Thinking about leasing an electric car? Here’s our quick guide to what to expect and what you should consider before you plug in.
For the environmentally conscious amongst us, or those who simply love to be at the cutting edge of innovation, an electric or hybrid car is a great option to consider.
With some funky looking models now available (we love the BMW i3) you don’t need to compromise on style either.
So, here are a few things to consider.
All electric or hybrid?
When choosing an electric car you have two main choices (apart from make and model.) All electric or a plug-in hybrid.
An all electric has a battery driven electric motor – that’s it!
A plug-in hybrid has the battery driven electric motor but also has a back-up internal combustion engine as well.
A hybrid will give you a few more miles to your charge, as the back-up engine essentially tops up your battery on the move.
Is it as easy as ‘plug and go’?
Yes and no. Whilst you can charge your vehicle at home via a domestic socket this is a slow option and it is essential that before you plug in you have your wiring checked thoroughly by an electrician to ensure you have the necessary circuit breakers etc – safety first!
Grants are available towards the cost of having a dedicated charging point installed at your home – you can find out more here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/plug-in-vehicle-chargepoint-grants
Charging on the move
There are a number of interactive maps available to show you where charging points are and you should always plan ahead so you know where you can plug in. Zap-map.com is one such site and the App “Charge your Car” is also proving popular.
There are already more than 1,500 charging points in the UK and with a remarkable surge in demand for electric vehicles in the UK – *new registrations of plug-in cars increased from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 63,000 at the beginning of June 2016, this number is only set to increase * source http://www.nextgreencar.com/electric-cars/statistics/
Your running costs will be hugely reduced when compared to a petrol / diesel alternative and exemptions from congestion charges and zero road tax reduces your regular outgoings further.
Usual maintenance stands of course, but choose a package when you lease and this will be built into your monthly costs anyway.
One negative for electric cars is poor residual value – for example the BMWi3 will only retain around 30% of it’s value after 3 years. Leasers, of course, don’t need to worry about this – you get to enjoy all of the benefits of an electric car without this significant downside.
What are electric cars like to drive?
Jane England Operations manager OVL Group Ltd drives a Nissan Leaf….here’s what she says about going electric.
“It’s a must for local or short distance travellers! I appreciate it won’t suit everyone, but for users only doing short or local driving then and the Leaf is definitely the way to go. Nissan got it right in so many ways. The Leaf is a generous 4/5 seater hatchback car that ticks many boxes regarding build quality and finish. In addition, its quiet, very comfortable, incredibly easy to drive once you adapt to it, but above all, is GREEN…………………… and you never have to buy fuel!! Charging is no different to charging your mobile phone and with the increase in public charging points it will become even easier to top up when out and about be in in a service station, supermarket car park or motorway service station…………….. What’s not to like!”
Can I drive my lease car abroad?
If we could guarantee the weather in the UK I’m sure many of us would agree that a ‘staycation’ is a lovely way to spend a week or so. Gorgeous coastline, lovely lakes and rolling countryside is all on our doorstep. But with thunderstorms and flash floods in “Flaming June” many of us (a cool 16 million according to ONS Travel Trends 2012) head for the warmer shores of Spain and France.
The majority of travellers will fly to their European destination but have you considered driving, it does add an element of adventure to a holiday.
If you are driving to Europe, there are a few things you need to plan and if you are leasing a car you’ll need to get in touch with your leasing company.
Here’s our handy checklist and list of useful websites to get your road-trip started.
Drive a lease car? Get in touch with your lease company. They will provide you with a letter confirming you are the driver of the vehicle and that they give you permission to take the vehicle abroad as well as a VE103R Vehicle on Hire Certificate.
As well as this letter and certificate you’ll also need:
? Full UK driving license
? Valid passport
? Foreign motor insurance
? European breakdown cover
? Personal travel insurance
It’s a good idea to create a ‘travel pack’ - keeping all your essential paperwork together in one place.
