Business Contract Hire
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Business Contract Hire

Contract Hire is the perfect product for you if you want fixed cost motoring and are confident about the mileage and condition of your vehicle over a set period of time. It is an easy and cost effective way to fund vehicles, which would enable you to control one of your biggest expenses. Contract Hire is the most popular type of vehicle leasing. Under this kind of agreement, the vehicle is hired for a set period of time and pre-determined mileage, at fixed monthly rentals. You never own the vehicle, so at the end of the contract the finance company will collect it and dispose of it. It is possible to include a maintenance package in the monthly rentals. Monthly rentals will depend on the value of the vehicle, length of the contract, and the agreed mileage.

Advantages:

  • Low deposit typically equivalent to 3 monthly rentals
  • Choice of contract period from 24 to 60 months
  • Hassle free - option to add servicing and maintenance, taking away all the hassle of running a vehicle
  • Fixed cost motoring
  • Steady cash flow
  • Free up capital - Get a new vehicle without the up-front costs, freeing up money for you to invest elsewhere in your business
  • No risk - The risk of vehicle depreciation is eliminated. At the end of the contract, the vehicle is simply handed back without worrying about how much it might be worth
  • Less administration - The finance company deals with all the buying, maintenance and selling issues
  • Tax benefits - Reclaim up to 100% of the VAT on all maintenance charges, the lease rental the fees and finance element for commercial vehicles
  • Rentals are up to 100% allowable against corporation tax
  • Road Fund Licence is provided for the full term of the contract
  • The vehicle appears off 'Balance Sheet' as it is owned by the leasing company
  • Maintenance can be included

Disadvantages

  • You will need to estimate the time and mileage for the use of the vehicle
  • No option to purchase the vehicle
  • The cost to terminate the contract early can be expensive
  • If you go over their agreed mileage allowance, excess mileage will be charged for each mile over that is stated in the contract
  • You must look after the vehicles and return in a well maintained condition, if not you will be charged for any damage over and above as stated in the 'Fair Wear and Tear Guide'

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This would suit customers who:

Want a more expensive vehicle than their budget would normally allow i.e. A new vehicle instead of a used one.

Know exactly how long they want to keep the vehicle and a good idea of the mileage they will be doing.

Want to avoid the risk of depreciation and maintenance costs.

Want fixed cost, stress free motoring.

Are not worried about owning a vehicle.

Are not VAT registered because VAT is paid on rentals rather than all upfront.


Van Contract Hire FAQs

Please just click on a question to reveal the answer.

Contract Hire

What are the advantages of van Contract Hire?

Apart from the advantage of being able to acquire a brand new van, often more cheaply than a used van would cost on Hire Purchase (HP), Contract Hire will benefit anyone who is seeking to:

  • Remove assets from their balance sheet, as there is no need to worry about cash flow/gearing.
  • Eliminate the financial risk associated with disposing of the vehicle. You can let the funder worry about depreciation and negative equity.
  • If you opt for a maintenance package, you can even enjoy the convenience of routine maintenance, servicing, tyres etc, at a fixed monthly cost.


You will enjoy a low deposit, typically equivalent to 3 months' rentals. What's more, you can even offset your monthly rentals against taxable profits and, if you're VAT registered, this can be claimed back too.

What are the disadvantages of van Contract Hire?

  • Funders will charge for damage that is over and above what is acceptable under the BVRLA's Fair Wear and Tear Guide.
  • You will need to estimate the time and mileage for your use of the van, and you will be charged for any excess mileage
  • There is no option to purchase the van at the end of the contract.

With Contract Hire, do I have the option to keep my van at the end of the agreement?

With this type of contract, you simply hand back the vehicle at the end of the contract, leaving you free to contract hire a brand new van. There is not an option to take ownership.

Do I have to be VAT registered to opt for Contract Hire on a van?

No. Certain funders do stipulate that you must be VAT registered but we have access to a number of funders for whom this is not a requirement. If you do become VAT registered during the course of the contract, you will be able to start claiming up to 100% of the VAT back.

Can I claim the VAT back on van Contract Hire payments?

If you're VAT registered, you can claim back up to 100% of the VAT from your monthly rentals.

Are there any mileage limits?

There are limits but you determine these at the beginning of the contract period, so it's important that you give us a realistic estimate of what your annual mileage is likely to be. But don't worry if your circumstances change. You can amend the terms of your contract to reflect a higher mileage, after the first 12 months, in order to spread the cost.

Can I change my van mileage during the agreement?

