I've just passed my driving test - can I lease a car?
Many new drivers are turning to car leasing as a viable alternative to buying their first car with either a bank loan or dealer finance.
Recent research from Experian has found that 1 in 5 young drivers aged between 18 to 24 are choosing to lease their vehicle.
With low monthly payments, low initial rental and the guarantee of a brand new car, leasing can be an affordable, often cheaper, way to get behind the wheel for the first time.
What are the benefits of leasing for new drivers?
- New; you're driving a car which is never more than three years old. And you can have a new car every three years.
- Budgeting; you know what your monthly car costs are going to be. Especially if you choose the maintenance option.
- Lower cost; when you buy a car you're buying the entire car, with leasing you're not so you pay a lot less.
- Peace of mind; with leasing you don't have to worry about what happens to the car after three years, it simply gets collected.
- Choice; With a lease company they are not trying to sell you a specific make or model. You can choose whichever you want.
- 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.
- Affordability; you can choose the vehicle and terms which totally suit your budgets.
- 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.
- Simplified cost; you're monthly cost is just one payment covering the car, servicing, road fund licence.
- Your car; you are always driving a new car and never one that was once someone else's.
What about credit scores?
When you apply to lease a car your credit record will be checked.
Experian is one of the big players who hold a record of your score….want to know what it is? Simply visit their website and follow their simple steps to access our credit score.
Good news – this used to be charged for but now The Experian Credit Score is free, forever.
Knowing your score record and improving it is an important part of managing your finances.
Experian scores from 0-999 and offers advice on how to improve your score – it’s well worth taking a look at their advice. The graphic above shows how scores can affect your financials.
How to improve your score:
- Get on the electoral roll.
- Get a bank account
- Have some responsible credit
- Consider closing unused accounts
- Space out credit applications
- Aim to have a good amount of available credit
- Try not to miss payments
Tempted to try leasing? Take a look at our currennt offers to find out how much car you could get for your money. Just click here.
What to do now you've passed your test
So you’ve passed your driving test, but what now? Here’s our tips for new drivers, that aims to answer the most pressing questions that you’re likely to have as a new driver.
What happens to my driving licence?
Your examiner will normally arrange for your provisional driving licence photocard to be sent off to the DVLA, where it will be upgraded to a full driving licence, and you should receive this within three weeks. If you haven’t received this within three week, then be sure to contact DVLA, and if you need to change any contact details and send it off yourself, make sure you do this within the first two years of passing, otherwise you’ll need to take your test again!
In the meantime you’ll receive a driving test pass certificate, which is proof that you’ve passed your test. You aren’t however, required to take this with you when you’re driving alone.
The first drive
Driving for the first time on your own can be daunting, and it’s natural to feel apprehensive, we recommend taking someone that you trust with you for the first couple of journeys build up your confidence, although it’s probably not the best idea to pick up a car full of mates, as it’s best to limit distractions on your first drive!
If you’re struggling with nerves even after the first few journeys, then maybe think about booking more lessons. Post-test lessons can be great for getting used to driving in conditions that you may not be used to, like driving on the motorway, or driving at night time.
P-plates are also worth considering for the first couple of drives at least, just to let other road users know that you’re inexperienced, so they might think twice before pulling up right behind you on a steep hill.
Car insurance & vehicle tax
If you’ve got your first car already, you’ll need to get your insurance sorted, as well as your vehicle tax. Car insurance is always expensive for new drivers, because statistically newly-qualified drivers are much more likely to be involved in an accident.
A good way for new drivers to bring down the car insurance premiums is by getting a black-box insurance, which uses GPS technology to monitor your driving habits, and build up a detailed driver profile, and send this data back to the car insurance company. The safer you are as a driver, the cheaper the renewal price will be the following year.
We’ve currently got of offers on car leases that are ideal for first-time drivers, so check out our special offers section!
5 steps to becoming a better driver!
We all think that we’re faultless drivers, but there’s always room for improvement, and many of us have bad driving habits that we’ve picked up over the years. Here’s 5 steps can help all of us become better drivers!
1. Smoothly does it
By accelerating and decelerating in a smooth and controlled manner, you could expect to save as much as 20-30% in fuel, particularly if you’re an aggressive driver. So driving less aggressively, and anticipating the road ahead is not just safer, but it’ll also save you money!
2. Limit distractions
Police are cracking down on distractions when driving. If you’re caught using mobile a phone while driving, you can get up to 6 penalty points, and a £200 fine. It’s still illegal while stopped in traffic, and if you’ve passed your driving test within the last 2 years, you can lose your licence! Fiddling with the satnav, the radio, or even dealing with children in the back can lead to a loss of concentration behind the wheel, so stay safe, and remain focused while driving.
3. Check your car regularly
As well as checking the oil and water in your car every couple of weeks, you should also check your tyre pressures and tread depth regularly, as tyres can be often neglected by motorists, with a survey by Tyre safe stating that as many as 1 in 4 vehicles in the UK could have illegal tyres. Especially with winter fast approaching, it’s even more important to check your tyres regularly, and help prevent accidents caused by illegal tyres.