You will also need to get main dipped light deflectors; otherwise your lights will blind every driver coming in the opposite direction. These can be bought from any Halfords or other parts store.
Do you have a GB Euro number plate? If not you’ll need to display GB stickers – no GB plate or sticker may result in an on-the-spot fine.
Don’t just jump in your car and drive! There are simple things you can do yourself to make sure your car is in good, roadworthy condition such as checking your tyre pressures and tread and topping up your oil and checking your coolant level. It’s worth creating an emergency kit too – include a fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, tool kit, torch and blanket.
Always check what compulsory in-car equipment is required. For example, in July 2012 it became compulsory for all cars on French roads to carry a portable breathalyser. Motorists in France are also legally obliged to carry a warning triangle and fluorescent vests for each occupant of the car.
These websites contain more information on driving abroad – happy holidays!
The Top Ten Benefits of Car Leasing
If you’re a regular visitor to our website and social media channels you’ll know a bit about us, how we work and what car leasing can offer.
However, there’s no such thing as too much information so we’ve compiled the top ten benefits of car leasing for you.
1. New; you're driving a car which is never more than three years old. And you can have a new car every three years.
2. Budgeting; you know what your monthly car costs are going to be. Especially if you choose the maintenance option.
3. Lower cost; when you buy a car you're buying the entire car, with leasing you're not so you pay a lot less.
4. Peace of mind; with leasing you don't have to worry about what happens to the car after three years, it simply gets collected.
5. Choice; With a lease company they are not trying to sell you a specific make or model. You can choose whichever you want.
6. Advice; because the lease company is not trying to sell you a specific make or model, you can get impartial advice on any make or model.
7. Affordability; you can choose the vehicle and terms which totally suit your budgets.
8. Support; when you lease a car the lease company will want you to get another car after three years, so they will usually give you advice on any questions you have over the three year term.
9. Simplified cost; you're monthly cost is just one payment covering the car, servicing, road fund licence.
10. Your car; you are always driving a new car and never one that was once someone else's.
So….come on what are you waiting for – check out our current offers by clicking here http://www.carcontracthire.com/car-contract-hire-offers.aspx
Congratulations to our first competition winner
We ran a competition over on our Facebook page and the prize was a family ticket to the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Our randomly selected winner was announced this week – congratulations to Jessica Lancod-Frost who is thrilled to be a winner and has promised to share some pictures of her family day out with us – so watch this space!
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for your chance to win prizes in future competitions – just like our page at www.facebook.com/carcontracthire
What is GAP insurance and why do you need it?
If you’re leasing a new car GAP insurance is well worth considering.
What is meant by GAP?
GAP stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection. This has nothing to do with the value of the vehicle.
You are insuring the difference in amount the insurance company will pay out if your new car is stolen or written off and what the finance company, which funded your new car, will expect to be paid to settle the outstanding finance.
Put another way is the difference between the insurance company pay out amount and the settlement figure from the finance company.
For example, you get a new car and three days later it is stolen and never recovered. Let’s say the insurance company will pay £10,000, but the finance company say the settlement figure is £15,000. Again this is nothing to do with the value of the vehicle. So you have to pay the finance company £15,000, but your insurance will only pay out £10,000, so you would need to find the balance, that is £5,000.
So GAP insurance covers you for this eventuality. And if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your new car stolen or written off, the GAP insurance will cover you for the difference between what the insurance company will pay out and what the finance company expect to receive from you.
The cost of GAP insurance is typically around £200 for the term of the lease and is payable at the start of the lease. And the good news is that there is the option to pay in ten monthly instalments by direct debit, so that softens the impact a little.
Another benefit of GAP insurance is that it will also pay up to £250 of your motor insurance excess in the event of a fault claim. And just to be clear the excess is the bit you have to pay if there is a claim.
So that’s it, GAP insurance explained, but if you still have questions please submit a query at http://www.carcontracthire.com/