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If you're new to van leasing, chances are you'll have lots of questions about the process involved in leasing a van with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts. From ownership options to servicing and maintenance, many customers are confused by what they can and can't do on a van leasing agreement.

To help dispel some of the myths surrounding van leasing, Nationwide Vehicle Contract clarify 10 of the most common van leasing misconceptions to help you make an informed decision about your next lease van.

1. Who owns the van at the end of the contract?

Whether you, your business or the finance company takes ownership of the vehicle at the end of the agreement will depend on the type of contract you take out.

For Business Contract Hire and Finance Lease agreements, the finance company remains the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle and therefore, takes ownership at the end of the agreement. For Contract Purchase and Lease Purchase agreements, you/your business or the finance company takes ownership, depending on the option you choose.

Here at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we specialise in Contract Hire and Personal Contract Hire agreements which do not allow you to keep the van at the end of the contract.

2. Who pays the road tax?

When you lease a van or pick-up truck with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, road tax is included for the duration of the contract or for 12 months. The length of time tax is covered will depend on the type of contract taken.

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 and Lease Purchase, (e.g. types of agreements where you take ownership of the vehicle) or Finance Lease 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 as licence details are now stored centrally on a database. Vehicles still need to be taxed but physical tax discs will no longer be sent out by funders.

If you are on a contract hire or personal contract hire agreement and want to check that your vehicle has been taxed, you can check your lease vehicle has up-to-date vehicle tax by visiting the DVLA website.

In order to do this, you will need:

  • the registration number of the vehicle
  • the make of the vehicle

3. How about excess mileage charges?

Mileage is one of the most important aspects of a lease contract as it helps defines how much you will pay for your lease agreement. The annual mileage allows the finance company funding your lease van to estimate its resale value once the lease period is over.

When arranging your leasing contract it is vital that you choose a mileage allowance based on your driving habits. If you exceed the mileage allowance on your lease vehicle, any mileage over the agreed amount is charged at the agreed excess mileage rate per mile. For example, if the excess mileage charge stated in your agreement is 6p per mile, and you have done 1,000 extra miles then you will charged £60.

Find out more about how excess mileage works by reading our Excess Mileage Charges Explained guide.

4. Is it possible to get out of the contract early?

Early termination is at the discretion of the finance provider and is not available on all contracts. Since lease agreements are not designed to be broken, substantial penalties and fees are usually associated with early termination so it is advised that you think very carefully before cancelling the agreement and find out exactly what these total costs would be.

If you wish to terminate your agreement early, please speak to the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts on 0345 811 9595 in the first instance to discuss your options. You can also find out more about Early Termination, the criteria and the fees involved by reading our Ending Your Lease Contract Early guide.

5. Will I be charged for every scratch and dent?

At the end of your lease agreement, your van or pick-up truck will undergo a detailed inspection by the finance provider who will check the interior and exterior condition of your vehicle carefully for any damage that falls outside what is deemed as ‘fair wear and tear’.

Every finance company provides its own guidelines of acceptable wear and tear based on the age and mileage of the vehicle. If you exceed these guidelines, you may be liable for any charges, also known as “de-hire charges” or “lease-end penalty charges”.

If your current lease van or pick-up truck is with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we will send you a copy of the fair wear and tear guidelines for your finance provider prior to the end of your contract. If you are nearing the end of your lease, you can also request a copy of the fair wear and tear guidelines from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts by contacting your sales advisor.

You can also find out more about fair wear and tear guidelines in our Van Fair Wear and Tear Guide.

6. I have a bad credit rating, can I lease a van?

Most funders ask for a good to excellent credit score in order to be accepted for finance. If you’ve been denied finance before, or your company is less than a year old, we may ask for further supporting information, for example:

  • 3 months’ business bank statements
  • Management accounts
  • A director’s guarantee

If you're unsure whether you will be eligible for business finance, take our interactive ‘Am I Eligible’ questionnaire.

7. Can I sign write the vehicle?

Many businesses want to add custom stickers, logos and company decals to their leased commercial vehicles. As most vehicle decals are easy to apply and remove, most finance providers will allow you to add them to your vehicle, however you should seek permission beforehand and ensure they are removed at the end of your lease agreement.

8. Is ply lining included?

Van ply lining is a lining inside the van created using plywood that helps to protect the van panels from scratches and bangs when carrying loose (and even tethered) loads. Ply lining  is an important part of van leasing because it helps to prevent a lot of the wear and tear that occurs during the lease period and from rust and dents that can affect the value of your car. 

If you lease a van with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, ply lining must be fitted to the van before delivery. Nationwide Vehicle Contracts includes ply lining most of our lease deals. Find out more in our What is Van Ply Lining? guide.

9. Who holds the V5 registration document?

Every new vehicle is issued with a V5C registration certificate within 6 weeks of registration. For Contract Hire and Personal Contract agreements, the finance company is the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle and as a result they hold the V5 for the duration of the lease agreement.

10. Can I use any garage for servicing?

When you lease a vehicle with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts you have the option to add a maintenance package on your monthly payments. If you have opted to take out the maintenance package, you will need to contact your finance provider to book your annual service or MOT with a local approved garage.

If you do not have a maintenance package then you will be responsible for arranging the service and MOT on your leased van. Customers are advised to a main dealer for their annual service however you can visit a local garage provided that it is VAT registered and uses genuine manufacturer parts. It is also important to make sure that the service light on the dashboard is reset and that your service handbook is stamped. 

Have a question about van leasing? Leave a comment below or call Nationwide Vehicle Contracts on 0345 811 9595 to speak to one of our experienced lease specialists.