In an economic climate where no one seems to have a clue what’s going to happen around the corner, investing in something expensive is not at the top of many people’s lists. I wouldn’t dream of buying a house at the moment, and am more than happy renting – and this trend is being mirrored everywhere. Similarly, the other expensive product we all pour money into is buying a car, but, like with renting, car leases are a good option to consider.
Buying your own car is a massive commitment: not only do you have the initial purchase to make, but the regular checks, constant maintenance, and of course petrol. You’ve also got the problem that if your circumstances change, you’ll be looking at trying to sell a car – where you’ll potentially end up losing a lot of money. By leasing a car you effectively get rid of this commitment, as the vehicle in question can be returned, with no lump sums lost in the process. It’s also a good way to see if you’re ready for actual car ownership: if you can afford all the weekly, monthly, and yearly costs, as well as seeing if you’d use it enough to make the most of the money you’re spending.
By avoiding the initial lump sum of buying a car, you’ll have plenty more cash to save up for your own car, while still driving around in your leased one. This saved money could also be devoted to petrol costs – or just to splash out on yourself! A car lease, depending on the package you get and the company you use, will slowly introduce you to the costs of car ownership, and can often be a cheaper option than buying your own.
However, because it’s not your own, you don’t have the freedom of doing what you like with it. My car, currently, is covered bonnet to boot in mud, and is beginning to look like a second bedroom on the inside. Unfortunately, with a car lease, you will have to be more careful, tidier, and considerate, as it will be your deposit that’s withheld if anything happens to it.
A car lease is perfect for holidays, journeys with large numbers of people, as well as any potential ‘posh’ visitors you need to meet and greet – and your old banger isn’t quite up to standard! Some lifestyles just aren’t suited to car ownership, so for those of you who travel frequently, or are at university, but need a car for periods of time at a month, it’s a great path to consider.
Unfortunately, like with renting, you have the lack of security, and possibility that your vehicle will be requested back, potentially leaving you stranded. However, most companies won’t suddenly turn up with 3 hours’ notice, and should give you a decent amount of time to get an alternative sorted.
Car leasing is a fantastic option to consider if you don’t drive for chunks of the year, or if you aren’t sure whether the investment of your own car is worth it yet. And just think – if you’re bored of one model, what’s to say you can’t start leasing a different one!