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Car Leasing for Young and New Drivers: The Complete Guide

Whether you’ve just passed your test or you’ve been driving for a few years, having your own car is a big part of the freedom driving provides. The problem? You can’t always afford to get the car you want outright. That leaves a few options.

You can buy a cheap, old car and be faced with a high risk of breakdowns and repairs. You could share a family car and be second, third or fourth on the list when it comes to actually using it. Or you can lease a car.

Leasing a car is a practical alternative that helps you to avoid the negatives of the options above. In this guide, we’ll explore what car leasing is, how it works and who is eligible.

The rise of the rental

Gone are the days of big purchases and commitments. Today’s young drivers are Millennials and Gen Zs. They prefer a flexible lifestyle which doesn’t involve long-term commitments. That’s reflected in the current trend of renting rather than buying homes.

At the same time, the current younger generation is somewhat low on funds. Just starting off in the working world, it’s only natural that young people have less money than their parents. However, the current generation of 20-somethings has been found to be particularly less well-off than previous generations with lower earnings, fewer assets and less wealth.

The result is a rise in renting, whether that’s houses, phone contracts or even clothes. Cars are no exception, which is where leasing comes in…

What actually is car leasing?

Car leasing is very similar to renting a car, only you have an agreed time you can have the car for. During the lease, you will pay a set monthly amount towards the rental of the car. When your leasing contract is up, you simply return the vehicle and begin your next lease. In some circumstances, you may have the option to extend the lease instead.

When leasing a car, you can choose between new and used cars from pretty much any manufacturer. However, leasing packages vary in what they include. While all leased cars will be covered for road tax, many will require you to have your own insurance.

Should I lease a car?

Car leasing has a number of benefits for young drivers. First and foremost, it’s a practical option that allows you to get the car you want without huge upfront-costs. It gives you the freedom of having your own vehicle, without the hassle of maintaining an old, unreliable car.

It also offers you great flexibility. You can choose from almost any make and model to get the car you want, then extend your car lease at the end of the contract, or even upgrade.

That’s complemented by complete ease and peace of mind, with one monthly payment covering everything where required:

Road tax

When you lease a car, all road tax costs are paid directly by the funder. This means that this cost is spread across your monthly payments and you do not have to pay road tax to HMRC direct.


Car insurance isn’t always included as standard when leasing a car. However, there are many packages available which include your car insurance, paid as part of the monthly fees.


Similarly, many car leasing packages will come with a full manufacturer’s warranty. So, if your car does break down, you can take it to a manufacturer approved garage to get it repaired, at no extra cost. You can also find packages that include maintenance to make sure the car is well-serviced.

Key considerations

Before deciding to lease a car, it is important to consider that:

  • If you terminate the contract early, you will be required to pay an early-termination fee.
  • If you exceed your agreed annual mileage allowance, you will be required to pay an excess-mileage fee.
  • At the end of the contract, you will be required to pay for any damage to the vehicle, with the exception of fair wear-and-tear.

Your Leasing Options Account Manager will be able to discuss these key considerations with you, to help you to ensure that leasing is appropriate for your individual circumstances.

The basic requirements for car leasing

To lease a car, you simply need to be 18 years-old or over and hold a full and valid UK driving licence. However, your income and credit score will also be taken into account. The company leasing the car to you will need to be sure you can comfortably afford the monthly payments, for the duration of the lease.

How does car leasing work?

Car leasing is simple and quick. You pay an initial, upfront rental cost, which is a larger portion of the overall rental cost. The remainder is divided equally per month, over the length of your lease.

Car leasing contracts can be tailored to suit you, depending on your preferred contract length, estimated annual-mileage and how much you would like to pay towards the upfront, initial-rental cost.

With Leasing Options, your car lease includes:

  • A brand-new car for the agreed term
  • Road tax
  • Manufacturer’s warranty
  • 12-month breakdown assistance
  • Part exchange
  • Free delivery to your door across mainland UK

How do I apply to lease a car?

We have six easy steps to get you your perfect car leasing deal:

  1. Find your car – Our site makes it easy to search for a car that suits your budget and needs.
  2. Get a quote – Once you have decided on your car, you will need to decide on some more details, like car leasing length, annual mileage and any extras you would like included in your monthly payments.
  3. Apply for finance – Similar to most finance options, you will be required to pass a credit check, just to make sure you are able to pay back monthly payments. Once you have passed, our financial partners will make the final decision on whether to accept you or not
  4. Place your order – If you successfully pass the finance check, one of our Account Managers will get all your details together for you, for a smooth car lease
  5. Sign finance documents – We highly recommend reading through these thoroughly to make sure you are satisfied before you start your lease
  6. Delivery – The most exciting step! We will advise you on how long it will take to deliver your car to you, it is usually between 10 working days and 3 weeks

If you have extra add-ons, we will make sure these will start at a date that works with your delivery date.

Great lease cars for younger drivers

One of the many benefits of leasing a car is that you can choose from almost any kind of car on the market, from a wide array of manufacturers. However, as a younger driver, there are a few things you might be looking for, such as a smaller engine for cheaper running costs and insurance or a small hatchback for easier manoeuvring.

Here are some of our top lease car picks for younger drivers…

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