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10 Reasons NOT to Lease a Car

dont lease cars

I see so much scaremongering on the interweb about why people shouldn’t lease a car, how it is a waste of money, you are restricted to the contracted mileage, yadda, yadda, yadda…

It seems to me that the people that are making this nonsensical argument are the ones who have no idea how it works, how depreciation works, how taxation works, etc. These are probably the same people who are always after a lift because their banger has broken down again, who pay £100 a month to Sky TV without quibbling, who rent their homes and who have no care for the environment.

Well it's all nonsense, well sort of… Leasing is designed for people that enjoy driving and being seen in a nice new car every few years and who appreciate reliable, worry free motoring. It is unfair to compare leasing a new car with purchasing a used car. This is an unbalanced argument.

Those who think that buying a new car with cash, or taking out a loan to purchase a new car or a Hire purchase agreement is a better option simply do not understand the math. 


1. You do not like to drive the latest models of car. 

This is actually a bit like not wanting to wear the latest fashions, or not accepting that technology is constantly changing. This is a statement that might be uttered by a forty-something, still living at home with parents, wearing tank tops and driving about in an anti-aerodynamic Austin Metro. The sort that prefers to clog up the atmosphere with a smoky old gas guzzler that just manages 24 miles per gallon, has windy up/down windows in the front and fixed windows in the rear. A passion wagon that needs the oil topping up every journey, has a push button fm radio with cassette player so you can listen to `The Carpenters` and cigarette lighters in the front and the back so the kids can join in whilst they sweat to death due to the lack of air conditioning and reduced lung capacity - not helped by cattle produced global warming. I mean why would anyone prefer cleaner air, lower emissions due to better economy, air conditioning, pollen filters, electric windows, parking sensors, dab radio with usb connectors and bluetooth phone connection for hand-free telephone calls and all the other mod-cons one enjoys with a modern car? 

2. You do not like to look smart on the road or turning up to a client's address.

So here is the thing - if you turn up to meet a client in a clean new vehicle [car or van] it is proven that you will make a much better first impression than if you rolled up in your rusty old trusty. Nothing says professional more than a smart dressed person turning up in a smart vehicle. If you are representing yourself or the company you work for making the best first impression will undoubtedly help you win more clients. If you think that by looking like a hobo and driving a heap will make potential clients feel sorry for you - you are wrong. If you work for a larger company that has their vehicles sign-written [allowable with a lease vehicle] not only does it look very professional but you are also creating free advertising everywhere you go. Imagine two insurance salesmen turn up at the same time to take you out for a lunch meeting. Once rolls up in an old jalopy smoking like a coal factory wearing stonewashed denim, the other in a shiny new Jaguar as quiet as a mouse yet as powerful as 200 horses wearing a beautifully tailored suit from Saville Row. Who would you want to do business with? 

3. You like to pay more for road tax than your savvy neighbour. 

It might seem like I am pulling at straws adding this one - but to be honest it is a real struggle to come up with 10 reasons not to lease a car. Every time a manufacturer upgrades vehicle production, new tweaks and changes or complete facelift one of the key design factors will be to reduce CO2 emissions. The government incentive for lower emissions equates to lower road tax. Did you know that if your car has a CO2 rate of 255 or above the amount of road tax you will pay in 2020 is over £2,000 - you could lease a nice new car for less than that and that would include the cost of road tax. 

4. You like not knowing when the next repair is needed and how much it will cost this time… 

Driving and maintaining a used car, especially once the manufacturer warranty has expired is a bit like playing roulette. If the ball lands on a red it's only a small repair that should be done and dusted for under £100. However land on a black and you need a new set of brakes, brake pads, head gasket and gearbox and you may as well leave it with the garage and do a bunk. If you are into your gambling and like to take a risk I understand - but when the fun stops - STOP! 

5. You like the tension surrounding whether your car will pass the dreaded MOT and if not HOW MUCH will it set you back.

A bit like number 4 MOT time can be a bit of a nail biter. In a cars first few years off the production plant you don't have to worry about MOT's but the fear factor begins at the end of year 3. All going well you take advantage of your local dealers £35 MOT and that's all you pay but what if there is more. What if you have a dodgy tyre - that's £100 from your summer holiday spending money? What if you need brakes? £200, £300 and discs as well £500.... Oh the pressure, the not knowing, the tension is so enjoyable and what's more [lucky for you] it gets more intense every year! 

