We’ll start by giving a brief answer, in short, yes, a longer answer is also yes but with certain stipulations. You will no doubt be aware that leasing is fast taking over as a real rival to ownership as the default model of acquiring a vehicle. How else would you explain the exponential appearance that a vast amount of people are driving about in new vehicles.
Why Would You Want To Lease?
So why lease? It’s the obvious first question to ask when considering this. Well in a business sense, if a vehicle is essential to your running of the business, it takes away one significant start-up cost. You can also find deals that include servicing, tyres, etc if you look around and this takes away the uncertainty of cost surrounding vehicle ownership. So you will be left knowing your exact cost of transport each month (other than fuel and insurance) and this is a great advantage when planning your cashflow.
Can Everyone Do It?
In theory, yes, everyone can apply to lease a vehicle. However you should be aware that you are taking on a contract and will be subject to a credit check, this may be on your yourself if you are operating as a sole trader or the company and possibly you as a director as well if you are trading as a limited liability organisation.
Advantages Of Leasing
The advantages are clear, as stated above, you are getting a brand-new, flawless vehicle and you can even get this with no upfront costs involved. It’s surprising how prevalent no deposit leasing is. The real plus point for this is financial flexibility and the fact that you can replace your vehicle for a newer one every few years gives you a more professional appearance as you travel around.
What If The Business Fails?
There are some ifs and buts to answer this question. We’ve touched on the difference between a self-employed sole trader and a limited liability company earlier and this may be key here. As a sole trader, you will be responsible for all and any debts or financial commitments you enter into, even if the business fails. If you are limited liability then, in theory, any debts or commitments taken on by you acting in your role as an agent of the company are not your personal responsibility, although there are a couple of exceptions, if you are found to acting fraudulently then you could be held liable or if the finance company has insisted you give a directors guarantee, check if this is the case and it should be fairly easy to know as the laws regarding how upfront a lender has to be on this are a lot tighter in favour of the guarantor these days.
Can You Modify The Vehicle
For a business vehicle, you may feel the need to add signage or even just want a personalised number plate. This is not uncommon and the vast majority of lease deals will allow this, usually stipulating that the vehicle is returned in its original state, but ask the question or check your documents to be sure before you commit to this.