Leasing a car can be a daunting experience, especially your first, so it's good to know what a leasing broker is and why you might be better off using one.
A leasing broker is a company that sits between the customer, the dealership and the finance/lease company. They will guide you through the whole process - helping you to choose the right vehicle by going over your requirements, then supplying the vehicle from one of the many dealerships they work with (at what is normally a discounted price) and finally arranging the lease on your behalf.
There are several other things to consider when using a broker, but they main two are their dealer network and access to difference finance companies.
Their dealer network
Brokers usually have a lot of dealers on their books and most of the time, different dealers have different deals on. An Audi dealer is Glasgow might have a deal on an Audi A3, whereas one in Cambridge might not. If you live in Cambridge and want an A3, are you really going to ask an Audi Dealer is Glasgow for a quote? That is what a broker does. It gathers all of the best deals from dealers all over the UK and provides you with the best quote, which always includes delivery.
A broker also develops their relationships with dealerships, which leads to better discounts. Where a broker is ordering hundreds of cars and you are only ordering one, the chances are you will not get as much discount.
It’s not just about price, though. By having a large number of dealerships on their books, it means a larger number of stock vehicles. If you need a specific car quickly, it’s likely you’ll have an easier time finding it by using a broker.
Panel of leasing companies
Leasing brokers tend to work with several lenders, very similar to how a mortgage broker works. Once you have found a vehicle that you want to lease, let's say a Volkswagen Golf, you speak to your local dealer and they give you a quote through Volkswagen Financial Services. That is usually it, as most dealerships don't work with other leasing companies. With a leasing broker, they work with several leasing companies (including the dealer's leasing company, in this case Volkswagen Financial Services), which means they can give you more quotes to consider and most of the time, there'll be one that is cheaper!
Most lease companies agree deals directly with the manufacturers, too. For example, a lease company might agree to buy 500 Volkswagen Golfs, then release a really good lease deal. It doesn't take long to sell 500 cars, which is why you often see really good deals, but for a very short time. Another reason to use a broker, so they can inform you of these offers when they come out.
Like morgages with different banks, each one has it's benefits and disadvantages. The same goes for leasing comanies. It is all well and good getting the cheapest quote, but you have to consider other things, like their excess mileage charge. You might save £5 per month by going with the cheaper leasing comany, but if their excess mileage charge is twice as much and you think you'll likely go over your mileage, would you be better off going with the second cheapest leasing company with the much lower excess mileage charge?
One-off lease deals
Leasing brokers are usually a go-to for dealerships and leasing companies to get rid of old stock, pre-reg cars or cancellations. If they have old stock sitting around and need to get it sold to hit their targets, they'll release a stupidly cheap lease to get them on the road for a few years. Some of these deals are so good, that by the time they are on the website, they've sold out. If you have a relationship with a leasing broker, they can inform you of these deals so that you don't miss out!
When an order is cancelled, it usually means the next person in line is going to get a good phone call. Leasing brokers often have a list of clients who are after a very specific (and usually cheap) deal. When a high demand order is cancelled, it's offered to the clients on the list. Not on the list? You'll never know about it.
Pre-reg deals are also very common. This is where a dealership will register a batch of vehicles to hit a target. Once registered, they have to get them sold - quickly. This is where you might see deals on cars that don't have the newest registration plate. They are still brand new and you'll still be the first driver (other than the person delivering, it!), they've just been pre-registered. I wouldn't mind having the previous registration plate on my new car...not if it meant a cheaper monthly rental!