What is the best performance hatchback to lease in 2019? A popular, but nevertheless difficult, question which is asked of our team. The smaller fast-car range has still been fairly popular in the UK notwithstanding economic pressures, financial uncertainty and the growing running costs for a car (fuel, insurance and maintenance).
However, there are still a good number of customers in the market who are looking to procure that enjoyable experience for between £300 and £400 per month.
If you are a low-mileage customer, in particular those covering less than 8,000 miles, running this type of car is actually not as unpractical as you would think. However, we don’t push any particular product as we are a credit broker, not a lender or dealership.
With the VW GTI/R, the Audi S3 or RS3, the BMW m140i and the Seat Cupra our customers are more than spoiled for choice with the potential cars they can obtain, each offering style, value and, above all, a great driving experience. There is no such thing as a bad car now!
A thank-you to our personal leasing customer, from Astley (Greater Manchester), for replacing their existing vehicle with us and for collecting their brand-new car from the CarLease team.
Do I have to replace my car with the existing supplier? The end of the contract on a lease is an interesting time for the customer (particularly if this their first time) and is something which can often cause confusion. A contract hire agreement is a fixed term contract for two, three of four years. Unless you enter into an “early termination” to return the vehicle before the end of the contract, you must see the contract to its cessation.
What we need to make clear with contract hire is that it is a “Usership” style finance product and so you are not going through a contract with a view to buying or owning the vehicle.
So what are my choice at the end of the lease? As a credit broker, not a lender, we will introduce you to a number of different finance companies, each having their own terms and conditions. This means that the way in which they handle this is not always exactly the same and you must raise queries with your finance company or leasing broker to clarify anything you are unsure about.
To help customers, we don’t “surprise” them at the contract end date. We will send an email 6 months’ before contract end date to ensure they are aware that the vehicle must be returned and that the servicing, maintenance, tyres and MOT must be carefully considered.
Additionally, we will make a copy of the BVRLA fair wear and tear guide available to ensure the customer is aware of their obligations as to the condition of the vehicle.
In terms of a customer’s main options, they can:
1. Return the vehicle – the customer will speak to the leasing broker/finance company and arrange for the vehicle to be collected from their home or business address (only available Mon-Fri between 9 and 5);
2. Extend the vehicle – the customer will sometime be able to formally extend the contact with the finance company for 6 or 12 months. This essentially involved a new contract for that term and the price paid per month will adjust according to the new mileage and the residual value on that vehicle;
3. Replace the vehicle – it is not compulsory to replace a vehicle and you are under no obligation to do this. However, if you are happy with the service from your existing provider and you want a new car, you can arrange for the new car to be delivered and for the existing car to be collected on the same day – a “key for key”; or
4. Buy the car – in very limited circumstances, the finance company will sell the vehicle to you. However, as contract hire is not an ownership product this is not available in most situations. If you do buy the vehicle, this will be at a market valuation. This is not like a personal contract purchase where there is a pre-set guaranteed future value/balloon.
However you proceed, do make sure that when you return the vehicle you speak with the relevant broker or finance company to ensure you manage the process correctly.
The leasing process is not about catching out customers at this juncture and charging them excessively for damage.
Please note that until your vehicle is collected (and effectively de-hired), you need to ensure that a comprehensive vehicle insurance policy is in place. In addition, please retain all paperwork that you have received from any dealership/leasing company and ensure that the handbook (including the service record), MOT Certificate and keys (all sets) are available to hand over to the collection driver.
The key to returning a lease car is to be organised!
In terms of the car shown here, the Mercedes-Benz A Class AMG Hatchback A35 4Matic Executive 5door Auto (Petrol), this is based on the following configuration:
· Denim Blue Metallic Paint
· Two tone leather – Titanium grey pearl/black
· Light aluminium with longitudinal grain interior trim
· 18″ AMG 5 twin spoke design bicolour alloy wheels
· Black seatbelts
As standard the car includes active brake assist with forward collision, AMG performance suspension leather upholstery, cruise control, 18” alloys, blue tinted glass, heated rear windscreen, rain sensing wipers, hold function and hill start assist, brake callipers with Mercedes lettering, ESP, AMG floor mats, hard-dick navigation, 180 degree rear view camera, active lane keep assist, front/rear parking sensors, attention assist, stop/start function, 7” colour screen instrument panel, Mercedes me connect, body coloured door mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors with LED indicators, DAB radio, MBUX multimedia system, AMG radiator grille, wider wheel arches, two round tailpipes, adaptive brake lights, headlamp assist, LED headlamps, tail lamps and brake lights, climate control, AMG performance steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, front centre armrest, door sills with Mercedes lettering, front footwell land reading lamps, light and sight pack, seta comfort pack, warning triangle and first aid kit, sports seats, alarm system and immobiliser. In terms of additional extras, considering adding one of the packs below or add the AMG style pack for the perfect performance vehicle.
In terms of the “packs”, please see below in ascending order:
1. Executive – this includes mirror package, 10.25” media display heated front seats and active parking assist;
2. Premium – this adds ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, keyless entry and start, mid-range sound system and a rear armrest; and
3. Premium Plus – this adds front memory seats, multibeam LEDs and a panoramic glass sunroof.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £37,000.00 and CO2 at 167g/km. The 1991CC 7 speed auto petrol engine delivers 38.7 combined MPG (EC), 33.6 combined (WLTP), 306ps and 0-62 times of 4.7 seconds. Service intervals on an AMG A-Class are every 12 months or 12,500 miles, whichever lands sooner.
So would you select the A-Class AMG as your next car leasing option? Check out more sports and performance car reviews below…