When should I organise a replacement for my lease car?
The answer to the above very much depends on the car that you require. In some cases, a car which is built bespoke to you could be on a long factory order type arrangement; since changes under the new WLTP testing regime this could mean that a vehicle could take up to 6 months to be built and arrive in the UK for delivery!
If you are a customer who wants a specific car/specification/colour, then you need to speak to your leasing broker or finance company about organising a factory order and ascertain whether this will suit your timescales.
You also have to consider your existing vehicle as part of this thought process.
Firstly, as contract hire is a fixed term contract, you cannot just hand the vehicle back at any time – if you wish to exist the agreement early you need to enter into a process known as “early termination” which often involves paying half of the remaining rentals to return the vehicle. Secondly, you also need to consider about end of the contract responsibilities too.
In some cases, the vehicle must be returned on or before the contract cessation – if you have a long factory order being delayed, this may leave you without a vehicle for a period of time.
However, in some cases the broker or finance company can keep you in a vehicle beyond the contract end-date in a process known as “informal extension”. The price you pay per month in an informal extension will depend on the finance company being used.
In the alternative, if you are less-specific about the vehicle you require, you can organise a vehicle closer to your contract end date by considering any deals which emerge.
Some leasing offers are based on stock vehicles.
This means that vehicles are registered at a certain point (this is relevant for your MOT and warranty) and will stay at a depot/holding centre until an order is placed. Stock vehicles are often deliverable within 2 weeks’ of being ordered and are ideal for those customers who need something here and now. However, because they are often registered at the start of the deal, they must be delivered within 3 months of being registered. This is a normal condition of many stock deals.
Some deals can be allocation based, which means that cars are either due to be built or are already in build with a manufacturer. This provides a little more flexibility for the customer, as they can something amend the specification and select a more suitable delivery date. However, if time is of the essence, this is not going to work, as the vehicle can take up to 3 months to arrive with the customer from the point of order.
In this example, 6 months before the customer’s contract finished they received an email alerting them as to the contract end date. At this point, they already knew the car they wanted and therefore placed a factory order with us (and the dealer). This was done well in-advance, as the delivery date for the new car wanted to be in-line with the September reg change (the “68” plate).
While we wished this was a positive ending, unfortunately the car did not arrive on the designated day!
While no fault of our own, we had to put the customer into a hire car for 2 days, while the vehicle was re-arranged for delivery (the original delivery driver did not turn in!). A very understanding customer eventually received their new luxury car.