Why People Don’t Understand The Benefit Of Leasing

Thursday, 6. February 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

One of the main reasons why drivers refuse to consider leasing as an option is the misguided mental evaluation of their car when they eventually part exchange for a new one. By the time reality hits them it is far too late because by the time they learn the truth the car is three years old and they have lost £’000s.

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Let me explain. I carried out a not too scientific experiment. I used as an example a Renault Scenic which cost about £15,000 brand new. I asked about 30 people, friends, relations, people down the pub etc. what the car would be worth when 3 years old with 30,000 miles on the clock. The answers ranged from £7,000 to £10,000 with the majority £8,000 – £9,000.

The actual value of that car in the trade and what would be achieved as a part exchange was just under £4,000. Now here’s the problem, when working out the potential cost over 3 years most of those asked would have said that the car would be worth around £7,000, which, after adding interest charges, having taken the car on HP, would have compared roughly with the lease costs over the same period.

However, the truth is that the resale or part exchange estimates were around £4,000 adrift making the lease option much more favourable but as I say you only find that out when you sell the car. Auto Express carried out a similar exercise when they recently asked 12 drivers what they believed their cars were worth (I don’t just throw these things together, it’s called planning) and they came up with similar findings.

They used the trade valuers CAP to come up with the valuations. Other than one lady with an 09 Focus who thought her car was worth £4,500 but in fact it was worth £5,500 all drivers over estimated their car’s true value. One driver with a BMW M3 Evolution was over £3,000 adrift with most other drivers around £1,000 to £2,000 over the true value.

Having said that most cars were 5 to 10 years old so you would expect the estimates to be a little closer to the truth. Philip Northard of CAP said that the reason why many drivers over estimate the value of their car is that when they check on sites such as Autotrader or notice a similar car on a dealer’s forecourt, the figures they see are retail figures and include the dealer’s margin.

Of course you won’t achieve these figures when you take your car into the dealer as a part exchange. The argument over expected future values won’t go away, I’m sure, but I thought it might be worth mentioning if you are considering leasing as an option, you take away all risk in the depreciation and don’t get disappointed when you aren’t offered what you thought your car was worth when you come to replace it. By Graham Hill

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