Coronavirus Q&A: How it’s affecting car leasing

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Author: | Updated: 01 Apr 2020 15:03

Boris Johnson has described the Covid-19 pandemic as “the worst public health crisis for a generation.” It's a rapidly changing scenario and people are naturally seeking clear, accurate information from experts. So what's happening when it comes to car leasing?

As the car leasing experts, we've put together this handy Q&A.

Can I order a new car during the coronavirus outbreak?

Yes, at Leasing.com we have core staff keeping the business running and working remotely. You can still research and compare deals online, without having to leave the house. Once you've selected your car and lease deal, you can apply for finance online and sign all paperwork electronically and arrange delivery to your door.

I've ordered a new car, will it be delayed?

Nissan Qashqai in Sunderland.

The car industry is one of the most interconnected industries in the world and it's no surprise to learn that there have been widespread factory closures.

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has revealed that all its European plants are preparing to have to close. This is both to prevent the coronavirus and because it's becoming "increasingly difficult to supply our plants with outsourced parts".

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Groupe PSA (which includes Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall etc), Ford, Renault, Ferrari, Toyota, Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have all announced some level of production suspension in Europe.

What does this mean for new cars? Well, closures will lead to longer waiting times on factory orders. So if you’ve recently ordered a new car that's factory built, there’s a chance your delivery may take a little longer than normal. You will be kept up to date on your vehicle's progress.

Are there cars available right now?

Despite manufacturer shutdowns, there are plenty of cars 'in stock' that have already been built that you could be driving in a matter of weeks. They’re a great option if you don’t want to wait for a car to be built, although you may have to be flexible when it comes to specification and colour options. You can compare in stock deals here.

Are there cars available right now?

Are lease car deliveries still taking place?

It’s a fast-moving situation, but currently there are still deliveries of new cars taking place, depending on the funder. As vehicle delivery drivers tend to be semi-retired or senior in age, driver shortages as a result of self-isolation and social distancing may begin to affect supply.

All delivery drivers are instructed to sanitise every vehicle at handover, cleaning all the touchpoints such as steering wheel, gear selector, door handles and so forth.

How do I sell my old car?

At Leasing.com, we have partnered with Wizzle - a free, car selling comparison site. Wizzle allows you to compare multiple offers from across the market and, because you can upload pictures of your car, you could get an even better price if it's in great condition.

If you are happy with an offer, the dealer will contact you on the phone number you provide. They will arrange payment directly into your account via bank transfer or bankers draft and will book an appointment with you so they can come and inspect and collect the vehicle from your driveway. Sell your car here.

My lease is due to end soon, what can I do?

Currently you can hand back your car as normal and, of course, vehicle inspection staff will adhere strictly to health and safety guidelines. If your lease deal is due to end soon and you are social distancing, you can discuss an extension with your lease provider. Depending on providers, two options are usually available: A formal extension which allows you to extend your lease agreement by three months or more, or an informal extension, which is available for a shorter rolling period.

What if I’m unable to make my lease payments?

The Finance and Leasing Association says that supporting consumers over the next few months will be "absolutely vital – especially for those whose income is severely affected by the coronavirus disruption". If you are in any financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus, or any other reason, please contact your lease provider as soon as possible to discuss your options.

If you have any other questions about car leasing, please contact one of our expert via [email protected].

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