What Is a High Mileage Car Lease And Are They Worth It?
As someone who drives a high rate of miles, it is in your interest to look at every single viable option for you if you plan to get a car. You may have looked at brand new cars to buy, but what if you’re somewhere temporarily and you simply want to lease a vehicle? The worry is that you’ll spend more money on leasing a car due to the mileage than you would if you bought a car.
Every lease car of which you enter into an agreement – no matter where you go – has a mileage limit. You may already know that with a lease car, you are effectively paying the difference between the car’s costs when it’s new as well as what it’ll be worth by the time the contract has ended, we recommend reading our article on the differences between PCP or PCH leases if you are still unsure as to the benefits of each.
You never own a leased car; that’s the point! So, the finance company has to be able to sell the vehicle on later, you can find out more about the final stages of a lease by reading our dedicated post on what happens at the end of a car lease.
When there is an annual mileage limit on a leased car, the finance provider can see how much you use and offset the vehicle before then. When you spend your year driving thousands of miles to work, to see family and friends and go travelling, you need a high mileage limit in your car. Almost all standard lease deals offer a maximum mileage allowance of around 10,000 to 15,000 miles, and you can get some very cheap deals, but these are no good to you if your annual driving is around the 50,000 mile mark, or if you really need an unlimited mileage lease.
Below, we’re going to answer a few questions that you may have, and tell you what high mileage car leasing is – and why it’s worth it!
What Is A High Mileage Lease?
First, we’re going to touch a little more on what a high mileage lease is. A high mileage lease allows you a much higher mileage allowance than a regular lease car. So, you can make higher repayments each month but then avoid the excess mileage charges that you’d typically get by surpassing your allowance.
The annual mileage allowance of a high mileage lease can range up to around 40,000 miles as opposed to the 10,000 to 15,000 miles cap on a regular lease car. Given that you could pay a lot in excess mileage charges, you should keep your costs low, and you can do that by opting for a high mileage lease instead of a standard one.
What Is An Unlimited Mileage Car Lease?
The clue is in the name here – they do exist, but they’re a little different to the high mileage leases. You won’t get many providers who will offer unlimited mileage car leasing, though, so you need to do your homework. Most of these unlimited mileage deals are for used/second-hand vehicles, and it can be an expensive option for those who choose it. Of course, if budget isn’t a concern, it won’t matter much to you. For most people, though, the budget IS a concern!
Most finance providers will sell the vehicle at the end of your contract, but if there is no cap in the mileage, they can’t tell how much the car will have depreciated by, and there’s no way for them to determine how many miles you would drive during the contract time. This is where the additional expense comes in. You will end up paying almost the full market value of the car, without a car at the end of the contract. You’re generally better off buying a new car when it comes to unlimited mileage, as this is a level of flexibility that isn’t financially viable for most.
Can I Upgrade My Existing Lease To A High Mileage Lease?
This depends on the finance company with whom you take out the contract with in the first place. Some companies will allow you to fill out a mileage extension application, but this isn’t usual. You can formally change your contract to reflect an increase in the annual mileage for the vehicle, but it’s very much at the discretion of your provider. Be prepared to pay a fee for any lease contract changes, and make sure that you can afford the extra mileage. The monthly rental cost you are currently paying will also be higher, but that’s a part of adding more miles!
What Are The Pros & Cons Of Higher Mileage Lease?
So, now you know more about higher mileage allowance options, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of higher mileage car leasing.
The Pros of a High Mileage Car Lease
- While low mileage lease deals are cheaper, it’s only that way because of the lower miles you are allowed to drive and the higher expected residual value of the car when you return it.
- You get all the same benefits as a low mileage lease – so you don’t lose out!
- When you choose higher mileage, you don’t have to sell the car afterwards. This means that you can take the best cars out there without needing to shift it as a devalued asset when you’re done. That’s up to the finance company!
- That leads us to the fact you get to drive a brand new car at a much cheaper cost.
- You are protected with a higher mileage lease because you don’t get stung by devaluation over time. If you have bought a brand new car and a new emissions regulation comes out, you usually could be stung there. You? You got a higher mileage lease: and that doesn’t hurt!
- You won’t have to worry about expensive MOTs if you are switching out your car every couple of years.
- You don’t have to panic that you’re going over your mileage allowance. If you travel a lot, you can rely on the fact that your higher mileage lease will back you up and you don’t have to panic about doing too much.
The Cons of a High Mileage Car Lease
- The most significant disadvantage has to be the cost, but you do get the extra miles, and you’re paying for those. Tit for tat!
…and that’s pretty much it!
If you know high mileage is on the cards, it is well worth serious consideration before you opt for a lower mileage lease. A higher mileage lease option could be the best thing that you do, and so you have to give it some thought before you sign a contract. You need the car, and you need the mileage, so why not aim higher? You’ll pay more each month, and it’s worth it if you know you could use the miles!