Buyers' advice, Motoring News, Vehicle sales

Driving a new car: Do you really know what you’re signing for?

  • At last, an alternative to buying a car
  • This deal lets you take a usage holiday
  • Brand-new car, delivered to your door

LONDON, England – Some form of credit is used by most people to ”own” a car yet research* Europcar Mobility UK showed drivers who had taken a loan, only 53% admitted to fully understanding the terms and conditions of the deal.

There was also, the researchers reported, confusion about what is – or isn’t – included in a car finance deal. (Perhaps ask the same question in South Africa – and ask about a mobility deal such as set out in this feature.)

In particular, according to Europcar Mobility Group UK, there’s misperception about what’s included in a personal contract purchase plan (PCP). For instance, almost 25% thought breakdown cover was included with a PCP.

FLEX DEALSIn fact such cover was rarely included in a PCP even though the lack of one could prove expensive yet rarely does the owner have budget for such a happening.


Tackling the confusion in the UK and giving people a flexible way to drive a new car without the hassle of finance is Long Term Flex. South Africans might like to investigate similar arrangements with their vehicle supplier.

Long Term Flex will supply a new car without the commitment of a three- to five-year finance deal or cash purchase. ‘Flex’ibility is key. Customers can simply choose a vehicle from a wide range, choose what is essentially a rental period for a minimum of six months months, and commit to a certain maximum number of kilometres to be covered over the period – no big upfront deposit.


Gary Smith, MD of Europcar Mobility Group UK. told The Corner in a media release: “Our latest research shows access to a car is vital – nearly 60% of those we surveyed used their car every day.

”However, the typical three- to five-year finance deal was a pressure some might prefer not to have.


“Long Term Flex gives the freedom to take a ‘holiday period’ from car ownership – perhaps if circumstances change – or if the driver is, actually, going on holiday. There’s no penalty for taking a break, unlike the hefty early-termination charges typical of conventional vehicle finance.”

The long-term financial commitment of a PCP was also misunderstood by research respondents. About 45% correctly identified that at the end of a PCP a final payment must be made to take ownership. And 23% admitted to not being unsure about taking ownership.


Unlike normal leases, Long Term Flex offers the flexibility to opt out of the contract after only six months without any early-exit penalty. Or they can drive for up to 18 months, after which it’s easy to repeat the process and collect a completely new car.

Gaby Roslin, who worked with Europcar on its campaign, said, “With a lease you have to make a monthly payment, a balloon payment at the end of the (say) three years, and pay for maintenance and roadside assistance.

”Long Term Flex includes maintenance, servicing and roadside assistance all included.”


A variety of vehicles is available (in the UK): Fiat 500, hybrid Hyundai Ioniq or Mercedes A Class – with a choice of 1600 or 3200km per month. The chosen vehicle will be delivered to the customer’s door

Gary Smith added: “Having access to a vehicle can be essential. We provide people with a flexible option that cuts out the uncertainty of ownership – servicing and maintenance – while supplying a brand-new car.”

Get more details about the UK Long Term Flex deals here.

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