Car leasing and contract hire is a type of finance agreement between you and the finance company who purchase and then lease the car to you.
Although we are a broker and not a lender, it is still our responsibility to ensure all customers we put forward for finance do not put themselves at risk of debt they cannot afford with a new vehicle.
All Car Leasing does not personally conduct a credit check before we propose a customer for finance, instead, we may ask a couple of basic eligibility questions to determine whether there's a chance a credit check will result in a decline from the finance company.
The following information can help you determine whether or not you're eligible for finance before making a full proposal.
This information should be used as a guide only and does not constitute financial advice.
Check your credit score
The most common method to check if you are eligible for car leasing is by checking your own credit score through suppliers such as Experian and Clear Score. The companies will give you a score based on the information provided out of 1000 as well as a rating such as average, good and excellent.
Note 1: As a rule of thumb, our finance companies only accept those with good or above scores.
Note 2: A credit score is only an opinion by those third party suppliers and our funders may not use them to base their decision
Answer some basic questions
Finance companies look for people who are easily found, have a good working history, have lived in the UK for a number of years and with no previous defaults, CCJs, missed or late payments, bankruptcy or current in an IVA.
The following questions will help you determine if you have a good chance of being approved or not:
1. Aged 18 or over
Finance companies don't discriminate over age, however, the older a person is the more likely they have been in employment for longer and with a clearer address history. Anyone under 18 will not be approved for finance.
2. Good residential history
Finance companies want to see a decent amount of UK residential history which can easily be found by basic searches. 5 years residential history is usually a minimum to be approved but ensuring you are listed with utility services and on the electoral roll can help.
Those living with parents can still be accepted but they will require proof of living at that address which can be given via driver's license, being named on bills and being on the electoral roll.
Finance companies also struggle to get a clear picture of affordability for those who have lived outside of the UK less than 3 years ago.
3. Full time and permanent employment
Funders only approve those who are able to demonstrate that they can comfortably afford the finance payments over a number of years with little to no risk of substantial changes in their affordability.
Those in part-time employment may need to provide additional information to the funders which may include past payslips. Customers who have temporary or 0-hour contracts will not be approved as their circumstances may change leaving them in financial difficulty and unable to keep up with payments.
For those who earn most of their money through being self-employed or a business owner would need to apply as a business.
4. Length of time in employment
Funders may ask for more information if you've been in employment for less than 2 years or have only recently started a new period of employment with a new company.
5. Not declined by another credit provider in the last 3 years
High-value finance providers are regulated by the same body and often use the same rules to determine whether credit can be given if another provider has declined a customer for finance in the last 3 years it is likely to be declined again unless the customer can provide evidence of improving their affordability.
Getting rejected may harm your credit score and is inadvisable to continuously apply for more finance until the reason for rejection has been resolved. The lender is obligated to send a letter explaining the reason for their decision which can help you avoid this situation in the future.
Any decline in the last 5 years may result in the finance company performing hard credit search which may include a full bank statement, a greater amount of previous payslips.
6. Adverse credit events
Adverse credit such as county court judgements, defaults, bankruptcy and currently using an IVA can all mean your application may be unsuccessful. You should make any of these clear to us before applying as a needless credit search and decline may further harm your credit score.
If, however, you have had these more than 3 years ago the finance company may reconsider if the proper documentation can be provided and all the other points we have raised in this guide are met.