What Credit Score Do You Need to Lease a Car?


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By Crispin O'Toole-Bateman

on Tuesday 14 May 2019


Close up of steering wheel with driver s hands on it

Bad credit is not a good thing. If you have a poor credit history, then it’s more than likely going to impact your ability to lease a car.

There are three main credit reference agencies (CRAs) in the UK – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – and all three have different scoring systems, so it’s not possible to simply say ‘you need a score of 500 to lease a car’. They also have bands that determine whether your score is ‘low’, ‘fair’ or ‘good’, and for a trouble-free lease agreement, you want to be in the ‘excellent’ band, which is a pretty high score.

However, that’s not to say it can’t be done!

At Complete Leasing, we may be able to help those who have a bad credit rating and want to lease a vehicle.

Do you need a good credit score to lease a car?

Usually, yes, but sometimes, no, you don’t. What you need is a nice boss! Leasing a car for someone else is not allowed – you can’t approach a parent or friend and convince them to lease a car for you, because the finance company is going to quickly put a stop to the idea (this is known as accommodation finance and it puts the finance company in a very awkward position if they ever need to reclaim the vehicle, so they don’t like it).

But you could get a company car!

Business contract hire is a great opportunity for any business, and while it might seem pushy (especially if you work in a low-paid job with no need for a company car), it could be an option. Your employer may be able to lease a car and supply it to you as a perk for your job. You’ll get taxed on it with benefit-in-kind tax, but other than that, you’re all good.

Are there other options?

Poor credit car leasing does exist and at Complete Leasing, we may be able to help you with a short-term leasing deal, rather than a 2-year lease, for example.

Having a low credit score may not give you the full range of options and it could work out more expensive than for those who have a healthier credit score, but short-term car leasing can provide a more flexible set of leasing requirements, meaning that you may be accepted for a car lease even without an ‘excellent’ rating. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and we’ll do our best to find something that suits your needs and your budget.

And finally, though it’s no quick answer – it’s not too difficult to build up and improve your credit score. If you are planning on leasing a car in the future, then work on your personal finance from today – you might not have the credit score to lease a car in 2019, but 2020 could be your year!

Does car leasing affect your credit score?

Yes, it does. Once you do get a car lease and you make sure that you regularly make the payments on time and with no problem, your car lease eligibility becomes more and more favourable until you’ve forgotten all about those difficult credit score times!

Is it worth calling Complete Leasing if I know I don’t have a good credit score?

It is! At Complete Leasing, we work with a range of the best car finance companies in the UK and often, there may be a solution that you didn’t know about or a company who is more forgiving than others. You may not be able to get your first-choice vehicle, but we could discuss what is available to you. If your credit score is poor, then don’t be disheartened – let us do the groundwork for you so that you understand your exact position and can do whatever needs to be done.

Give us a call today or fill in our contact form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible!

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Complete Leasing will find the best deal for you – get in touch with us today!


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