Yes. After the first 12 months, you will be able to request a contract amend so that changes in your circumstances can be reflected in your monthly rentals, rather than waiting for a bill at the end of the contract.

Do the CO2 emissions on my van affect anything I should be aware of?

No. Unlike with cars, CO2 emissions have no bearing on the cost of the Road Fund Licence (Road Tax). All RFL for commercial vehicles is charged at £220 regardless of engine size. On Contract Hire, this cost is already included in your monthly rentals and will cover you for the entire term of the contract.

Can I extend the van Contract Hire agreement?

Although most funders will have upper limits on contract length and mileage, it is possible to amend your contract during the term, as long as you stay within these limits.

What age do I need to be to take out a Contract Hire agreement on a new van?

Under the Consumer Credit Act, you have to be at least 18 to apply for credit. However, some funders insist on 21 as a minimum age, due to the need to see some credit history.

What deposit do I need to put down to secure the van?

We take a fully refundable Vehicle Reservation Fee of £400 per vehicle upon order.This is to secure the vehicle and will be returned to you upon delivery (minus any fees where applicable). This is also fully refundable even if you decide to cancel your order before delivery.

Why would I use Contract Hire for my van rather than Contract Purchase or Finance Lease?

Contract Hire is ideal for those customers who want all of the benefits of driving a new van without having to worry about disposing it at the end of the contract. There is also no risk of negative equity.

As Contract Hire vehicles will not show on your balance sheet, this funding method is suitable if you are concerned about cash flow.

It is particularly suitable for those customers that want to enjoy fixed cost motoring, as a maintenance package can be included, which will cover routine maintenance, tyres and servicing.

Furthermore, you can enjoy a low deposit (with a Contract Purchase you'll have to pay all of the VAT up front) of a minimum of 10% with no large final payment.

As Contract Hire vehicles have to be returned to the finance company at the end of the contract, the return condition of the van and the end mileage need to be considered. If you are fairly confident that the van would be returned in reasonable condition and have a good idea of what your expected mileage is likely to be, then Contract Hire may well be the right leasing method for you.

Finance

Do I have to have a credit check to get a van on Contract Hire?

Yes. All Contract Hire Funders will conduct a credit check. However, as all Funders have slightly different underwriting criteria, we will do our best to find the right Funder for you and your circumstances.

How long does approval take?

This can vary depending on the Funder. It can take as little as an hour to get a decision, but we can usually get an answer for you with 24 hours. We will sometimes get requests for further information and, in these cases, it can take slightly longer to get the final decision.

What if I get turned down, will this impact future credit ratings?

Most credit checks will leave a 'footprint' (which does not record the outcome of the credit check) but in most cases, only repeated checks will have a negative effect.

What can I do if I have a bad credit history?

It really depends on what kind of bad credit history you have. Different Funders have different criteria and some can be more pragmatic than others. There are no guarantees, but we will always try to match you with the most appropriate Funder; sometimes this can mean we offer you a different product, such as Contract Purchase.

Do you use various finance companies?

Yes. We have access to all the top vehicle finance companies in the country and the amount of business we do with them means that we (and you!) can enjoy their very best rates.

What information do you need to set up a Contract Hire agreement?

All our customers must be assessed for credit before they are accepted by the finance company (Funder). Although different Funders will have differing underwriting criteria, some typical examples of the information needed would be:

  • Name, address, landline number
  • Company name and company registration number (if a limited company)
  • Address history for the last 5 years
  • Number of years trading/ownership
  • Directors details
  • Bank details

Ownership

Do I own the van on Contract Hire?

No. The van remains the property of the Funder throughout the contract. This means that they also carry the residual risk (depreciation) of the van.

What will happen to the van at the end of the agreement?

You simply need to advise the Funder to collect the vehicle from you at a time and place to suit you.

Do I have the option of owning the van at the end of the contract?

No. Because of the tax and VAT advantages associated with 'leasing' a commercial vehicle, it is not possible to own the vehicle at the end of the contract.

Will I be responsible for parking tickets and speeding fines?

Yes, although if these are not settled straight away, the authority responsible for the offense will contact the Funder who supplied the vehicle. An additional admin fee may be charged by the Funder if they have to pay the fine on your behalf.

Who pays for new tyres/MOT/ servicing if I have taken the van out on Contract Hire?

With Contract Hire, you have the option to include a maintenance package for an additional low monthly fee. This will cover you for tyres, routine maintenance, servicing and any MOT that falls within the contract duration.

What happens if the van is in an accident during the Contract Hire period?

