If you're new to leasing & want to learn about the process, Leasing Options' comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about first-time car leasing
Who is the Registered Keeper of a Lease Car?
One of the main differences between owning a car outright and leasing is who the registered keeper is and who is the owner of the vehicle. These questions can often cause confusion, so our guide below clarifies these aspects if you're leasing a car.
What is a registered keeper?
The registered keeper is the person who is responsible for the vehicle, including its insurance, road tax and maintenance. However, when it comes to car leasing, the registered keeper is the finance company.
Under the terms of the lease agreement, it is your responsibility to insure and maintain the vehicle, and the finance company will arrange the road tax for you.
Who is a lease car registered keeper?
The registered keeper of a vehicle is the person or company who appears on the V5C (logbook) issued by the DVLA. In the case of a lease vehicle, this will be the finance company and not the driver.
When you lease a vehicle, you're essentially renting it on a long-term basis and will not become the owner of the car at the end of the agreement. This means anything to do with parking fines, speeding infringements or road tax is sent to and dealt with by the registered keeper.
Penalty Notices and parking or speeding fines will be passed on to you as the known driver of the vehicle, and it is then for you to pass on to the actual driver if you were not driving at the time. Road tax will be paid for by the finance company and is included in your monthly payments.
What is the difference between a registered keeper and an owner?
Sometimes these terms crossover – where the entity who paid for the vehicle is the registered keeper and owner. But it could also be the case where the registered keeper differs from the owner. This doesn't really affect leasing because the person leasing the vehicle is essentially 'renting' the car from the finance company and will not own it at the end of the agreement.
When a vehicle is purchased on finance (HP or PCP), the registered keeper will be the person paying the finance off, and the owner of the vehicle is the finance company until the finance agreement is fully settled.
Will the registered keeper receive parking tickets or speeding fines?
Yes, but in a slightly different way. Parking fines, penalty notices and speeding fines are sent to the vehicle's registered owner (the finance company). But they will pass these to you as the registered keeper.
In some cases, depending on your finance company's administration process, they may notify you of the fine and add it to your monthly payments. In this instance, they pay the penalty, which you pay back through your agreement. How parking tickets and speeding fines are dealt with will be detailed in your leasing contract.
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Does the registered keeper affect my insurance?
Insuring your lease car as a registered keeper doesn't affect how insurance companies deal with your policy. However, when you set up new insurance for your lease vehicle, they'll want a few more details, including:
- Registered keeper information and contact details
- Registered owner information and contact details
- Location of where the car will be parked overnight
Alternatively, you have the option of insured leasing. For example, our Fuel & Go package includes fully comprehensive insurance cover and maintenance. For more information on car leasing with insurance, check out our guide to leasing insurance.
Can I put a private plate on my lease car?
Yes, in most cases, you can add a private registration plate to your lease vehicle. However, as you don't technically own it, you'll need to ask the finance company for permission before making the switch.
Learn more about adding a private plate to your lease car in our detailed guide.
Do you get a V5 with a lease car?
While you are named as a registered keeper of a lease vehicle, you will not receive a V5 document from the DVLA. The registered owner (the finance company) keeps this instead.
Not holding the V5 can prove challenging if you want to do specific things. For example, if you want to travel abroad with your car, you'll need permission from the leasing company, and they will provide the correct documentation before you travel.
In addition, if you require a parking permit, applying for one without a V5C document can sometimes prove difficult. If you have any issues, speak to your finance company, and they'll be able to issue a letter stating that you are the user of the lease vehicle.