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I'm under 18, can I lease a car?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer lease agreements to drivers under the age of 18. This is because a lease agreement is a form of credit and a person under 18 is considered a young person and therefore cannot usually be legally held to a contract.

Once you have reached 18 years old, as long as you have a full UK driving licence, are able to afford the monthly rentals and have a good to excellent credit score, you can apply for a lease agreement.

I only have a provisional driving licence, can I lease a car?

Unfortunately not. While some funders allow you to lease with a provisional licence, this is usually on a case-by-case basis and can be a very complicated process. In order to lease a vehicle with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, you must hold a full UK valid driving licence which has not expired.

I have no credit history, will I be accepted for vehicle finance?

In order to lease a vehicle with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts you will be asked to submit a finance application. Most funders ask for a good to excellent credit score in order to be accepted for vehicle finance.

The biggest issue for many young drivers is that they little to no credit history, making it difficult to obtain finance. This is because lenders tend to prefer lending to established borrowers who they can better assess the risk for paying back debt.

It is worth pointing out that no lender uses your credit score alone to approve or decline you for finance. Many other factors come into play such as your ability to make regular payments on time and any other debts you may have. As a first time borrower, you can improve your chances of being accepted for vehicle finance by establishing a positive credit history. This can include:

  • Managing a bank account - Setting up and regularly using a UK current account will help build your credit history if you run it responsibly (e.g. making sure you have enough money in your account to cover your payments each month)
  • Setting up direct debits – Using regular Direct Debit payments to pay bills such as your gas, electricity or phone bills will help demonstrate your ability to make regular payments on time.
  • Paying bills on time - Make sure you pay all your bills on time, as a missed or late payment will count against you. If the lender has to go to court to get the money, then a county court judgment (CCJ) will severely affect your ability to get credit and will remain on your credit file for six years.
  • Register on the electoral roll - It is important that credit reference agencies have a record of previous addresses you have lived at as that is continuous proof that helps provide a profile of your financial footprint.

If you are unsure if you are eligible for vehicle finance, you can use our free and interactive Am I Eligible for Personal Vehicle Finance tool.

What are the requirements in order to be accepted for finance?

When filling out our online Personal Finance Application Form, you will be asked to provide certain information in order to ensure you are able to afford the lease you have applied for. This includes:

  • Personal details – Including marital status and number of dependants
  • Address details for the past five years – This information is used to verify your identity and may also be used to determine the credit histories of anyone you are financially connected with.
  • Employment details for the past three years – This information is used to determine how your present income and expenditure is likely to evolve over the period of your lease
  • Your bank details – This information is used to determine how you have managed your existing accounts and your ability to make payments on time.
  • Your monthly income and expenditure – This information is used to ensure you are comfortably able to afford the finance deal for which you have applied

As part of your application, you may also be asked to provide additional information if you are not full time employment or if you’ve only been with your current employer for less than five years. This may include further details about your employment history and/or further details about your monthly income and expenditure.

Can I use a guarantor if I fail finance?

On rare occasions, the finance provider may accept a guarantor and/or a joint finance application but this is dependent on the funder and is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Please speak to your sales consultant for further information.

Can a parent take out a lease agreement for me?

It is forbidden for someone to take out a lease agreement on behalf of someone else. This could include a parent taking out a lease agreement on behalf of their son or daughter or a close friend taking out a lease agreement for another person. This is also known as accommodation finance.

While accommodation finance is not actually illegal, it is forbidden by the finance provider. This is because there is a greater risk of the finance company not being able to get the car or their money back in the event of a contract breach.

It is worth pointing out that while accommodation finance is not illegal, not declaring that the person taking out the lease is not the main driver is illegal and both parties involved (the person applying for the finance and the person that they taking out the lease for) could be charged with fraud.

How long does it take for a sales advisor to contact me?

Where possible, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts will aim to deal with your enquiry the same working day during business hours, however during busy periods it may take us longer to get back to you.

Before we submit you for vehicle finance, a sales representative will be in touch by phone to confirm your order and to run through the necessary pre-credit checks. If we are unable to reach you, we will leave you an answer machine message, send you an email or send you a text message to let you know we have tried to contact you.

If your vehicle enquiry is urgent, you can speak to a sales adviser straight away by calling 0345 811 9595 (option 1). Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm.

What is the minimum lease contract that I can have?

All of our lease contracts range from 24 to 48 months (two to four years), depending on the vehicle and contract chosen. Five year contracts are sometimes offered, depending on the customer and the finance provider.

