How to lease a car online

  • Leasing companies offer online-only solutions
  • How to lease from the comfort of your home
  • What to research before leasing

How to lease a car online

By 2021 the proportion of online-shoppers in the UK is predicted to be 93%. Networked is the new normal.

But getting a new car from the web still hasn't become the social norm. Understandably so - a car is a much larger commitment than a phone or a purse.

But during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown many people turned to online car shopping - and dare we say it, many people might not go back.

For instance, Volvo's Care by Volvo package lets customers lease a Volvo with maintenance, roadside assistance, and the option of insurance, bundled into one monthly price. During its trial period, 70% of customers didn't visit a dealership.

 >> This article refers specifically to leasing. If you're not after leasing, see how to buy a car online

Leasing, also referred to as PCH (Personal Contract Hire) is a simple, easy to understand, and elegant solution for people who want to drive a new car.

Most leasing companies don't offer test drives or face to face appointments. These companies deal in volume, meaning they want as many customers as possible. Online processes are slick and easy to use, and you can get a new car delivered to you, without leaving your home, usually within a week or two.

Search for car lease deals

>> Choosing
>> Configuring
>> Working out the deal
>> Delivery
>> Leasing during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Here's the Parkers guide to leasing your next car online:

1. Choose your car

This may be the simplest task. Yet, it's also the most important. This is the car that you'll be using and paying for, for months to come. Deciding what car you want is a bit of a minefield. Of course, you need to consider how much money you want to spend, what kind of size it needs to be, and what type of fuel you want it to use. But it also has to be desirable and something you want to drive.

We'd recommend starting with the Parkers car chooser tool . This allows you to narrow down your choices of cars based on how you use them and how highly we rate them.

Once you narrow your choices down to a select few, you can compare your choices on our Car comparison tool. This shows how they stack up against each other.

Looking for a bit of inspiration? Take a look at these budget-based articles.

2. Configure the car on the leasing company's website

How to lease a car

When you use a leasing company to configure a car online, you don't quite get the options you would on a manufacturer's configurator. Generally, leasing sites don't offer an image that changes in relation to the options you pick. So it's definitely worth checking out the car manufacturer's configurator to do this.

But even using a leasing company's configurator, you'll be able to choose the colour, trim level, engine, and what options you'd like.

Of course, the price of the car can vary wildly depending on what spec you choose, but configurators will keep track of how much it will set you back per month.

3. Work out the deal

Leasing comprises of an initial payment and a series of fixed monthly payments. So working out how much it'll cost you is nice and easy. Take the monthly cost, times it by the number of monthly payments you have to pay, add the initial payment (and any processing fees), and voila, your total figure.

Compare this figure using a variety of different leasing providers to get the best price. Remember to keep the variables (contract length, mileage, initial payment) the same. Take note of any additional costs too - like excess mileage and damage charges. And while you're there, research what the leasing company's wear and tear policy is.

4. Arranging delivery

Unlike with car manufacturers, leasing companies don't get you to come into a showroom. The final stages of signing the leasing contract are usually done over email. Word of warning to millennials - they usually do require at least one phone call.

Once all of the logistics are done, it's just a case of picking a home delivery date.

5. Leasing during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Obviously, during a pandemic, new cars won't be at the forefront of most people's minds. However. Car finance deals continue to run their course, which means thousands of people will be in the need of a new car during this time.

>> What are car manufacturers doing about car finance deals during Coronavirus?

Want to find out more about car finance? Take a look at the links below:

>> How does car leasing work?
>> PCP finance: can I get out early? 
>> Payment holiday advice for car leasing