At What Age Can You Lease A Car?

As long as you’re aged 18 or over then you can lease a car even as a retired person or as a driver in your eighties! However, there are some factors that might necessarily restrict whether all lenders will consider you for a lease and it’s worth being aware of what those might be so you can address potential obstacles prior to applying.

Specific requirements will need to be met which include a full UK driving licence, proof of address, and proof of income.

Top 5 Reasons Age May Affect Securing a Car lease

1. Eligible Age for Credit

Despite being able to legally start driving at 17 in the UK, drivers must be at least 18 years old to lease a vehicle. A car leasing agreement is a form of finance or credit agreement and in the UK the age of contractual capacity for individuals is set at 18.

2. Proving Income Stream

To be eligible for a lease, you must be able to prove to your lender that you have a continuous income stream and can afford the monthly lease payments. This will limit many younger drivers who may still be at college or university without a steady income, or working in lower paid jobs.

Though there is no upper age limit when leasing a car in the UK, many older drivers may find it harder to secure a car lease if they’re retired for the same reasons, since they often experience a similar lack of regular income to younger drivers. Income plays a key role in assessing your financial viability for a lease. 

3. Medical Conditions

Once you reach 70, you’ll need to renew your driving license every three years in order to continue driving. You’ll also need to inform the DVLA of any medical conditions that may impact your ability to drive. Common conditions that need to be reported include diabetes, heart conditions, stroke, and glaucoma. Failure to disclose any such medical conditions to the DVLA could result in a fine of up to £1,000 and prosecution if you have an accident. In other words, any medical conditions that affect your ability to drive will also affect your ability to lease and drive a lease vehicle.

4. Lack of Credit History

Younger drivers may struggle to get approved for car leasing, not because their credit history is bad but because they typically have little or no credit history. Lenders tend to prefer established borrowers with more credit history information upon which to assess the likelihood of them making their repayments on time. 

5. Certain Services Have Age Restrictions

While car leasing per se doesn’t involve age restrictions for those aged 18 or over, certain additional services that can be added onto the lease deal may have age conditions included. Examples of car leasing services that may be age restricted can include those covering maintenance costs and the price of your insurance.

Struggling to Get a Lease as a Young Driver?

If you’re young with little or no credit history and are unable to get a lease as a result, there are still some possible options available to you:

Using a Guarantor

 Some lease providers may still consider you for a lease if you have a guarantor.

A guarantor is someone who acts as a safety net and will take on your payments should you be unable to make them. The most common form of guarantor is a parent or close family member, but others over the age of 21 with a good credit score may be considered by lenders to act as a guarantor as long as they aren’t linked to you financially, such as a spouse.

Using an Alternative Leaseholder

A young person may still be able to have use of a leased car if a parent becomes the leaseholder. In this situation, your name will still be on the agreement and failure to pay the monthly payments by the leaseholder will mean the responsibility is passed to you. You will need to be fully insured in order for this to be a possibility.

Building a Credit Score

 If you’re considering a lease in the future but still have time before you want to apply you could consider building up your own credit score over time.

Here’s how:

  • Register to vote on the government site to get your name and address on the electoral roll, since this is how lenders check your identity during a credit application.
  • Owning and using a bank account shows that you’re a UK resident and makes you appear more financially stable and reliable to lenders. ‍
  • Check your details and information with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to make sure that all the information they hold is correct. 
  • Apply for credit but not all at once – and use it responsibly, making sure you meet all your payments on time.
  • Don’t make too many applications at the same time but instead spread them out to one every six months.
  • Don’t apply for more than you can comfortably afford as lenders look at how much available credit you’re using. Aim to keep at 25-30% of your available credit. 
  • Don’t reapply multiple times if you get rejected as this can adversely affect your score. It is important to wait until your credit score has increased first.

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