If you've spent any length of time browsing the various car leasing companies web sites and comparing the numerous quotes on offer, you've no doubt come across some incredibly cheap offers. But are they too good to be true? Are they really as “cheap” as they appear, or are there some hidden catches?
While there certainly are some fantastic bargains to be had - often in the form of special offers - at the same time there are things you should look out for and be weary of. Most car leasing companies aren't out to scam you, but you do need to be fully aware of what you're letting yourself in for. Here are some questions to ask yourself when encountering an extremely cheap contract hire offer:
What Are The Terms Of The Offer? What exactly are the terms and conditions of the quote with regards to how much you'll be paying overall? Some contract deals may be a certain - low - price for an initial period, but then increase considerably for the rest of the contract. Again, most leasing firms aren't out to pull a fast one on you and the terms will be clearly explained in the contract, but it means you need to read the fine print and be fully aware of what you're letting yourself in for. You may well have found yourself an amazing price, but ensure that it's applicable for the entire duration you have the vehicle.
What Is The General Package? Following on from the above point, what exactly are you getting for the price? All contract hire offers will have a certain mileage allowance that you can't exceed each month. If you do exceed the limit, you have to pay a fee per extra mile. If you've found a cheap contract hire offer but the mileage allowance is far too low for your demands, then it's not going to be suitable is it? Also consider other parts of the offer. Are you getting any service and maintenance benefits included? You may find that you're better off going with a more “expensive” deal, due to it including more benefits such as road tax, roadside cover etc. Be sure to get the whole picture.
What Is The Model Of Car? Finally, if you're not knowledgeable on cars and aren't after a particular model, don't just go for the cheapest option, as it may be that way for a reason. Try and find out more about the car by doing your research and asking someone who does know what they're talking about. The model of car may be cheap, but if it's prone to breaking down or having other problems (as some makes and models are known for) then it can be more hassle than it's worth. Again, going for a slightly more expensive deal may work out more cost effective in the long run, even if it's just through piece of mind.
To reiterate: there are some amazingly cheap contract hire deals available, and if you can find one with a model of car and a package that suits you, great! But if something seems to be good to be true, don't necessarily assume the worst, be just ask the above questions and see if it still looks as tempting. You'll find the right deal for you soon enough.