The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt just about every industry, business and area of life and the motoring sector is no different.
From financial concerns to the benefits of leasing during times of uncertainty, we speak to Caroline Hill, commercial director at Leicester-based Pink Car Leasing to break down all there is to know about how the coronavirus is affecting your car lease and what actions you can take.
Money will no doubt be a concern for many in the coming months, how might this impact car leases?
The economic impact of COVID-19 has been rapid and deep in car leasing, the same it has in society as a whole. We predict that the effects will be felt for at least another 12-18 months, and of course, this will unfortunately include financial hardship.
This will result in people and businesses finding themselves in situations where they are unable to keep up lease payments, but it’s difficult because cars are providing a vital lifeline for many during this uncertain period.
Certainly. Can you tell us more about how leasing a car is helping people during the pandemic?
Lease cars tend to be newer and, therefore, more reliable and fuel efficient, which is definitely what people need at this time.
A short term lease, flexi-rent or car club solution could help people avoid public transport and the risk of infection. This is particularly beneficial to those on the frontline, who are still having to go into work to provide their vital services and also for families who need a vehicle for essential travel or shopping trips.
For those customers who choose a Total Care or maintenance package, there can be significant benefit from having the support of a large leasing provider at the end of a phone to help and support you should you need it. With social distancing and isolation rules in place, no one wants to be left alone roadside with no one there to help, but these providers offer reliability and efficiency.
Has Pink Car Leasing felt any of the effects of the pandemic?
With many workplaces forced to close and others reducing their workforce, businesses and private motorists have seen their incomes drop significantly or totally overnight. For us, this has definitely had an impact on our new and existing customers as well as new business.
There is no surprise that people are either struggling to keep up payments or hesitant about entering into a new contract. However, with the benefits outlined above, we still believe it’s important for us to continue offering our services to those who need it.
What would you recommend to anyone who is currently leasing a car and is concerned about keeping up payments?
If you can find the deal you need now and get the car secured and delivered in the next eight weeks at an affordable price, then our advice would be to go with it. We can’t predict the future so can’t comment on what might happen to prices and deals when it’s business as usual and industries attempt to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
If not, sit tight and wait. Consider extending your current lease and if you are suffering cash flow issues, talk to your lease company about what options are available.
There is no guarantee that they can help but many are trying to do something. What that is will vary from supplier to supplier but having the conversation is an important first step to finding out.
Admittedly, those with personal contracts are receiving the greatest support whilst businesses are finding it a little harder.
Although the pandemic couldn’t have been predicted by anyone, how can those leasing a car avoid not being able to keep up with payments?
The main thing to do is focus on affordability, flexibility and length of lease. The perfect solution is a blend of all three of these so that should definitely be at the top of your list when shopping for a new car lease.
Not everyone can use flexible shorter term agreements as a ‘just in case’ solution so working with your lease company to find the right balance and available options is key.
That said, the shorter the lease period the better in most cases so, instead of a four year lease agreement, consider a two or two and a half year one.
With all this criteria in mind, think about your budget too. Although we would all like a brand new car, sometimes the more sensible option is an older or pre-owned model, which is just as reliable but also more affordable.
And finally, how are Pink Car Leasing helping people during this time?
As many other businesses in the industry, such as dealerships and showrooms have had to close due to government guidance, we remain open, as do a large part of our dedicated supplier and partner networks.
Most of what we offer can be secured online and electronically, with little physical human contact. Where we do come into contact with our customers, our team follows strict social distancing guidelines and are fully equipped with gloves and anti-bacterial liquids and wipes.
Therefore, our customers need not worry about exposing themselves to the risk of infection. No matter what happens to you, we can assure that we will be able to help.
Whether you’re worried about your current car lease or are considering entering into a new one, speak to a specialist. Pink Car Leasing has a wealth of knowledge of the car leasing industry, specializing in light commercial vehicles, vans, minibuses, electric, hybrid and prestige vehicles and VIP concierge transport services.
For all the latest deals visit the website – www.pinkcarleasing.co.uk or call 0116 402 6500.