What is a Short-Term Car Lease?

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Unless you are part of the UK motor industry, keeping up with all of the terms can be quite difficult. From Car Subscriptions to PCP, Hire Purchase to Short-Term Car Lease there are so many different products and services for those that need a vehicle.

One of the main words that can complicate a car subscription is the term “short-term car lease” so we’re going to have a quick look and see if we can explain this for our readers.

What is a Short-Term Car Lease?

Similar to a traditional 2/3 year car lease, a short-term leasing agreement is a contract you will enter with a leasing company or dealership to “borrow” a vehicle for a fixed amount of time. The difference between a short-term car lease and a traditional lease is the length of time.

Short-term agreements will be for a period of between 6 and 12 months, usually anything less than 18 months. Whereas a traditional business car lease or personal car lease will be for a period of 2, 3 or 4 years.

How does a short-term car lease work?

There are many ways to obtain a car nowadays from purchasing to leasing, and now subscribing. But with a conventional short-term car lease, you agree to pay a leasing company an amount of money per month to effectively “hire” a vehicle.

As part of that payment, you will receive a set number of miles per month, usually 10k per annum but can be as high as 24k per year. The amount you pay will depend on a number of different factors, but primarily like a traditional lease, the maths will be based on how much the leasing company purchases the vehicle for and how much they can sell it for at the end of the contract.

The costs will usually be higher than a traditional lease, as the “said” car will depreciate quickly from new over a shorter timeframe. Leasing companies need to factor this in.

As you’re paying to rent the vehicle and not buy the vehicle, a short-term car lease will usually be a fixed contract which cannot be extended and on the flipside, cannot be terminated early without a penalty.

Types of Short-Term Car Lease

A short-term car lease can be packaged up as a number of different product names, these include:

  • Minilease
  • Short-Term Car Lease
  • Lease Swap
  • Long Term Car Hire

Pro’s and Con’s of a Short-Term Car Lease

Short-Term leases will have their advantages and disadvantages, these include:


  • Great for new-starters and probation period staff
  • Easy way to drive a new or pre-registered vehicle
  • Change your car on a more regular basis
  • Cars usually available quite quickly


  • More expensive than traditional car leases
  • Limited number of companies offer short-term car leases
  • Vehicles cann’t usually be specified
  • Not usually extendable

Is a Short-Term Car Lease Worth It?

This will depend on your personal(/business) circumstances, but short-term car leasing can prove beneficial for many. With life-changing quickly, a 2 or even 4 year contract can seem like a long time, especially if during that time you have a new addition to the family or a new job role or project.

For those who like to change their cars on a more regular basis, a short-term car lease is a brilliant idea. It gives you the ability to almost change your car as the plate changes in March and September, on top of this the rental paid to the leasing company will outway the purchasing and selling of a car over the same period of time.

Things to consider with a Short-Term Car Lease

The negatives of a short-term car lease are similar to those of a long-term car lease, but here are a few points to consider:


Before you commit to the contract, make sure you know the mileage limit. If you exceed the contracted mileage, you may receive an excess mileage charge. On Short-term contracts, this is generally higher than traditional 24/36 month contracts.

Wear and Tear

It is always a good idea to look at the wear and tear guides of the short-term contract you are about to enter, these will normally differ from longer-term contracts. Always look after your car and as your car goes back, go over the vehicle and see if there is anything you feel you would get a charge for.


On many of the short-term car leases, you will need to provide fully comprehensive insurance. Weigh up your options between a specialist short-term policy or a 12-month policy that you can cancel or change early.

Ending the contract

With short-term car leases, the contract will be for a fixed period of time. If you send the vehicle back you will incur early termination charges.

Need something Flexible?

Flexible Car Leases are available from many providers, but these are effectively a car subscription service as we cover across this website. You can compare the services offered by these companies on our website really easily. Some even offer solutions to customers with bad credit or new startup companies without a credit rating.

Who can apply for a Short-Term Car Lease?

Most providers of short-term car leases will require you to have a full UK driving licence and be over the age of 18 years old.

Companies including sole traders partnerships, limited companies and PLC’s are also able to apply with many of the providers.

Depending on the provider, levels of credit score and history may be a factor of you being accepted. If you know your credit is bad, it might be worth looking at specialist bad credit suppliers.

Who offers Short-Term Car Leasing?

A number of the car subscription providers on our website offer a short-term car leasing solutions, these include; Cocoon, Drive Car Flex, Flexed and Leaseplan. Go on to their website and have a look at their latest offers.


Short-Term leasing can be a great avenue for many businesses and consumers, especially those who really don’t want to commit to something more long term. Whilst more expensive than traditional leases and not as flexible as a car subscription, they are a great middle-ground for those who want a car over a 6 or 12 month period.

Patty Atindehou

Patty is the content writer for Car-Subscriptions.co.uk and loves her cars and the automotive industry in general. She worked for large dealer groups in the United Kingdom and the USA specialising in high-end and premium vehicles. Her goal is to provide the most interesting information on the vehicle subscription industry.

Article Details

Post Published: July 24, 2022
Post Last Updated: November 15, 2023
Article Categories: , , ,
Read Time: 6 minute(s)