Guest Article High Mileage Car Leasing
By Terrence Jumbe of Vehicle consulting 17/02/06
There’s no escaping the cost of high mileage
Ask yourself whether you need to be running up high mileage. It is important to recognize that car mileage will cost you regardless of whether you are leasing, buying or renting. Wear and tear aside, the rising cost of fuel and the continuing onslaught of environmental levies should encourage you to keep your mileage down. There are many ways to reduce your mileage, including:
- Occasionally swapping your vehicle with a low mileage user such as your spouse or colleague
- Car pooling with friends on common trips such as school runs and when you travel to work
- Consolidating multiple short trips.
- For companies, investing in a good route planning and fleet management systems
- Calculate and set mileage targets
High Mileage Lease Tactics
The mere fact that you are a high mileage user should not be enough to put you off leasing completely.
1. Manipulate the lease deal - If you intend to exercise your right to buy the car at lease-end you could benefit from leasing. You could cunningly take out a low mileage contract and by purchasing the car at lease-end you would avoid any excess mileage charges accrued over the lease period. This way you would maximize your use of the car while paying minimal monthly rentals over the period of the contract.
2. Find savings elsewhere in the lease deal - The reason high mileage is such an issue when you lease is because it drastically reduces the residual value (resale value) of the car at the end of your lease contract. Resale value is one of the key elements determining the cost of a lease contract. There are other elements in the lease deal that may offset the effect of a low resale value brought about by high mileage. Most notably, a favourable purchase price for the car can have such a positive effect on the deal that even high mileage drivers will benefit. It is not uncommon to achieve a saving of up to 20% on the purchase price in a lease deal.
3. Drive a diesel - Car manufacturers made a poor job of converting petrol engines to diesels back in the energy crisis of the 1970s. As a result most of us still carry memories of dirty smoke, awful noise and dreary performance when we think of diesel engines. But diesels have vastly improved since then. They are now much cleaner, quieter and quicker. More importantly, diesel engines can give you 30-40% more mileage than petrol cars. Diesels will save you plenty of money particularly if you make many short-run trips. This is because the superior torque of diesels entails less gear changing. In the UK diesel fuel is priced close to unleaded petrol so the saving tends to be realised over a longer term period than, say, in France where diesel is priced about 30% cheaper than unleaded petrol. Consequently, if you do a lot of mileage on the continent a diesel engine is certain to save you even more money. If you can look beyond the inferior horsepower, higher initial cost and loud start on a cold winter morning, diesels will suit you much more as a high mileage driver.
For more ways to save money and avoid refurbishment re-charges,
please visit our Lease Car Guide.