Knowing how to look after a leased or financed car is essential, but maintenance options can be tricky to decipher. We tell you everything you need to know to make sure you're not caught out...
When you are involved in a leasing or finance deal, you will be responsible for ensuring that the car is properly maintained. The car must be serviced according to its service schedule, and the car must be kept in an acceptable condition.
All new cars are covered by a manufacturer's warranty for at least the first three years, although these warranties do not cover the cost of servicing, or the cost of replacing consumable parts such as tyres and batteries.
Most leasing and finance agreements don't cover maintenance, but in the same way as you can add optional extras to the specification of your car, you can do so to your agreement, albeit for a higher monthly fee.
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A contract which includes maintenance brings peace of mind and makes budgeting easier, so make sure you check with your leasing provider so you know whether or not maintenance is (or can be) included.
Maintenance packages can include some or all of the following:
- new tyres and batteries
- breakdown recovery
- MOT testing
Cars will not need an MOT test until they are three years old. It is likely that the majority of maintenance will be carried out through a dealer. All you really need to do is book your car in at your local main dealer, and they will sort out the rest, although it's still worth checking with you leasing provider that is the case, just to be sure.
So, if you do have the option to add a maintenance package to your deal, should you? Here are some points to consider:
- Fixed costs: no nasty surprises when you need four new tyres, or the service is due.
- Peace of mind: keeping your car in perfect fettle and having the associated servicing paperwork up to date reduces the risk of additional fees when you hand it back. If you keep the car, full documentation should reduce depreciation.
- You need to carefully check which of the above jobs are included, as you will have to budget for any that aren't.
- On top of these, extras such as courtesy cars for when the work is being done may also be optional or unavailable.