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If you’re new to car leasing, chances are you’ll have lots of questions about how leasing works. 

Aside from the usual queries regarding payments, mileage and delivery lead times, many customers also have a number of ‘what if’ questions at the back of their mind which they often feel too embarrassed to ask.

Here at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we want to make leasing a new car as easy as possible so to ease any worries you may have about leasing, we have put together a list of 10 car leasing questions that you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Let’s take a look…

1. What happens if I get a speeding or parking ticket?

Obviously, we hope that all of our customers are staying within the law but if you do happen to get caught by a speed camera when driving your lease vehicle, what happens next?

For speeding or parking offences that weren’t issued immediately (e.g. you weren’t stopped by the police, you were caught by speed camera), then the registered keeper of the vehicle is sent a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days.

Unlike a purchase deal where the driver holds the V5C document, for contract hire and personal contract hire agreements, the finance provider is the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle, therefore any speeding tickets and/or other driving penalties issued during the lease agreement will be sent direct to them.

This doesn’t mean you’re let off the hook however! If you are issued a driving or speeding fine during your lease contract, the finance provider will forward the ticket to you, usually by post. It is worth noting that some finance providers charge an administration fee for this service, usually around £25.

It is imperative that you keep your contact details with the finance provider and Nationwide Vehicle Contracts up-to-date so we can forward any parking or speeding notices to you ASAP. If you ignore the notice, you could end up having to go court to resolve the issue and nobody wants that.

If you’ve recently moved address or have changed your contact details, make sure you let us know by email or by calling the  Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3).

2. Can I take my lease vehicle abroad?

Driving holidays have become increasingly popular over the past few years so if you’re thinking of taking the family away this summer, chances are you may also want to take your lease car abroad.

Depending on the finance provider, you may be allowed to take the vehicle abroad for a specified period of time. Before arranging your trip, it is important that you speak to your finance provider direct to discuss your options and to arrange for the appropriate paperwork to be sent in advance of your trip.

Along with the standard documentation, lease vehicle drivers will require a VE103B form. This is essentially authorisation from the finance provider which allows the driver to take the lease or hire car abroad. The VE103B contains details of the vehicle, the name and address of the driver and gives permission from the finance provider for the driver to be using the car abroad. This is a legal document and acts as an alternative to the V5C log book. 

If you are unsure of the contact details for your finance provider, you can contact the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3) and we’ll be happy to help.

3. Can I add a private registration plate to the vehicle?

The UK’s love affair with personalised car registration plates is as strong as ever with the DVLA estimating over £2billion in tax revenue from plate auctions in the UK in the last 25 years. If you’re one of the 4% of UK drivers who has a personalised registration plate, you’re probably going to want to add it to your new lease vehicle… but are you allowed?

Subject to the funder’s permission, you may be able to add a personalised plate onto a contract hire/leased vehicle. Please be advised that Nationwide Vehicle Contracts are unable to arrange for a personalised plate to be added to your vehicle before delivery as this can delay the delivery process, therefore we advise that you arrange this with the finance company direct after you have taken delivery of the vehicle. 

If you have already taken delivery of your vehicle, you can contact your finance provider direct to arrange for the personalised plate to be added to your vehicle. Please be aware that the finance provider may charge an administration fee for this service and you must arrange for the plate to be removed from the vehicle before returning it at the end of the lease agreement. 

4. What happens in the event of death of the contract holder?

On the sad occasion that the contract holder dies during the lease agreement, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts will do everything we can to help sort things out.

In the event of the death of the contract holder, the trustee of the estate (the family member/friend/solicitor dealing with estate) should contact Nationwide Vehicle Contracts ASAP so we can advise you of the contact details of your finance provider.

For agreements where the vehicle is returned at the end of the contract, such as a Contract Hire or Personal Contract Hire, an early termination figure will be requested. For agreements where the vehicle is typically purchased at the end of the contract, such as a Contract Purchase or Personal Contract Purchase, an early termination figure will be requested, along with the balloon payment.

Depending on circumstances, the finance provider may wavier the early termination fee but each decision will be on a case-by-case basis and trustees should speak to the finance provider in the first instance. Please be aware that most finance providers will also ask to see a copy of the death certificate before terminating an agreement.

You can find the contact details of your finance provider on your paperwork or by contacting Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3).

5. I need a parking permit, what do I do?


In some residential areas of the UK, you may need a parking permit (also known as a 'resident permit') in order for you to park your vehicle need your home. Each vehicle needs its own permit and permits are not transferable, meaning if you have recently changed or renewed your lease vehicle, you will need to apply for a new one.

