If I Lease A Car Who Is The Registered Keeper?
When you lease a car, the finance company who funds your agreement in return for fixed monthly payments is the registered keeper and owner of it. This means that road tax and official communications with the police and DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) regarding the vehicle is their responsibility.
Are you considering leasing a car, but want to know what you’re responsible for throughout a contract? Find out what your obligations are when taking out a car lease deal in this guide.
What is the registered keeper responsible for?
The registered keeper of any car is responsible for making sure that the vehicle is taxed and on the DVLA’s and police’s records. This means that the bill for road tax is invoiced to this individual/company, as well as being notified of any speeding tickets or crimes associated with the vehicle.
Remember: The registered keeper will be named on the V5C (or ‘log book’) document which comes with every new car, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the same individual/company is the owner.
This is different from the owner of a car, who takes care of payment for a vehicle.
In the case of leasing, the finance provider is both the owner and registered keeper.
Do I need to tax my lease car?
In most cases, a leasing company will include road tax within the monthly lease payments which you pay for using the car.
The price of this tax will reflect the cost of road tax at the time you get the car. However, you may find that any reductions or increases in this amount which happen throughout your agreement can see you invoiced for the difference or, in the case of the former, given a cheque as repayment.
Once your lease car is delivered to you it will be taxed, and you should receive a notification through the post confirming this. If this isn’t the case, we advise that you contact your leasing company straight away before driving the car.
All Moneyshake lease deals come with road tax included for the duration of your agreement, whether that’s two, three, or four years long. However, if you decide to lease a car somewhere else, be sure to check that road tax isn’t only advertised for the first year, which can sometimes be the case.
Remember: If a lease deal is advertised with the first 12 months of tax included, the finance provider will still arrange for the car to be taxed, but you’ll be billed separately for any remaining tax.
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Maintenance and insurance are your responsibility
Although the funder, as the registered keeper, will more than often take care of tax for the vehicle, insurance and maintenance for the car are separate matters.
It will be your responsibility to arrange for a car you’ve leased to be insured on a fully comprehensive policy before the car is delivered.
This is because car insurance is protection for the person using the car in the event of an accident, and therefore this responsibility isn’t with the finance company. Despite this, you’ll still need to send confirmation of your insurance cover for the vehicle to the funder to show that you have measures in place to be able to afford any repairs/replacements for the car should a collision happen.
Remember: If your lease agreement specifies that insurance and maintenance is included within the monthly payments (e.g. a ‘Total Care’ contract) then this will already be arranged for you.
Regular servicing and maintenance for a lease car, like insurance, is the responsibility of the driver whose name the finance is under.
Although the main vehicle documents will be kept by the funder, you’ll still be given the manufacturer’s handbook and information in your contract about when the recommended service intervals are for the car.
Usually this type of maintenance is advised every 12,000 miles through an ‘interim service’. Oil changes and checks on vital components of the car (tyres, lights, brakes, etc.) will form a part of this service, which will need to be carried out by an approved garage and logged in the service manual.
By honouring the service schedule in the handbook, you increase the chances of not receiving end-of-lease damage charges from the leasing company.
For contracts which are more than three years long, an MOT will need to be arranged and paid for, along with any repairs, at a centre which is approved by the finance provider.
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What happens if I get a parking fine or speeding ticket?
If you receive a parking ticket on your leased car, the fine will usually be sent directly to your finance provider.
Some finance providers will simply pay it and then notify you of the extra charge. Usually this can be paid back at the end of your agreement or it may even come out of your next monthly direct debit payment. In this case, there may be an extra admin fee involved which the funder can charge you for having to deal with the process and payment.
Alternatively, the finance company may choose to give the company/local authority issuing the ticket/fine your details so that the information and charge can be sent to you directly to deal with.
What should I do if I change address during a lease?
You should always notify the funder if you change address mid-lease, despite lease cars being registered with the finance provider. The head office address will be on the V5C document.
This is so that you can still receive any important documentation about your car, such as confirmation that it’s been taxed or any information relating to any speeding tickets or parking fines.
It’s also important that you notify the DVLA of any change of address, name or marital status which you can do online for free.
Can I put a private plate on my lease car?
Yes, you can put a private number plate on your lease car, but there’s a process you have to go through in order to do this.
- Contact the finance company to get permission to add a private plate to the lease car after you’ve taken delivery of the vehicle – leasing companies will rarely be able to arrange for the car to be fitted with a private plate beforehand.
- The finance provider will be named as Nominee on the Certificate of Entitlement (V750), which can be done online or in the post. If the plate has been used on another car before and is being transferred to your lease car, then a Retention Document (V778) will be needed instead.
- Send the V750 or V778, a cheque for the admin fee (around £35), and a brief covering letter with your intentions to add a private plate to the car, to the finance provider directly.
- Once payment has been received, the finance provider will send the documents to the DVLA, who will then assign the new registration to the car.
- Remember to wait until confirmation from the DVLA and funder has come through before you put the plate on the vehicle.
Now that you know what your responsibilities are when you lease a car, why not look for your ideal new motor? Start your search
For more guidance on car leasing and information about motoring, head over to our guides page.