The Mercedes A Class is the best car for a young driver to lease. Well it’s definitely one of the most searched for and desirable cars for younger drivers.
The Mercedes A-Class has fast become the UK’s leading hatchback for younger drivers, surpassing the tamer VW Golf, BMW 1 Series and more expensive Audi A3. It’s no surprise that most of Merc’s bestselling car are being supplied in smaller petrol (A180p) and diesel platforms (A180d).
The latest generation of A-Class has seen a continuation of Mercedes brave approach to interior design; their new interiors are reminiscent of the cockpit in an aeroplane.
Bright, bold and brash, there are no subtle undertones or low-key suggestions. The bright chrome, focus on digital dashboards and brighter interiors colours have made this car the aspiration for most drivers, male and female, under the age of 30! Thank you to our business contract hire customer for sending the pictures of their latest fleet addition, the diesel A180 Merc!
Our bookmaker and Horse Racing client from East Sussex needed a solution for one of their younger drivers, as fleet insurance was restricting their choice. The car shown more than met their expectations.
So can a young driver lease a car? Are lease cars worth it?
Contract hire (which is the formal name for Leasing) is available to all UK customers who are aged 18 or over. So for young drivers, this is theoretically possible. However, you are not automatically accepted for a car lease arrangement, as you must first complete a credit check by filling a proposal form with your leasing broker or finance company. This is submitted for a review by an underwriter (this will happen automatically or go through a manual process).
The information required will include:
· Your full name, as it appears on your driving licence;
· Your full address (and for any addresses you have resided in over the last 5 years) – house number, street, postcode, city and region;
· Date of birth;
· Home telephone number and mobile number (if not already supplied);
· Employment details for the previous 3 years – employer name, employer address and employer telephone number;
· Bank Details – including your bank name, account name, account number, sort code and date the account was opened;
· Income and expenditure – this is required as part of affordability reviews and will include, amongst other things, your gross annual salary, car allowance, mortgage/rent, food/drink/clothing, fuel expenditure, any loans, utility bills and other material expenditure (for example school fees/student loans).
When completing a proposal form, you need to understand that the finance company are going to review two crucial things – 1) the applicant’s ability to pay; and 2) the applicant’s willingness to pay. For younger people the willingness to pay can be a difficult prospect to overcome as they have a limited credit history. F
inance companies will use reference agencies like Experian and Equifax to help understand your credit position. However, if you have limited experience credit because you have haven’t had a mortgage, credit card or mobile phone contract, it can be difficult for the finance company to make a decision.
This is often the first stumbling block for a younger driver, as they simply have insufficient history.
The other element, the ability to pay, is more about a review of the income and expenditure of the applicant. Essentially, based on a brief calculation of you monthly income and expenditure, does your surplus income justify the rental costs, maintenance cost, insurance costs and general costs associated with the vehicle? Due to key changes by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as part of treating customers fairly and responsible lending, these elements do need to be considered. As a younger person is likely to have a smaller monthly income, they need to choose a vehicle which is proportionate to their needs and requirements. If your surplus income if circa £200-300 per month, the A-Class is not a likely vehicle for you.
On the credit and affordability-side, younger lease customers need to run an Experian check and use an online facility which will help understand their monthly income and expenditure. There are lots of great advice services out there which can help point you in the right direction such as – https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en Where you are unable to proceed, or the application is declined, some finance companies may allow a joint application with a parent or guardian so long as the driver is under 21 year old and lives at the same residential address. However leasing a car as a joint application or with a guarantor is somewhat limited and available in exceptional circumstances only.
In terms of the car shown here, the Mercedes-Benz A CLASS DIESEL HATCHBACK A180d AMG Line Premium 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
· Denim Blue Metallic Paint
· Artico man-made leather/Microfibre Dinamica – Black with red stitching
· Dinamica microfibre trim in black
· 18″ AMG 5 twin spoke light alloy wheels in titanium grey with highsheen finish
Before we go onto the standard specification, we thought it might be useful to highlight the key packs to add to an A-Class. Your choices are (in ascending order):
· Executive pack – the entry pack for an A-Class and the most popular by far. Or circa £1400 you get the benefit of active park assist, electrically folding mirrors, the 10” media display (this is a must have!), heated front seats, parking package and mirror package;
· Premium Pack – for around £2400 you can have the interior and driver mirror automatically dimming, a rear armrest, 10” digital instrument display, 64-colour ambient lighting, keyless go and illuminated door sills with Mercedes lettering;
· Premium Plus Pack – the elite pack is available for a princely sum of £3600! A fully loaded car will have electrically adjustable seats with memory function, panoramic glass sunroof, MB sound system and active high beam assist plus.
As standard the car includes active brake assist with forward collision warning, cruise control, 10.25” media screen, blue tinted glass, rain sensing wipers, adaptive brake assist with hold function, brake callipers with Mercedes letting, AMG floor mats, comfort suspension, hard-dick navigation, 180 degree rear view camera, active lane keep assist, attention assist, 10.25£ instrument cluster, body coloured door mirrors and externals, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors (with integrated LEDs), DAB radio, MBUX multimedia system, mid-range sound system, diamond radiator grille, LED high performance headlamps/tail light/brake light, climate control, 3 spoke flat bottomed multi-function steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, gearshift paddles on steering wheel, 64 colour ambient lighting, light and sight pack, mirror pack, seat comfort pack, 40/20 split folding split folding seats, heated front seats, 18” alloys, keyless go, sports seats and alarm/immobiliser.
There are limited factory options you can add apart from upgrading to the light aluminium trim, advanced connectivity pack (Apple Car Play is NOT standard) and the advanced navigation pack.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £31,495.00 and CO2 at 111g/km. The 1461CC 7 speed auto diesel engine delivers 67.3 combined MPG (EC), 53.3 (WLTP), 116ps and 0-62 times of 10.5 seconds. Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,500 miles, whichever lands sooner.
So would the A-Class be your select leasing option? Or would the VW Golf, Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series get your vote?