What's The Difference Between Leasing & Hiring Vehicles?

My car is what some less kind souls might call an old banger, although to be fair it's not as bad as the one pictured below. It was a bargain and in many ways I am fond of its character (which other people might see objectively as dents and scratches) but my neighbour leases her car and I'll admit some total jealousy over its sleek lines and her ability to trade it in for a new model.

old wrecked car in collapsing garage

Leasing a car can be a great way of always having the use of an up-to-date vehicle whether that's for personal, business or family use.

What's The Difference Between Leasing & Hiring?

The main difference between leasing and hiring is timescale. Hiring usually refers to a very short term arrangement while leasing is a more long-term process.

Tips For Hiring A Car

Many people are familiar with renting a car. There are some big household names in that industry and many people tend to book their holiday car via their airline or holiday company's website.  Sometimes they wait until they get to their destination airport or resort.

Holidaymaker in car with map Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) on Unsplash

I personally would recommend sorting car hire out well before you leave if possible and shop around for best the price.

Don't skimp on size. It might be cheaper to hire a little runaround but if you have three teenage children they won't thank you for making them cram together in the back. If you are travelling through a mountainous area choosing a vehicle with the engine power of three harnessed squirrels m might not be the best bet either.

On the other hand don't get carried away and book a souped-up performance car if you normally drive a 1-litre model. The unexpected oomph along with unfamiliar roads and holiday excitement could create the perfect storm for an accident.

Bear in mind any luggage, buggies or wheelchairs you might need to transport as well. After a long flight you don't want to waste time in the car park trying to jam everything in.

If you are under 25 be prepared to pay a hefty premium for hiring a car. It may actually be cheaper to use taxis or public transport during your trip.

We had a holiday once where we didn't plan to hire a car but found when we got there that the hotel was miles from anywhere and even if we walked because we were holidaying out of season, what was around was mostly shut.

We hired a car via the hotel reception plus two car seats for our then toddler boys. Imagine our shock when an ancient grubby car arrived with just one battered filthy car seat. By the time we sorted it out the sun was setting.

Tips For Leasing A Car

This might sound like stating the obvious but spend sometime thinking about what vehicle or at least what sort of vehicle you would like to drive. Often leasing offers more choice than simple purchasing might, given the right deal.

Leasing can also be a good idea for businesses who need a van as many leasing companies offer van leasing as an option. From small start-ups needing just one van to larger firms requiring a fleet, leasing can prove to be a great option.

Don't be dazzled by just the appearance. Like that holiday hire car think about the main uses of the vehicle and what and who you might need to transport. I once had a lovely 4 wheel drive vehicle which I adored but my Granny found it very hard to get into it. We actually carried a milk crate around with us for her to step onto before stepping into the car.

You can check the MPG of newer cars using sites like Fuel Economy which can help you decided the ongoing affordability of running each vehicle.

petrol pump, gas pump Photo by Yucel Moran on Unsplash

Consider adding a maintenance plan to help you budget, avoid nasty surprise garage bills and ensure your vehicle stays in tip-top mechanical condition.

Unlike a car hire where you pay a set amount per day or week usually, leasing often starts with a lump sum payment followed by regular monthly payment with the option to hand back or purchase the car at the end of the lease period.

However some lease companies including Willow Leasing offer No-deposit car leasing, also known as zero-deposit leasing or 0-down leasing. This style of leasing is ideal for people who maybe don't have a lump sum available to pay up front but are OK to pay a higher amount monthly as the payment which normally forms the deposit would be spread over the term of the lease.

If you want to drive a brand new car, change cars frequently or hate the hassle of buying or selling cars leasing may well be worth looking into. There are some potential issues with leasing - for example if you exceed the maximum mileage you agreed at the start of the lease or the wear and tear of the vehicle is more than might be reasonably expected there may be financial penalties.

As with any large financial decision make sure you thoroughly research all your options and read all the small print before signing on the dotted line.

Leasing certainly seems to work well for my neighbour as even with small children (who I assume are like mine and manage to trail dirt and crumbs everywhere) and a couple of  car park prangs (not her fault) she still continues to upgrade her car far more often than me!

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