It’s worth noting that if you take a 48 month (four year) agreement, you will be responsible for the MOT and any servicing requirements as stipulated by the finance company in the final year of the contract.

When is the processing fee payable?

The processing fee is the broker fee charged by Nationwide Vehicle Contracts for our service and represents the costs incurred for arranging the sale, ordering the vehicle, arranging the finance and organising delivery of the vehicle.

Our processing fee is currently £198 inc VAT which is payable by debit or credit card or by BACs payment once your application for vehicle finance has been approved by the finance provider.

What is the initial rental?

The initial rental is an advanced rental of usually equivalent to 3, 6 or 9 monthly rentals and is payable to finance company within 7 to 14 days of delivery. This amount forms part for the hire agreement and is non-refundable.

It’s worth bearing in mind that paying a larger initial rental will help to reduce your monthly payments.

Can I pay the initial rental by credit card?

While your processing fee can be paid by debit, credit card or BACs payment, your initial rental must be paid by direct debit from the same account your monthly rentals are taken from. This is to prevent financial fraud (such as money laundering) and to protect both you and the finance provider.

Are ‘no deposit’ leasing deals available through Nationwide Vehicle Contracts?

Unfortunately, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts are unable to provide ‘no deposit’ lease deals to new customers. Depending on the vehicle make and model, we may be able to offer a lower initial rental equivalent to one of two monthly rentals but this is likely to increase the amount of your monthly rentals. Please speak to your sales advisor for more information.

Is insurance included in my lease contract?

All lease agreements with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts do not include insurance so you will be responsible for arranging your own insurance on the vehicle. This must be a fully comprehensive policy and the insurance certificate must show your name, the vehicle registration number and be dated on or before your delivery date.

Please note that for personal contract hire agreements, the finance company is the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle.


Can I be a named driver on the insurance certificate or do I need to be the main policy holder?

Many young drivers find it beneficial to add a second driver to the insurance policy to help reduce costs. For a lease agreement, it is possible to add a parent to the insurance policy but the hirer obtaining finance (you) must be the main policy holder or a named driver on the insurance certificate.

I am a first time driver, how do I know what mileage to choose?

Mileage is a major factor in defining how much your leasing plan will cost so it is important that you choose an annual mileage that reflects your driving habits. If you exceed your chosen mileage, you will be liable to pay an excess mileage charge based on how many additional miles you have done.

In our experience, most drivers pick an annual mileage of 8,000 or 10,000 miles per annum (the UK average is 8,000 miles a year) but drivers who only use their vehicle occasionally or for short trips may choose a lower mileage of 6,000 miles per annum.

If you are a new driver and are unsure of what mileage to choose, consider how many miles you intend to drive in an average month and multiply it by 12. Don’t forget to bear in mind any seasonal differences in your driving behaviour and factor these into your estimation.

Can I add a private registration plate to the car?

As long as you obtain the funder’s permission, there should be no problem with adding a private registration plate to your lease car.

Please note that Nationwide Vehicle Contracts are unable to arrange for the private registration plate to be added to your vehicle before delivery as this can delay the delivery process. Therefore, you will need to contact the finance company direct after you have taken delivery of the vehicle to arrange the necessary paperwork.

Read our guide on Adding a Private Registration Plate to a Lease Vehicle for further information.

Can I trade in my current vehicle as part exchange?

Unfortunately, Nationwide Vehicle Contract do not offer a part exchange facility so you will be responsible for selling or disposing of your current vehicle if it is no longer required.

There are number of car buying services that can assist you with a valuation for your current vehicle. These include:

What happens if I want to cancel my order?

If you wish to cancel your lease order before delivery, you will need to send a written notice of cancellation (via email or letter) to your lease consultant. Personal customers are entitled to a full refund of the processing fee provided the order is cancelled before the end of the 14 day statutory ‘cooling off’ period observed by the finance provider. Refunds will be issued within 30 calendar days from the day on which Nationwide Vehicle Contracts receives the notification of cancellation.

For cancellations received after the expiry of the 14 day ‘cooling off’ period, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts will retain the processing fee to cover all costs incurred up to that point. Depending upon circumstances, you may be eligible for a credit note against future orders up to a maximum of six months from the point of cancellation.

Can I terminate my agreement early?

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.

Early termination not available on all contracts and is at the discretion of the finance provider. If you wish to terminate your agreement early, please contact the Nationwide Vehicle Contracts team on 0345 811 9595 (option 3) to discuss your options.


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