What is an upfront fee?
An upfront fee is a one-off fee that many lenders charge when you take out a car loan.
Some lenders will charge you an establishment fee, or one-off upfront fee, to cover the cost of setting up your car loan.
An operating lease is an arrangement by which a company leases a car from a vehicle fleet supplier for a set period. It’s a bit like a long-term car rental in that the company gains access to the car but the supplier retains ownership. Companies like operating leases because they are tax-deductible and because they save the company from having to make a large upfront payment to buy a car.
Anyone who knows your circumstances and trusts you to meet your repayments is someone who could potentially go guarantor for you on a car loan, providing that they have an excellent credit history and/or are a home owner.
Parents are the most likely to be accepted by lenders as guarantors, but immediate family such as grandparents, adult children, siblings and de facto partners are also accepted. If you want a friend of colleague to go guarantor for you it is possible but may require a specialist lender and may incur a premium fee.
Some lenders will make you pay a penalty, or early termination fee, if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule. This is to compensate them for the interest payments they don’t get to collect.
There are also costs associated with vehicle ownership, such as paying for petrol and the obligatory ongoing maintenance. But should you cut down on costs by servicing your own vehicle?
If you’re considering getting out the tool box, spanner, and grease-laden towel, you need to carefully weigh up the risks and benefits. A trained mechanic will need to complete certain tasks, while you may be perfectly capable to handle other aspects yourself.
If you’re short on time, it may be worth paying for the convenience of a full vehicle service. However if you’re trying to slash your expenses, there are some basic maintenance tasks that you can complete yourself.
You should call a mechanic if you’re unsure about a vehicle maintenance task you’re about to take on. However there are a number of maintenance tasks that you may be able to complete with your own two hands including:
- Replacing your car battery
- Changing the oil
- Replacing worn windscreen wipers
- Replacing blown fuses
Remember to keep your car’s body in good condition, by washing and applying a protective wax on a regular basis, too.
Always check your car warranty agreement as some new car purchases come with an extended car warranty provided your services are conducted at the vehicle service centre where you purchased the car. In these circumstances, you may find the service fee is capped, alleviating some of the maintenance woes.