4. Leave space
When driving on multi-lane roads, or motorways, we can all be guilty of not leaving enough space at times, or tailgating. Tailgating is one of the top causes of accidents within the UK, and we should always leave enough space not just in front, but also be aware of the space around us. Remember also, “only a fool breaks the two second rule”.
5. Don’t be too complacent, we can all make mistakes
Driver error is a factor in almost three quarters of road accidents, as Phillip Gomm, from the RAC foundation states, “the key to safety is to not be too over-confident, few people believe that they are bad drivers, yet thousands of us have accidents every year”. Over-confidence can lead to unnecessary risks being taken, we can all make mistakes, and it’s better to be over-vigilant rather than complacent.
Tips for passing your driving test first time.
Taking your driving test for the first time can be daunting, and while nerves are normal, if you’re well-prepared then you’ve got a great chance of passing! We’ve put together five tips on how to best prepare, stay calm and give you the best chance of passing on the big day.
1. Have a lesson before the test
Your instructor will always recommend that you take a lesson before your test, which is something we recommend too! This lesson will give you a chance to get used to driving on the day, focus on any minor mistakes that you may still be making, go through all of the manoeuvres, and ask any last minute questions to your instructor. This time is valuable, so make the most of it!
2. Know the test routes
The chances are that you’ve been learning to drive in your local area, and the instructor would’ve taken you on the test routes in the lessons, so it’s important to choose where you want to take your test, and do so in an area where you are familiar with the test routes.
3. Mirror checks
One of the biggest causes for minor faults in a test is the lack of observations. Remember to check those mirrors when setting off, changing lanes, approaching hazards, and even when changing gears. Don’t just glance either, especially when setting off, as the examiner may miss this, so make sure that you exaggerate your movements each time.
4. Don’t panic and assume you’ve failed
The chances are not everything will go right through the test, you’re likely to make a mistake on the day, and if you do, don’t panic! If you assume you’ve failed then you’re likely to make more mistakes, so remember to stay in control and don’t let any errors play on your mind. Use the rest of the test to make up for the error, and show to the examiner that you can recover without panicking.
5. Don’t rush
Not just while driving on the test, but also rushing in regards to booking the test. Your instructor should be honest in assessing whether your ready to take a test, and there’s no point in taking your test if you aren’t ready to do so! Also make sure you book your test at the right time so you can give it your undivided attention, and be in the right frame of mind without other time-consuming commitments.
Finally, if things don’t go your way in the first test, don’t be too disheartened, and listen to the feedback given by your examiner. Listening to feedback after failing can be difficult, as emotions can be high, so allowing for your instructor to stay in the car throughout the test is also helpful, as this will provide you with constructive criticism, long after the test. Listening to this and learning from your mistakes gives you a good chance of passing the second time around, so we’d recommend that you do this too!
Car theft is on the rise in England and Wales – what precautions can you take?
Keyless systems are a brilliant convenience for drivers – how great is it to be able to start your car without ever taking your keys out of your pocket? However, they are also making theft easier too.
The number of car theft cases has increased by 15 percent compared to 2016-17, and up by 40 percent over the last five years according to figures released by vehicle tracking and telematics firm Tracker.
It’s figures say that 80% of stolen vehicles recovered last year were taken without using the owner’s keys.
They explain that criminals work together using an electronic signal relay to intercept a key fob signal usually from within the victim’s home.
So what can you do to help to secure your vehicle?
- Keep your keys in a metal tin or cabinet. The relay devices can receive signals through walls, doors and windows but not metal.
- Consider a crook lock or wheel clamp to deter thieves.
- Park your car in a secure setting – can you add a locking gate to your driveway?
- Park your car in your garage if you can.
- Invest in a tracking device so that if you are unlucky enough to have your car stolen, the police have a better chance of locating it.
To read more of our articles visit https://www.littlegreencarleasing.com/blog
Good news for drivers!
Did you spot the recent news that the cost of car insurance is said to be falling at its fastest pace since 2014? This is according to figures by comparison website Confused and Willis Tower Watson.
Drivers paid on average, £752 a year for annual cover in the three months to the end of June. This is £16 less than the previous quarter and £95 less than last year.
The figures show that car insurance prices fell for most age groups, with those aged 68 paying £496, or 8.7 per cent less than the previous quarter, while 17-year old drivers seeing a 5.7 per cent fall to an annual average of £1,889.
Female drivers aged between 61 and 65 were paying the least and less than half the national average, with a bill of just £356.
Read our tips on getting the best price for your car insurance here.
Summer tyres vs All-season tyres – Are Summer tyres worth considering?
Many drivers are unaware of the differences between all-season tyres and summer tyres, by better understanding the benefits of both, this will allow you to make an informed choice on which tyres are best suited to you, so you can and stay prepared for any eventuality.
All-season tyres provide a reasonable level of performance all year round. You’ll always be prepared for the cold weather in winter, as well as the warmer weather throughout the summer. Most importantly, you won’t need to change these at any point during the year, as all-season tyres can handle temperatures as low as -5, which is fine for drivers in the UK. Overall the versatility of the all-season tyres will save you time and money.
