June 8th, 2022
As an experienced business car leasing company we’ve been providing cars to corporate clients for decades. To make things easier on all sides, we always try to be as transparent about our leasing process – which is why we’ve written this post!
This is our step-by-step guide to how our long-term business car leasing agreements work at every stage of the process – from your first contact with us, to receiving your leased car; along with how we work to solve some of the challenges that might come up along the way.
“We’ll usually respond to customers depending on how the enquiry came in,” says Sam Young. “so if you reach out by email, we’ll email you back. If you call us, we’ll typically either talk to you there and then, or return the call if you left a message. Of course, if you’d like us to get in touch using a specific method, we will do. We always try and work in a way you’re most comfortable with.”
“The first thing we ask for is your requirements. Often that’s a type of vehicle rather than something specific – though very occasionally we get a client who has their heart set on one thing! It’s here we’ll give suggestion on things like vehicle size, drive train, specification and budget.”
“We then go to market and see what will fit the criteria you’ve given us,” says Sam. “A big part of that is when you might need the vehicle, and finding one that fits your requirements while also being readily available – which can be tricky in the current climate!
“At this stage we’ll usually give you four or five options that we think will fit your needs, before discussing and narrowing it down to one or two.”
“The next stage is to get as many details as possible about your business at this point. For instance:
“Getting this information will all help when drawing up the terms of the leasing agreement before we get a full official quote from the supplier. Based on that, we’ll offer an agreement we think will work for all parties. If that’s okay, we’ll go to…”
“We’ll then send you a finance proposal form including:
“If the company is owned by a larger company based abroad, we will ask for the details of that company as well. Then we credit check the business based on their time in business, current net worth, and how recently their accounts were submitted to Companies House.
“Most of the time that comes out fine. However, in some cases where dealing with a newer company with perhaps a lower net worth, we’ll restructure the deal to make it workable. Our goal is always to provide something and find a way to make things work.
“For instance, in such cases we’ve sometimes leased out vehicles we’d recently had returned from agreements; de-risking the lease rather than us buying a brand-new off-the-shelf vehicle. Another option we use is a company director’s guarantee, where we ask for the company director’s full details and credit search them, which makes the director themselves liable for the payments. In all cases, we work hard to find a way to make sure our clients are kept mobile.”
“At order stage we’ll confirm finer details, like your monthly payments and whether that includes maintenance, or whether the vehicle is user maintained, and send the form off to you for your signature.
“Once that’s returned we’ll order the vehicle from the supplier and we wait for an estimated delivery date.
“Around ten days to a week before the delivery date we’ll issue finance documents, which includes your Master Hire Agreement. Because we believe in making life easier for our clients, we have a single Master Hire Agreement that covers not just that one vehicle, but any subsequent vehicles in the future. It means you only have to fill in the document once – saving you time and effort on paperwork.
“We’ll also send you the direct debit form, and your schedule – essentially this is the full spec of your order. Along with those signed documents we’ll also ask for a signed copy of your insurance, which we’ll only ask for once a year when it’s renewed, rather than each time you hire a vehicle. It’s all about keeping things as easy and hassle-free for you as possible.
“While we always need the original versions of the documents sent to us, we can also accept scans of the documents to get the ball rolling. That way we can progress the order without waiting for the postal service. It’s important to us that you get your vehicle on delivery date if at all possible. No delays. No hold-ups.”
“At the end of the process you’ll have your vehicle delivered directly to the location you tell us. There’ll also be a form to sign that’s then sent back to us to file. And that’s our basic business company car leasing journey!”
As detailed in our recent blog post on vehicle availability, the vehicle market is currently immensely unpredictable. Supply issues mean manufacture on a specific model can be discontinued at a moment’s notice, or further delays can occur – all of which can impact how leasing with us works for you.
“In the case of delays, things work in one of two different ways,” says Sam. “Luckily in both cases we’re not like other leasing companies – we’ll always try and work with you to find a solution.
“If you’re a current customer, in most cases we’re able to informally extend your current leasing contract until you receive your new one. Our priority is making sure you remain operational and keeping you mobile, to give you as seamless a transition as possible.”
“If you aren’t a current GKL customer and need something sooner but also want to order something for later, we have a daily rental and flexi-hire fleet that can provide pricing depending on how long you need that temporary cover for.
“Often this is on a reasonably equivalent vehicle, though with current vehicle availability we are having to be more creative in the temporary solutions we offer.”
At GKL, our experienced team are dedicated to meeting your vehicle needs and keeping your business mobile.
“We work with a lot of HR managers, financial teams and finance directors, for whom fleet is just a part of a much wider role,” says Sam. “If you’re in that position, you’ll find we effectively function like a fleet manager, looking after everything from vehicle procurement to contracts to maintenance. That’s how leasing with us works for you – it helps make everything easier.
“And for those in fleet management, working with the right business leasing provider can add that little bit of extra support to an already varied role.
“Whatever you need us for, we’re there to make life easier and keep your company moving.”