You are responsible for insuring the vehicle during the term of the contract. If your van is involved in an accident, you should contact your insurance company in the same way as you would for a privately owned vehicle. We can offer GAP insurance which will cover you if there is any shortfall (between the finance settlement figure and what your insurance company are willing to pay out) following a total loss, i.e. if the van was written off or stolen.

What happens if there are dents and scratches on the vehicle when I return it?

Funders will charge for damage that is over and above what is acceptable under the BVRLA's Fair Wear and Tear Guide. It is easy to find out what would be chargeable and what would be considered 'fair wear and tear', so you have the opportunity to put right any significant damage before you return the van. Click on the link above for more details.

Can I customise the van, i.e. tint windows, or lower it?

You can generally customise the van, provided the changes you make are legal. It would not be acceptable to lower a van. Tinted windows would be permitted so long as the law was complied with, i.e. it is not legal to tint front windows. Accessories to enable you to perform your job will usually be permitted. These can be included as part of your contract, so that you pay monthly for them, or you can sometime opt to pay for them separately.

Can I take my van abroad during the Contract Hire term?

Yes. However you will need to obtain the appropriate paperwork from the Funder in question. Remember to give sufficient notice for the documentation to be raised - usually around 7 working days.

Can I race the vehicle?

No. When you Contract Hire a van, you are not permitted to use it for racing, rallying, speed testing or pace making. Most of our customers however just want a van as a tool to conduct their business, so this usually isn't an issue.

Van Insurance

Is my insurance going to go up because I have chosen Contract Hire?

There is no reason to think that your insurance premium will increase because you have contract hired your vehicle.

Is insurance included in the van Contract Hire agreement?

No. But we can recommend a company that can supply you with very competitive insurance quotes. Just click on this link www.vanarama.co.uk/van-insurance.html.

Can I insure the van under my company insurance?

Yes. If the contract is in your company name, you can insure it under that name.

Is fully comprehensive insurance compulsory when I take out Contract Hire?

Yes. It is a requirement that you fully and comprehensively insure your vehicle for the entire term of the contract.

Can I insure my whole family to drive the van?

The fact that you are contract hiring your van will not affect your ability to add other drivers to your insurance.

Can I include insurance in the van Contract Hire package?

No. But we can recommend a company that can supply you with very competitive insurance quotes for your van. Click here.

If I am in a crash or have an accident do you provide a courtesy van?

If the crash isn't your fault you will usually be able to claim a courtesy vehicle through own insurance, or you may be supplied with a temporary replacement vehicle by the repairing bodyshop.

My New Van

Is there a delivery charge?

No. We arrange delivery, free of charge to your address (UK mainland delivery only).

What are the colour options?

You can choose any colour offered by the van manufacturer but, if you're working to a tight deadline and need a van more quickly, you may want to choose a van from our stock offers (usually delivered within 3 weeks) and then there may be less colour choice.

Is road tax included with Contract Hire if not, how much does it cost?

Yes. Road Tax is included for the full term of the contract. The Funder will send your tax disc to you each year.

Can I transfer my private number plates on a Contract Hire van?

It is possible to transfer your private plates onto your Contract Hire van. Most Funders will have processes in place for this and there may be a small charge for the service.

What are the hidden costs?

Excess mileage and any 'end of contract' damage (over and above 'fair wear and tear' as identified by the BVRLA) will be charged at the end of your contract by the Funder. The Funder may also make a nominal charge to administer any parking or speeding violation fines on your behalf (in addition to the cost of the fine itself).

Is my van coming directly from the manufacturer or a local dealer?

A franchised dealer will deliver your new van to you, though not necessarily one that is local to you. We have negotiated the best rates with manufacturers and certain dealers.

What is the time scale for delivery?

This really depends on the van you choose. As most of our customers tend to opt for our special offer stock vehicles, we can usually deliver your new van within 3 weeks. If you decide to go for a factory ordered vehicle, these can take longer, typically around 8 weeks.

Part Exchange

Do you offer part exchange on any vehicle?

We offer part exchange on cars, vans, pick-up trucks and motorbikes. We are unable to take tractors, HGVs or plant and machinery.

Do you need to see my vehicle if I want to part exchange?

Not initially. We will ask you to assess the vehicle's condition so that we can give you a valuation. Obviously payment of this amount will be dependent on the van being 'as described' when we receive it.

Will you still take a vehicle that is in a bad way?

As a minimum, your part exchange will need to have a valid MOT and be legal to drive.

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