Summer tyres are designed for maximum performance in the summer months, they handle well on dry and wet roads, and are best suited to temperatures above 7 degrees. The main advantage of using summer tyres, relates to the higher performance characteristics when used in suitable conditions. You’ll notice the following when changing to summer tyres in warm temperatures;
- Increased responsiveness – Steering will feel quicker and more accurate, especially on a tight corner!
- Improved handling – The rubber components are softer, so they’ll help you navigate twists and turns.
- Better braking – Active braking technology will help you stop quicker on dry roads.
So, are Summer tyres worth it?
Overall the versatility of the all-season tyres will save you time and money, however if you’re prepared to change your tyres after the summer months, and your more concerned about the performance of your car, then changing to a set of Summer tyres could be worthwhile!
For more tips and car news check out our blog.
Dogs die in hot cars
The RSPCA and other animal charities are advising that you never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day and that if you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.
The RSPCA's website states that, "Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog."
Incredibly, a car can become as hot as an oven very quickly - when it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.
What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day
The RSPCA advise that you dial 999 and that the police will then inform the RSPCA if animal welfare assistance is required. They go on to say that "if the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court. Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971)."
Hitting the roads this half term? Here's what to do if your break down!
If you’re driving a brand new lease car the chances of a break down are small but with things like punctures the age of the car isn’t always relevant.
With many of us planning roadtrips this half term we thought we'd share our top tips on what you should do if you breakdown on a motorway.
• If you can’t drive to the next exit use the hard shoulder.
• Pull over as far to the left as you can with the wheels turned to the left.
• Put your hazard lights on.
• If you breakdown at night or in poor weather conditions keep your vehicle lights on.
• Exit the vehicle using the left-hand doors and move up the bank or stand behind the barrier immediately.
• Keep children closely by your side at all times.
• DO NOT attempt even simple repairs yourself – the hard shoulder is a dangerous place to be. Call your vehicle recovery provider immediately.
• If you don't have a mobile or are out of battery or service, walk to an emergency phone on your side of the carriageway - these phones are free and will connect you to the police who can help you
• If you can’t get to the hard shoulder, stay in your vehicle put your hazard lights on, keep your seatbelt on and call 999.
• Whilst it might go against instinct it is advisable to keep any pets you may be transporting in the car – they are likely to be very scared on the hard shoulder and even if on a lead a dog may escape and cause a bad accident.
Always best to be prepared! We hope you have a great half term!
Is it legal to use a phone sat nav? Read our guide!
If you’re anything like me you don’t leave home without a sat nav – not just for directions but traffic alerts on routes you know – what on earth did we ever do without them?
However, are you using your sat nav within the parameters of the law?
Here’s what we know.
It's not illegal to have a satellite navigation system placed on your windscreen. HOWEVER placing it on certain sections of your windscreen could be seen as a breach of the highway code.
The Highway Code states that "windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision".
So does having a sat nav mounted on your windscreen cause an obstruction and would the police see this as a breach of the law?
Not necessarily because not all rules are legal obligations.
Sounds confusing? It is – our advice would be to buy a sat nav or phone holder (if you use Google Maps from your smart phone for example) that can be inserted into your air vent.
The Highway Code does warns of the dangers of becoming distracted by a sat-nav.
"You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. Do not rely on driver assistance systems such as cruise control or lane departure warnings. They are available to assist but you should not reduce your concentration levels.
"Do not be distracted by maps or screen-based information (such as navigation or vehicle management systems) while driving or riding. If necessary find a safe place to stop."
In short, don’t amend your route while driving – pull over somewhere safe and amend your route then.
Here’s a few tips on using your sat nav safely.
1. The sat nav is telling you where to go but remember it’s not driving for you!
You can't blame the satnav if you commit an offence or have an accident. It's your fault.
2. Trust yourself more than where the sat nav is telling you to go.
Is there a river or field ahead? Is your sat nav telling you to keep driving…..DON’T!!!! If the route looks unsafe or isn’t a road!! Don’t keep driving.
3. You know the size of your car, the sat nav doesn’t.
If you have a large car or are towing a caravan or trailer you must be aware of road signs and not rely on the sat nav to tell you where you can safely drive!
4. Don't block your view of the road
The satnav should be in your line of sight so you don’t have to look away from the road when checking your route but it must not block your view of the road. Use the spoken notifications to help you to navigate without looking at it too often.
5. Don't programme the satnav while driving
Give yourself time before you set off to programme your destination and if you need to amend it en route, pull over safely to do so.
6. Check your route before you go
Don’t just enter your destination and set off. Have a quick check through the directions and make sure it all looks correct. It’s wise to have a rough idea of where you’re going so that if you lose service (if using a mobile device) or battery or your sat nav breaks en route you’re not entirely stranded.
7. Update your satnav
It needs to know about new roads, new traffic systems and generally keep itself up to date.
Check out our blog for more driving tips and advice.