Mark Anderson, Vehicle Finance Director at Academy Leasing gives you the 6 questions you should ask to ensure you’re leasing vehicles through a reputable broker.

Many small businesses have had their fingers burnt for not carrying out a little due diligence when signing up to a vehicle leasing broker.

Horror stories range from misleading headline prices that are reneged upon, stock vehicles promised but not made available for weeks on end, to deposits eagerly taken but not returned when deals go awry.

Great efforts have been made by the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) over recent years to warn of the dangers of dealing with unknown or unaccredited brokers. Unfortunately, it is a relatively simple process for individuals to set up as car leasing ‘bedroom brokers’. And with the UK economy only now starting to drag itself out of the global financial malaise, desperate deals have regularly been struck by the unscrupulous who care nothing for a customer’s financial loss or who pay little heed to their future requirements.

Make sure you ask the following key questions before signing up to any contracts:

  • Does your broker offer genuine fleet management consultancy throughout the term of a lease contract (as opposed to simply taking orders for new orders for new cars when profit opportunities arise)? Can they give you upfront advice on damage recharges or undertaking contract rewrites, extensions or early terminations, during the term of a lease, to save you money? If you increase your mileage, or you’re not doing the mileage on the lease contract because, for example, an employee has left and their replacement doesn’t cover the same kind of area, will you be able to amend the contract downwards in mileage to save money?
  • Check the company small print. Are they a VAT registered company, are they authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are they a member of the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association)?
  • Can you see their FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) number on their website? If not, this means that you won’t have the peace of mind that they are under the close scrutiny of the recently introduced FCA regulations.
  • Do they have a bona fide trading address and a written complaints procedure?
  • Do they deal with a range of different funders and deal groups to meet customers’ specific requirements and deliver the best deals?
  • Are they asking for a big upfront deposit? Unless you are ordering a very exclusive vehicle, there is rarely any need to pay a large ‘holding deposit’ to anyone. Most first payments /deposits are taken by Direct Debit after the delivery of your new vehicle and paid direct to the leasing company.

Call us now 01942 408520 or drop us an email to find out more

This article provides general information to be used for your reference only and is not intended as a substitute for financial advice specifically directed at your business and taking account of the particularities of your situation.