Looking after your car on PCP Finance
If you currently have a car on PCP finance, you will want to ensure you take care of the car so that when you return the vehicle to the dealership you will be confident that there are no additional charges due.
Let’s start by discussing what PCP finance is and who it will benefit most.
What is PCP finance
PCP, or Personal Contract Purchase finance is essentially a lease deal with the option of purchasing the vehicle at the end of the. PCP deals are perfect for those who want a newer car, but do not have the upfront cost readily available, or want lower monthly repayments.
Because lenders will set aside an amount that will be paid at the end of the contract, this reduces the amount you are likely to pay month on month. As an example, rather than dividing the repayment cost over 3 years, you will firstly deduct the final ‘balloon’ payment, and then divide the remaining over 36 months. This means you are paying less per month for the car, taking into account you will owe a lump sum at the end of the contract. At the end of your contract, you will have the option to:
- Pay the final balloon payment/ lump sum amount
- Refinance the final balloon payment/ lump sum
- Sell the car and use the funds to put towards a new car
- Give back the car, without paying the lump sum (you will not own the car)
How to look after your car on PCP
Now you understand the importance of looking after your car on a PCP finance deal, we show you how to take care of your car, so there are no nasty surprises at the end of your agreement. This will also mean that if you choose to sell the car on, you will receive more for it being in better condition.
Let’s get straight into it. So, there’s a number of ways you can take care of your car:
You might not realise that the way you drive can have an impact on the performance of your car and how it performs compared to when you drove it off the forecourt. General wear and tear can occur the more the car is driven erratically, which can have an impact on the tyres and the engine components. We recently published an article dedicated to driving economically, so it might be worth a read if you are considering a PCP finance offer.
You can drive more efficiently in the following ways:
- Reduce speed in built up areas
- Keep to a consistent speed (don’t increase and decrease speed rapidly)
- Take a longer route if it means travelling at a consistent speed
- Reduce the weight in your car (don’t carry unwanted loads)
How to protect car paint
One of the main things to consider when you take out a PCP finance deal is that to receive the highest return, you will need to keep the car in the best condition possible, which includes the paintwork.
There are multiple ways to take care of the paintwork on your car and keep it looking brand new:
Wash your car regularly
It’s important to clean your car exterior regularly as natural conditions can be damaging to the paintwork. The main culprit is bird droppings however, certain trees can damage your cars paintwork, especially if you are parked underneath one for a long period of time.
One thing to consider here is the type of equipment you use to wash your car as some can do more harm than good. For example, car washes are much harsher on your car than a soft touch cloth, so can cause minor scratches or marks over time. Even with the very best cloth, it’s important to ensure it is clean and does not contain any specks of dirt which could be rubbed against the paintwork causing scratches.
Use car wax and polish
Car wax is a great way to protect your paintwork from the elements as it allows the substance to simply fall off the car rather than sit on the surface.
Car polish can make your car look much shinier and making it look like the car is brand new. Not only this, it also protects against certain weather conditions.
Avoid newly laid roads
When a new road surface is laid down, you’ll often find there’s a tonne of stones that get thrown up from the road as you drive, particularly at faster speeds. Having stones pummel your paintwork is one of the easiest ways to cause damage and chips. If you find yourself on a road that has just been re-laid, drive as slowly as possible (although they’re usually limited to 20mph anyway) to prevent these stones from flying up onto your car.
Consider a quick fix
If you do find you have some minor paintwork damage, there are options for you to fix these before returning the car to the dealership. This might be the cheaper option rather than taking the hit on the amount your car will be worth.
Perrys provide a range of SMART repair services which includes paintwork scratches, bumper scuffs and alloy wheel damage, so it’s perhaps worth considering, depending on the state of your vehicle.