6. You don’t care that your CO2 spewing dragon is choking the environment. 

You might not know it but cars are becoming greener every year. Along with aesthetics and performance the most important factor in the design of mainstream car manufacturing is making sure that the car is cleaner and greener. Why is this so important? Well for one it helps save the environment, makes the air cleaner for our children and our plants and wildlife. During the Covid-19 lockdown millions of people have appreciated how much cleaner the air and how clearer/bluer the sky - this is mostly due to less pollution. On April 15th 2019, after several rounds of meetings, representatives of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed on reducing the average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars by -15% in 2025, and by -37.5% in 2030. 

7. You think that by owning a car outright it won’t depreciate in value as much? [Ok so if you drive a Ferrari F40 this point does not apply]

I have been in the leasing business for 30 years and I have never yet had anyone explain this one in more detail. Please feel free to send me an explanation and I will remove number 7 from my list of 10. One argument could be that a privately owned car is vehicle is better cared for and I get that - MAYBE you are more likely to pull on the rubber gloves and give it a clean more often but does that make it worth more... in a word No! On the flipside a leased vehicle has to be maintained in accordance to the manufacturer warranty and driver handbook instructions. In actual fact an ex-lease car is guaranteed to be well kept as part of customer's legal commitment to the leasing agreement. 

8. You hate the idea of upgrading to a new car every few years because you get too attached. 

Some people can get really attached to their cars and never want to give them up. They give their cars names like "Rover or Daisy" and talk to it when they are driving. They look at photographs of great days they have spent together and the thought of selling to these weirdos is the same as you putting your kids up for adoption. GET-A-GRIP!!! Cars are not real, the do not have feelings or emotions and would not be depressed and sad and suffer with mental health issues if you upgraded. Cars like Herbie, Kit, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bumblebee are in the movies - they are not real. Once you realise this you can move on with your life... 

9. You think that your motor insurance is cheaper on an older car. 

You are partly right although the amount of savings of like-for-like new to used are not enough to consider a used car over a new one. As car insurance is so specific, it’s impossible to give a blanket statement regarding which is cheaper to insure. The insurance premium will depend on your driving history, the make and model of the vehicle, the level of insurance cover, and your insurance company. While the list price of a new vehicle is usually more expensive than that of a used car, that isn't always the case for insurance. State-of-the-art safety features, more easily replaceable parts, and other factors often contribute to the low cost-to-insure of some new cars. Insurance companies use a number system from 1-50 [better known as insurance group]. If your car is group 1 you pay the lowest insurance and more as the insurance group increases. Group one cars are the likes of VW PoloSkoda FabiaVW UpFord Fiesta and other low powered city cars. Group 50 cars are BMW M's, Mercedes AMG, RS Audis, top end Range Rover, etc. as well as Supercars such as Ferrari and Porsche cars. 

10. You think that you can haggle a better deal out of your local car dealer than a finance company that owns tens of thousands of cars. [Similar to number 7] 

If I had a pound for every time that I heard someone say I want to "own my car, leasing is a waste of money" I would be a rich man. Ok let's look at this in more detail as this is definitely one of the most common mistake. If I walked into a new car showroom and had my very best haggling head on I might if the sales person is desperate to hit their sales target achieve a tasty 10% discount. Great job right? No! The funders which we use have already agreed fleet terms and get 30% discount automatically - this is because they are buying hundreds and thousands of cars every year whereas you are buying just one. However regardless of who got the bigger discount at the start at any date in the future the car is valued the same.

I am sure that there are many other genuine reasons why you might not want to lease a car, for example you cannot afford to, but like I said before leasing is not for everyone… but don’t let the ignorant put you off.

According to the FLA 88% of all UK new car registrations in 2017 are leased – This is a significant indicator that leasing might be okay?

I love this - contains mild bad language!!!

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