Depending on the requirements of your landlord or local authority, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts may be able to assist you with a parking permit by confirming on company letterhead that your vehicle is on a lease agreement.

If your landlord or local authority asks to see a copy of the V5C document however, you will need to speak to your finance company direct as for contract hire and personal contract hire agreements, they are the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle.

If you need help with a parking permit or are unsure of the requirements, contact the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3) and we’ll be happy to help where we can.

6. What happens if my vehicle is recalled by the manufacturer?

A vehicle recall occurs when a manufacturer believes that a car model (or several models) has a safety-related defect or does not comply with Government standards.

Recalls are governed by the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA) and are only issued when there is a genuine safety concern. When a manufacturer wants to recall a car, it contacts VOSA which issues a recall number. The owner of the vehicle (which for lease agreements is usually the finance provider) is then contacted with details of the recall and the remedial work.

If, on the rare occasion your vehicle is recalled by the manufacturer during your lease agreement, the finance provider will contact you (usually by post) to advise you of the recall and the best course of action. If you are asked to take the dealer to a franchised dealer for repair, the work will be carried out free of charge and as long as you have the work completed, will not affect the value of the car.

As we mentioned before, it is important that you keep your contact details up-to-date with both the finance provider and Nationwide Vehicle Contracts so we can forward any recall notices or updates regarding your vehicle to you.

If you’ve recently moved address or have changed your contact details, make sure you let us know by email or by calling the  Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3).

7. Who is responsible for taxing the vehicle?

Vehicle tax (also known as road tax) is a periodic tax payable on motor vehicles using public roads, but who is actually responsible for taxing the lease vehicle?

For contract hire or personal contract hire agreements, the funder will provide vehicle tax for the duration of the agreement, as they will remain the registered owner of the vehicle.

For contract purchase, personal contract purchase, finance lease and lease purchase agreements, the finance provider will typically only provide tax for 12 months.

It’s worth noting that from October 2014, paper tax discs are no longer being issued. Vehicles will still need to be taxed, but physical tax discs will no longer be sent out by funders.

You can check your lease vehicle is taxed by visiting the DVLA website.

8. What happens if my leased vehicle is involved in an accident and is written off by the insurance company?

If your lease vehicle has been declared a ‘total loss’ (i.e. written off or stolen) by the insurance company you must inform us immediately by calling our Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3). Your finance provider will require written confirmation from your insurance company that the vehicle is a total loss before providing an amount for settlement of the vehicle contract.

It’s worth noting that your finance provider will not enter negotiations with your insurance company – this must be done by yourself.

If you are involved in an accident in your lease vehicle, you can contact the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3) who will be able to advise you of your options and the next steps.

9. Can I customise or modify my lease vehicle?

If you require any additional accessories fitted to your vehicle, such as a tow bar, we advise that you request this at point of order.

Some small and reversible modifications may be permitted by the funder providing your leasing contract but please note that this will be at your own risk and may invalidate the vehicle warranty. You will also need to arrange for removal any modifications without damaging the vehicle before returning it at the end of the contract.

Before making any changes to your vehicle, please contact the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3) as permission and restrictions will depend on the modification in question, manufacturer and finance provider.

10. What level of wear and tear is acceptable?

Finally, one of the biggest concerns for new lease customers is regarding the dreaded fair ‘wear and tear’ at the end of the agreement.

Fair wear and tear is the damage that occurs to a car or van as a result of normal use throughout the period of its lease. It is not damage caused by an accident, negligent behaviour or poor treatment and the same fair wear and tear rules apply for business and personal customers.

If you are returning your vehicle at the end of your leasing agreement, you must do so with no more than ‘normal’ wear and tear. Each finance company provides its own guidelines as to what is acceptable wear and tear, based on the age and mileage of the vehicle and if you exceed these guidelines, you will be liable to pay for the damages.

As each funder has its own set of fair wear and tear rules, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) – the leasing industry’s trade body – has put together a set of general guidelines as to what constitutes fair wear and tear. If you are nearing the end of your lease and would like to get a copy of the fair wear and tear guidelines for your vehicle, please email or call the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts Customer Services team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3).

For more information on wear and tear including a list of common problems and a step-by-step help on how to prepare for returning your lease vehicle, see our wear and tear guide.

Still have a burning question about car leasing that we haven’t answered? Post your question in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to help!

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