parts of London.
Effectively any petrol cars/vans/minibuses must be Euro 4 and any diesel options must be euro 6 (or higher). This means if you operate older vehicles, you can be liable for daily charge of £12.50 for a car/van and £100 for any HGVs/lorries, For any contract hire vehicle users, you need to be aware of the potential for additional charges as the finance company will pass on this charge plus their own charges for this.
The key here is to be prepared in advance of travel.
Travelling abroad in a lease car? Any drivers of a rental or lease car must ensure they have form VE103 which a certificate they carry in their car. This is the only document which is a suitable legal alternative to the log book and this can be obtained by contacting the finance company in advance of travel.
We recommend getting in touch at least 4 week before travel.
If you do not have the form, you risk lengthy question and queries at the borders or the vehicle being impounded until the registered owner can qualify the position.
Again, this is about contract hire drivers understanding they are not the legal owner and preparing the necessary documentation to manage this.
Where you are travelling to specific European countries, do check that you have understood your obligations for example hi-vis jackets, first aid kits, proof of insurance, driving licence and other documentation which is a legal requirement in the country you visit.
Also check that you have pre-paid for any emissions-based permits in advance of travel.
In France the Crit’Air is a key example – cities like Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg and Toulouse operate this system. You need to apply for this online BEFORE travel as it should cost you only about £3-£4. Failing to do so will lead to fine of between £60 – 120 depending o the vehicle. Again, this will be sent to the finance company and forwarded to you together with an admin fee.
Not the ideal way to finish a summer holiday!
To avoid unnecessary frustration, simply research the areas you are travelling. For those with anything PHEV/electric, it is clear these charges are unlikely to be levied BUT you may still need to register your vehicle first for any exemptions.
If you have a contract hire vehicle, if you do not prepare in advance you risk the fines PLUS any admin fees.
In terms of the car shown, the BMW 6 SERIES GRAN TURISMO DIESEL HATCHBACK 620d M Sport 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
Alpine White Solid Paint
Dakota leather – Black/Black world with exclusive stitching
Aluminium rhombicle interior trim with pearl chrome finish
19″ M Double spoke bi-colour alloy wheels – style 647
As standard the car includes Dakota leather, heated front seats, reversing camera, cruise control, front/rear parking distance control, air conditioning, Bluetooth, 19” alloys, M Sports suspension, fogging sensor on front windscreen, green tinted glass, heated washer jets, rain sensing automatic light system, ASC, DTC, hill start assist, velour floor mats, 20GB hard drive, BMW online services, digital cockpit, navigation system professional, iDrive controller with 10.2” monitor, auto dimming rear, electric and heated door mirrors, interior mirrors with ant-dazzle, DAB radio, body coloured externals, electric tilt/slide panoramic sunroof, M aerodynamic bodystyling, adaptive LED headlights/indicators/rear lights/brake light, 3-spoke M Sports leather steering wheel (multifunction), gearshift paddles, ambient lighting, footwell lights, warning triangle, first aid kit, electric front seats, keyless ignition, immobiliser and a Thatcham Cat 1 alarm.
In terms of additional options consider adding – sun protection glass, Apple CarPlay and the BMW display key.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £46,395.00 and CO2 at 129g/km. The 1995CC 8 speed auto engine delivers 57.6 combined MPG (EC), 42.8 (WLTP), 190ps and 0-62 times of 7.9 seconds. Service intervals on a diesel 6 series are every 24 months or 15,500 miles whichever lands sooner.