Leasing A Car During The Coronavirus Outbreak

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The global economy has been hit by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with entire industries shutting up shop. Many people are working from home following social distancing advice from the government. But what happens if you need a new car?

Whether you’ve ordered a lease car and are worried about delays, or want to know if now is a good time to order a vehicle, find out everything you need to know about leasing a car during the coronavirus outbreak.

Will my lease car order be delayed?

Some of the world’s biggest manufacturers have temporarily closed due to coronavirus, including Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan. Others have resorted to focusing efforts on developing medical equipment such as ventilators in an effort to combat the disease, such as Tesla.

So, there’s a chance that if you’ve ordered a new vehicle from a leasing company or provider that it will be delayed. That is unless it’s considered ‘in-stock’ (already built and ready to be delivered).

Have you specified in an order that you would like a certain engine, colour of paint or additional features? If so, it’s likely that you’ll have to wait until at least March 27th (the earliest date given by manufacturers for re-opening) before hearing back about your order.

Remember: Dealerships are also being closed due to the outbreak, so be sure to contact your leasing provider about delivery extensions.

Are there better deals on new cars because of coronavirus?

Leasing, unlike PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) and HP (Hire Purchase), is not affected by interest rates. Therefore, monthly payments won’t be higher or lower than usual because of lower interest rates caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Although production of new cars has temporarily seized, you can still shop online and compare great deals from Moneyshake.

There are always special offers to be had on some of the most popular and well-equipped models on the market. Not only this, but these vehicles often tend to be ones which are in-stock and therefore likely to be delivered quicker than those ordered from a factory.

What if my lease contract is due to expire/start soon?

Depending on the leasing provider you’ve ordered a vehicle from, you may still be able to receive your new car.

Free delivery is included with most contracts, meaning the car will either come in the back of a truck or driven to your home. Either way, couriers will be told to observe government guidelines on cleanliness. This includes touched surfaces of your new car being wiped down and standing at a distance while signing for a return/collection.

If you’re coming to the end of a lease deal and already had a collection date arranged for your car, we encourage you to call your provider beforehand. Even if your vehicle can’t be collected, a member of the sale’s team will be able to discuss with you arrangements for an extension of your current agreement or a new collection day entirely.

Remember: Any additional costs as a result of an extension on your lease agreement will be calculated on a case-by-case basis.

What if I can’t afford the monthly payments anymore?

Again, we’re seeing a lot of redundancies and other financial uncertainties occurring across multiple sectors as a result of COVID-19. So, if you’re already mid-lease and find that keeping up with your monthly rentals is too much, what do you do?

The first thing you should do is contact your leasing provider straight away, before letting a payment bounce. Depending on the provider, they may be able to temporarily freeze or lower the payments to something more affordable. However, this will only be allowed on a case-by-case basis, and you will have to pay back any outstanding finance in full once you are able to.

Will I still be able to get my lease car serviced?

Lease agreements that are longer than 36 months will require you to have an MOT once the car has passed its third birthday. This can cause a few issues if you’re self-isolating, whether that’s because you’re showing symptoms of the coronavirus or to avoid contracting it.

The good news is that there are some steps you can take in order to ensure you’re not driving illegally, without an MOT. However, even if that car is parked and not being used, you’ll still need a test certificate.

  • You can book an MOT up to a month before the renewal date and still keep the existing date.
  • You can arrange for a test earlier, albeit this will bring forward the renewal date for the following year(s), provided your agreement is longer than 48 months.

Because the most popular lease deals are those which are 36 months or less, you won’t have to worry about getting an MOT. However, you’ll still be responsible for maintaining the car according to the wear and tear guidelines set out by the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) and your leasing provider.

If you have a maintenance package with your lease agreement then regular services for wear and tear issues will be covered. Just be sure to check that a garage you take the vehicle to is approved by the manufacturer and leasing company, and that it’s still open for business!

Need a new car quick in these testing times? Configure yours now to compare prices from our BVRLA-regulated providers.

For the latest car reviews, auto news and entertainment, check out the Moneyshake blog.