Thank you to our one of our Ford fleet contacts for visiting the CarLease team in the new Ford Focus.
Ford’s latest generation of Focus has produced some significant upgrades in specification and style; the outside is very reminiscent of the Mercedes A-Class and the new BMW 1 Series.
Indeed, the exterior styling of the Focus places it as one of the leading and best-looking contenders in the highly competitive hatchback range. Unfortunately, it is the more low-key and standard interior which perhaps pushes the Focus towards the older generations.
Many of our young drivers looking for the best hatchback to lease are asking for the Mercedes A-Class, Audi A3 and the BMW 1 series. It is very much the “grey-pound” which has the appetite for the Ford product.
Can an older person or retired person lease a car? Is car leasing a good idea if I am older? The reality is that car procurement is changing for all generations. It is very rare that a customer will visit a number of actual dealerships or car centres; much of the hard work and effort is conducted online via google searches…
A more savvy and technological older generation now has equal access to these facilities and it is making these customers move away from the traditional methods of car buying while also introducing them to newer ways of running a vehicle – contract hire.
For many customer’s looking for the best car deals online, some form of contract hire or lease will appear.
For those customers who used hire purchase or, for the more savvy, outright cash to own cars will find this a very difficult proposition.
Is it worth paying for something you never own? This is a common objection to contract hire and leasing; the fact that you pay per month for a car and have “nothing to show” when the contract comes to an end is a big concern for many customers.
However, much of this comes down to two questions: 1) do you want a new car; and 2) do you keep your vehicle longer than 3/4 years?
As leasing is available on new cars only, if you are a customer looking for a car which is older/used, then you will need to look elsewhere regardless. For those in the market for a new car this will come down to habits – are you changing your car every few years or are you keeping your car long-term. For those customers “trading” a car in every 2-4 years and buying a new one need to carefully reflect on what they are losing at each transaction; this is something often ignored. Unlike contract hire, car purchase is not always wholly honest and clear as to what the vehicle is actually costing you. This is where more due diligence is required.
In contrast, if you are keeping a vehicle 5 years+, then car ownership is almost certainly something you need to consider.
So can an older person continue with a leasing transaction? There is no maximum age for leasing a car, so long as you are 18 years or older this is something you can consider. All the finance companies and funders we work alongside will ask for the applicant to go through a credit check and underwriting process.
This is why we ask our customers to complete a proposal form with their key details. In some way this is not dissimilar to applying for a mortgage.
The information being collected is to understand the customer’s ability to pay and their willingness to pay – in short do they have positive credit and does their income/expenditure make this a viable proposition. For older people this can be difficult as for many prudent individuals they may not have used credit for some time i.e. paid off mortgage, no mobile phone contracts and no credit cards. Additionally, there is also a perceived issue about income – does my pension class as income? Absolutely. If you are in receipt of a pension and you can clearly show this with bank statements, this is something which is an income.
Financial prudence is not something which will defer an older person leasing a car.
One point to note is that companies operating in financial sectors will have some form of Vulnerable Persons’ Policy in place which may need further consideration by the customer. For someone who is “especially susceptible” the FCA expect those involved to measure their understanding, recall, weighing up and communication. For the more elderly, this can be a present issue and, without seeking to offend those customers, there may be additional steps required – we may suggest they seek assistance from a child/grandchild, speak to the money advice service or consider quotations elsewhere to ensure the deal is right for them.
Should I lease a car now I am elderly? Again, do consider the various financial options available to you and, if necessary, seek advice from a family member or friend as to whether or not this is suitable for you.
With contract hire you have the ability to fix a contract for a term which meets your needs and requirements for example if you need the contract to operate around the time your driving licence gets renewed (generally every 2 years).
The addition of funder-maintenance will allow you to have all servicing, tyres, maintenance and breakdown included; this allows you to simply insure and fuel the car hassle-free.
But does leasing not need big deposits? Absolutely not. Available to some customers is the zero deposit (no initial rental) option to minimise the initial outlay and exposure. Many of older customers have a monthly budget in mind and we can operate to this. This provides absolute financial certainty
For more help and advice, just get in touch with one of the CarLease team.
In terms of the car shown here, the Ford FOCUS DIESEL HATCHBACK 2.0 EcoBlue ST-Line X 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
· Race Red Solid Paint
· Part leather – Charcoal black with red stitching
· 18″ 5×2 spoke matt black machined finish alloy wheels
As standard the car includes keyless start, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping aid with departure warning, halogen headlamps, Quickclear windscreen, automatic rain sensing wipers, heated rear window, privacy glass, auto hold function, ESC, hill start assist, post collision braking, front and rear floor mats, Bluetooth, pre-collision assist, Ford SYNC 3 nav system, auto dimming rear view mirror, power folding door mirrors with puddle lights (heated), 2 x USB ports, body coloured externals, LED daytime running lights and fog lamps, 3 spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel, paddle shift controls, MyKey system, paddle shift controls, 6 way power adjustable driver seat, 60/40 split back rear seats, heated front seats, 18” alloys spare wheel and Thatcham Cat 1 alarm/immobiliser. In terms of additional factory options consider adding the B&O audio system and wireless charging pad for a perfect car.
On the technical-side the company car and business users can note the P11d at £27,965.00 and CO2 at 121g/km. The 1997CC 8 speed auto engine delivers 61.4 combined MPG (EC), 46.3 (WLTP), 150ps and 0-62 times of 9.3 seconds. The service intervals on a diesel focus are every 12 months or 18,000 miles, whichever lands sooner.
So would the Ford Focus be your select car leasing option? Or would you be heading to one of July’s top lease deals for the next new car?