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Should you lease a car through a dealer or a leasing broker?

If you’ve decided that leasing is the way to get a new car – maybe it’s the possible lower monthly payments or the draw of getting a new model every couple of years that are tempting you – then you’ll have a choice about whether you lease the car through a dealership or through an independent leasing broker. There’s no definitive right answer – it’s all down to your preferences. Read on for all you need to know to make up your mind.

Check out our other leasing guides for more information:

What is a leasing broker?

Think of a leasing broker as a middleman between you, dealerships (or car manufacturers) and leasing companies. They’re often independent and won’t have ties with just one manufacturer or leasing company. In fact most bigger leasing brokers have relationships with several different leasing companies or ‘funders’, meaning that you have more choice and quite often get better rates or ‘special deals’.

Look for the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) certification when you choose your leasing broker – it’s a way to know that they are genuine and will work to get you the best deal.

What’s the difference between a leasing broker and a dealership?

Whereas the leasing broker can usually offer more than one manufacturer and leasing company, going into a dealership will narrow the choice of car down to the makes of car sold there. Leasing brokers can often get better rates than dealers through this access to multiple leasing companies or ‘funders’, where franchised dealers are often limited to the one brand of car and funder. That said, dealerships can offer the showroom experience, brand expertise and often better access to vehicles in stock than a leasing broker.

Advantages and disadvantages of leasing through a broker

Because a broker is normally independent and working across multiple manufacturers and leasing companies, they’ll work for you to look at the market and get the best deal – and you’ll have a choice of lots of cars and deals. A broker will be able to find cars from all around the country, so you could still get your perfect car if local cars don’t meet your criteria. Instead of you doing the leg work, the broker will do it for you – potentially taking a lot of the stress out of the process. You might also like to deal with everything online or on the phone, which leasing brokers are designed for.

It almost goes without saying that getting a leasing broker to do the hard work for you will mean you’ll probably incur admin fees. Also, smaller leasing brokers that are limited to just one or a few leasing companies might not be able to get you the best deal – it’s worth asking before you decide which broker to go through. Remember, leasing brokers don’t have showrooms or cars for you to drive as you deal online or over the phone with the car being delivered to your home – which only really works once you’re happy with your choice of car.

Advantages and disadvantages of leasing through a dealership

Going through a dealership is a more traditional way of leasing a car, and still has lots of merits. It’s often more convenient because you’ll be able to look at the cars in the showroom, test drive cars, sign the paperwork and drive away without too much hassle. It’s better for you if you prefer to see everything and talk to the dealer in person, as well as enjoying the new car showroom experience. You normally won’t have to pay an admin fee, and you might benefit from the dealer having lots of available stock on the forecourt.

However, going through a dealership will limit you to the brands sold there, so you won’t have as many options from a car perspective. That works the same for the funders offered by dealers, which are often limited exclusively to the funder of the brand the represent. You won’t have an unbiased opinion to count on either, so you’d need to do your homework on choice or car and deals before visiting a dealer.

Save money on your next car

If you know what car you’d like, we’ll find you the best leasing deals from our network of top leasing suppliers – you just choose where to lease it from. If you’re undecided whether to lease to buy, our guide to both will be able to help.

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