Car leasing with maintenance

Looking for low monthly payments and the convenience of having servicing included? Car leasing with maintenance could be a good option

Matt Rigby
Nov 12, 2021

The costs associated with properly servicing and maintaining a car can be unpredictable and expensive. With leasing, the fears over unexpected big bills are generally much smaller, because leases are typically only available on brand new cars that are covered by a manufacturer warranty.

However, servicing costs even on newer cars can still be high, so if you want to make the running costs of your vehicle as predictable as possible, it’s worth looking into a car lease deal that includes car maintenance costs. Keep reading to find out more about how these work.

What's included with a maintenance package - and what’s excluded

There’s no universal standard for what’s included in a maintenance package - so you should always check the details of any deal before signing up. However, in general, annual servicing is included, as is the replacement of the consumable parts of a car. This can include tyres, oil and brake pads.

Breakdown recovery is also included in some deals.

Breakdown cover can be included with leases, so it's worth checking whether this is thrown in with any of the specific options you're considering. If your lease does include suitable breakdown and recovery cover, it's worth cancelling any other breakdown service that you have, to avoid paying for the same cover twice.

While the specific details of what’s included in a lease vary from provider to provider, it's important to understand that the costs of any repairs that are the result of a crash or driver error will not be covered.

Why you may want a lease with car maintenance included

Essentially, you’re paying for the extra predictability in costs by going for a lease with maintenance. There’s also the peace of mind that, if an unexpected maintenance or servicing issue should pop up, you should have it covered, even if it’s not dealt with under warranty.

Routine servicing of your car can run into hundreds of pounds, too, so it can be a useful aid to your own finances if you spread out these maintenance costs across the entire duration of your lease agreement.

Including the cost of car maintenance in your lease is an especially good idea if you are taking out a longer-term lease deal over three or four years, or a high-mileage allowance. In both these cases it’s likely your car will need some major servicing, so spreading the cost of that can make a lot of sense.

The downsides of car lease maintenance packages

Although a maintenance package will make the running costs of your vehicle far more predictable, the extra cost added to your monthly payments will inevitably make your lease more expensive.

What’s more, if you don’t cover many miles or your lease deal is a short one, it may not be worth the cost of rolling a maintenance package into your monthly payments, as the car may not require any dealer servicing at all during its time with you - especially if the lease is just for one year.

Many modern cars have variable service intervals, too, where the car’s on-board systems assess how the car is used and determine when it's due for a service. If you use your car lightly, it may not even need a service during the leasing period. Motorway journeys with just a single person in the car, for example, are much easier on a car’s mechanicals than busy trips around town with a car full of people and luggage.

Keeping on top of your own maintenance

While it’s important to ensure routine servicing is carried out on your car, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations - and this should always be carried out by a qualified service centre or garage - you should also take care to keep your car in good condition beyond this.

By carrying our some simple routine tasks you can keep your car in better condition, likely reducing maintenance costs. Here are some top tips.

Check the car’s overall condition every week

You need to know if there’s a problem with the condition of your car so you can rectify it as soon as possible. So on a weekly basis you should check for windscreen cracks, coolant and oil levels, tyre pressures and condition, and windscreen washer fluid.

Running a car with tyre pressures that are too low not only increases your fuel bills - due to the extra resistance caused by having more rubber on the road - but can also wear the tyres more quickly. Similarly, running low on oil and failing to top up for an extended period of time can cause damage to the engine, so it's good to check the level regularly.

Keep it clean

Regular cleaning of the bodywork will help protect the condition of the paintwork - especially with a polish every few months, as this helps to prevent the build up of road grime and can reduce the effect of stone chips. You should keep the inside ofthe car clean, too, as scuffs or stains should be easier to eradicate if dealt with quickly.

Damage to paint

Fix any chips or scratches as soon as you can after they happen, especially if the base coat of paint is damaged, as rust can occur if chips are not dealt with quickly. Most franchised dealers should be able to supply you with the appropriate touch-up paint for your car, though for larger or deeper scratches, it may well be worth looking at getting the issue sorted by a professional.


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