Lease mileage options: The Zero Deposit car leasing guide

If you’re thinking about leasing a car, alongside which vehicle you’re going to choose and how much you want to spend, you need to think about how many miles a year you’re going to do. 

You might be thinking: “Why do I need to know that?” Well, that’s what we’re here to explain. Here’s what we’ll go through in this article:

  1. What is a lease mileage and why do you need one?
  2. What’s the average yearly mileage on a leased car?
  3. How many miles is a lot of miles on a lease car?
  4. How many miles can a car do?
  5. How many miles are allowed on a car lease?
  6. What happens if you go over your lease mileage?
  7. How to estimate your car mileage
  8. Can you increase your lease mileage?
  9. Is a high or unlimited mileage lease worth it?

What is a lease mileage and why do you need one?

Lease mileage is a prediction you make at the start of your lease agreement on how many miles a year you’re going to drive

That’s because the number of miles you’re going to do helps determine your monthly payment.

When calculating how much you’ll pay each month, the finance company will look at how much the vehicle is worth at the start of your agreement and predict how much it’ll be worth at the end – then you pay the difference through monthly instalments. 

However, mileage is important because the more miles a car has done, the less valuable it’ll be. Therefore, the more miles you’re expecting to cover, the higher your monthly payment. 

What’s the average yearly mileage on a leased car?

The average yearly mileage on a leased car is around 8,000; however, most round that up to 10,000 to cover any unforeseen circumstances. 

However, just like it’s important not to underestimate your miles, it’s also important to not overestimate it – as you’ll end up paying more for mileage you’re not going to use. And you can’t claim any unused mileage back at the end. 

How many miles is a lot of miles on a lease car?

A lot of miles is quite a loose term, as people use their car for different things. However, for some, doing the average of 8,000 miles a year would be deemed a lot of miles. 

Car on road

However, anything above 20,000 miles a year is generally seen as ‘a lot’, but several lease deals can accommodate that. 

How many miles can a car do?

One big advantage of leasing is that the vehicle you drive is usually either new or nearly new. 

That means you can enjoy the vehicle in its best, early years. And as cars should be able to last for around 200,000 miles, you shouldn’t have any worries about their longevity. 

Of course, some vehicles will always last longer than others; for example, a diesel engine will usually last longer than petrol, as diesel is a more lubricating fuel – which keeps the engine in better condition for longer. 

How many miles are allowed on a car lease?

A lease car’s mileage allowance can be unlimited; however, some lenders won’t offer those terms for an agreement. Usually, 30,000 miles is the upper limit for most lenders. 

If you cover a lot of miles, you can visit our best high mileage cars article, where we look at the best brands, commuter cars, luxury cars and more; giving you the best cars for high mileage drives.

What happens if you go over your lease mileage?

When it comes to leasing, it might just be tempting to choose the lowest mileage possible – and then you can enjoy the lowest monthly payment. 

However, when predicting your annual mileage, it’s important to try and be as accurate as possible, as if you exceed your mileage, you’ll face penalty charges when you hand the car back at the end of your agreement. 

Mileage clock

The penalty charges for each lender are different. However, it’s usually somewhere around 10p for every mile you’re over your allowance – albeit it can be as low as 5p and as high as 30p. 

And although that may not sound much, if your pence-per-mile charge is 10p – which will be clearly stated on the paperwork you sign before you take delivery of the vehicle – and you go over your mileage allowance by 1,000 miles, the fine would be £100. 

How to estimate your car mileage

Estimating your annual mileage isn’t as daunting as you may think. You need to know how many miles you usually cover on an average day. 

That may be a commute to work, dropping the kids off at school, or visiting family. But, once you know that, you multiply that number by 365. 

If you don’t use your car on weekends at all, you can times it by 260 – for the number of working days in a year. 

However, if you do use your car on weekends, and you regularly cover more miles than you would do on a weekday, then you need to factor that in, too. 

If that’s the case, it may be easier to estimate how many miles you do in a week, then times it by 52. 

The number you’re left with will give you a rough idea of how many miles a year you do. 

However, it’s important to consider ad-hoc trips, such as the weekly shop or days out. To do that, it’s sometimes best to round up to the nearest thousand. 

For example, if you do 25 miles a day, that’s 9125 miles a year. But, to factor in anything extra and not potentially face charges at the end of your term, a 10,000-mile lease would most like suit your circumstances. 

Can you increase your lease mileage?

Increasing your lease mileage depends entirely on your lender’s terms and conditions. 

Usually, it’s possible to increase your lease mileage after your first 12 months and if you have six or more payments left to make. 

With some, your mileage amount will have to increase by at least 10%, and there’ll most likely be an admin fee that comes with it. 

However, some lenders have stricter rules and won’t let you change your agreed mileage, no matter how far you’re into your contract. 

Lady driving car

If you’re unsure about whether you’ll be able to change your mileage during your agreement, you must find out before you sign up for the lease. 

That way, you can adjust your mileage beforehand if needed or find a lender which allows you to change your terms mid-agreement. 

Is a high or unlimited mileage lease worth it?

You might think that you’d be better off buying the car outright if you’re going to be doing a lot of miles. But that’s not always the case. 

High or unlimited mileage lease agreements might make your monthly payment higher than if you were doing 10,000 miles a year, for example, but you still get to enjoy the same benefits. 

You still get to drive a more expensive vehicle than you may otherwise be able to afford at a fraction of the price. You can still enjoy hassle-free motoring and escape the headache of getting rid of the car at the end. 

So, although your payments may be higher, and the fact unlimited mileage lease deals are sometimes hard to find, it can definitely be worth it.

Who’s going to maintain your lease vehicle?

As well as determining what your mileage will be for your lease contract, it’s also worth thinking about who’s going to maintain the car while you’re driving it.

You can either do it yourself or add a maintenance package to your deal. Read our article about whether maintenance packages are worth it, and decide for yourself.