The ultimate car to lease in 2019? Some would say the Tesla Model 3 has been the most disruptive and adventurous car to consider this year; many others would say the Mercedes A Class continues to be one of the UK’s favourites, having received its model revision just over a year ago. Customer buying, and leasing, habits have altered dramatically over the last few years. Once considered a “luxury” brand, Mercedes have become far more open to the UK market, with a range of more affordable products to personal and business customers alike. In truth, many customers who would previously elect to drive a Ford Focus or Mondeo are now driving the A-Class and C-Class. Volume is an attractive, and addictive, component for manufacturers; you either resist it and make your product available to a select class only or you choose to mass-market. While some manufacturers can operate in a certain segment, none more so than Porsche, there are those who have suffered adopting this method. Just look at the Jaguar Land Rover group, as attitudes towards diesel vehicles have essentially humbled the group to make significant changes. It is no surprise that electrification is high on their agenda.
A big thank you to our local business leasing customer, from Leigh (Greater Manchester), for using the team to supply their fourth vehicle. From a BMW 1 Series Coupe to a VW Golf, our team have been on hand to provide a personal service for their vehicle requirements. As a leasing broker, not a lender or dealership, we have no direct relationship with any one particular manufacturer. This means we can supply any make or model; Ford or Ferrari we can manage your requests! So what is a leasing broker? What actually do they do? Some customers will contact us thinking that we have a dealership with vehicles on site or they will ask our team about our lending criteria. While these are practical, and reasonable, assumptions to make, these are an unrealistic description of how we operate.
Like organising your next mortgage, you will probably speak with a mortgage broker who will help you to understand the finance options available to you. While a mortgage broker will be independent, and we are NOT, we will be able to assist you with a) choosing the right car; and b) choosing the right financial product. The reality is that the vehicle will be ordered with and supplied by a franchised dealership and the finance will be provided by one of the leading contact hire companies (Alphabet, Hitachi, Leaseplan or Lex). We are not personally delivering the cars nor are we lending you our own money. It is our responsibility to help you understand the facts so that you can ultimately make a decision which meets your needs and requirements.
So what dealerships do you work with? We will potentially use any number of dealer groups across the UK. Many leading businesses now have designated fleet teams to manage their contract hire and leasing broker business. Undertaking a contact hire arrangement is not like a retail arrangement and efficiency/process is far more important as opposed to a detailed service. In most cases, we will order the vehicle off our selected panel of dealerships with whom we have a tried and tested relationship with. Most of the issues we face arise upon the delivery stage, so we need to ensure we have the support of the dealer to provide the customer with the best solution. In some cases, if the customer wants to use a local dealer or if this is a special offer vehicle where the dealer has been appointed we will use their services. You do get some slight differences between dealerships – some trailer deliver whereas others manually drive the vehicle/some fuel the cars to half a tank whereas others will offer a quarter tank only. In each and every case we are using franchised dealerships, so you have the comfort that a recognised representative is being utilised.
So who is checking my credit and lending the money? With contact hire you never own the vehicle – this is what we term as a “usership” style product. The finance company will be the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle. However, this does not mean you will not have to be credit checked nor does it mean that this is a product for those with poor/bad credit to utilise. Indeed, contract hire and leasing is a prime funding product and is available to those customers with positive credit only; if you need to check your credit just head over to Experian for a free analysis. While we have a guide to affordability and credit proposals, the decision will ultimately lie with the finance company. If you are not on the electoral roll, have missed payments and CCJs it is unlikely we can assist. In addition, we can only use the information you supply to us with the proposal form; we cannot push it through or offer additional solutions. We are very much the conduit between you and the finance company.
In terms of the car shown, the Mercedes-Benz A CLASS DIESEL HATCHBACK A180d Sport Executive 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
-Mountain Grey Metallic Paint
-Artico man-made leather/Fleron fabric – Black
-Dark carbon fibre interior trim
-17″ 10 spoke light alloy wheels painted in vanadium silver
As standard the car includes the 10.25” media display, heated front seats, active park assist, mirror package (all by virtue of the Executive pack), forward collision warning, cruise control, artico leather, heated glass rear windscreen, raining sensing wipers, rear wiper, velour floormats, comfort suspension, Bluetooth, hard-disk navigation, 180 degree rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, active lane keep assist, attention assist, 7” instrument panel, body coloured mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors with LED indicators, DAB radio, diamond radiator grille, adaptive brake lights, LED headlamps, climate control, 3 spoke multi-function steering wheel, light and sight pack, seat comfort pack, 40/20 split folding seats, keyless go, 17” alloys and alarm system with interior protection and immobiliser. In terms of additional options consider the advanced smartphone or the Premium/Premium Plus Pack.
In terms of the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £29,375.00 and CO2 at 103g/km (EC). The 1461CC 7 speed auto diesel engine will deliver 61.4 combined MPG (WLTP), 116ps and 0-62 times of 10.5 seconds. Service intervals are set at every 12 months or 15,500 miles whichever lands sooner. .
So would you select the Mercedes A Class as your next leasing option? Or would the Audi A3, VW Golf or BMW 1 Series be your preference?