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Contract Hire

Understanding Contract Hire. What is it?

Contract hire is a popular method of leasing vehicles for businesses. It offers numerous advantages, making it an attractive option for those seeking flexibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness in managing their vehicle fleets and transportation needs.

  1. Leasing Agreement: In a contract hire agreement, the lessee (the customer) agrees to lease a vehicle from SMC for a specified period, typically ranging from 24 to 60 months.
  2. Fixed Monthly Payments: The lessee makes fixed monthly payments throughout the lease term, based on factors such as the vehicle's value, depreciation, and any additional services included in the agreement.
  3. Mileage and Usage Limits: Contract hire agreements come with mileage limits agreed between the lessee and SMC. Additional charges may apply if the lessee exceeds the agreed-upon mileage limit.
  4. Maintenance and Servicing: Many contract hire agreements include maintenance and servicing packages, which cover routine services, repairs, and maintenance costs, providing peace of mind to the lessee and simplifying budgeting.
  5. End of Lease Options: At the end of the contract hire term, the lessee returns the vehicle to SMC. There may be options to extend the lease, upgrade to a new vehicle, or purchase the leased vehicle outright, depending on the terms of the agreement.
  1. Cost-Effective: Contract hire typically requires lower initial payments and fixed monthly costs, making it easier to budget for vehicle expenses compared to purchasing a vehicle outright.
  2. Flexibility: Contract hire allows businesses to adapt to changing fleet needs without the long-term commitment or depreciation concerns associated with vehicle ownership.
  3. Maintenance and Servicing: With a fixed maintenance and servicing cost included in the agreement, lessees can enjoy hassle-free vehicle ownership and predictable maintenance costs.
  4. Tax Benefits: In many cases, businesses can claim tax relief on contract hire payments, making it a tax-efficient option for managing vehicle fleets.
  5. Access to New Vehicles: Contract hire allows businesses and individuals to access the latest vehicle models without the financial burden of purchasing new vehicles outright.
  6. Depending on your business type and the uses of the vehicle, VAT is recoverable on monthly rentals.
  7. Improved cash flow through minimum capital expenditure. Most agreements require smaller initial payments which allows your business to keep hold of cash for other vital business purchases.

Why choose SMC?

We at SMC are independent meaning we can offer bespoke solutions to your fleet needs, whether you’re a startup business or long established we can support you with our wide range of services. On top of this, being independent allows us to look at ‘not the norm’ and support customers who have struggled down the mainstream methods of funding vehicles.
As well as being able to obtain flexible funding methods for customers, we also pride ourselves on thinking outside the box for mid contract and end of contract issues to assist our customers in any way we can.

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Contract hire offers a flexible, cost-effective, and hassle-free solution for businesses looking to lease vehicles. With fixed monthly payments, maintenance packages, and options for vehicle upgrades, contract hire provides peace of mind and convenience for lessees, allowing them to focus on their core business while enjoying the benefits of reliable transportation.

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What Our Customers Say

28 March 2023
The Cowdray Estate have been using Southern Motor Contracts for a number of years. They provide us with an exceptional service, in regard to our Vehicle Leasing and Hire needs. We are very impressed with the professionalism and efficiency demonstrated by your whole team. The range of vehicles we are offered by SMC is extensive, which caters for all our personal preferences and needs, from a basic service vehicle to a top of the specification Range Rover. Together with the exemplary customer service which reflects SMC’s commitment to quality and aftercare maintenance, an aspect that truly sets SMC apart from its competitors. We can confidently recommend Southern Motor Contracts services as a hassle free, cost effective and reliable company in vehicle leasing solutions.

Peppi Cella, Estate Manager, Cowdray Estate

12 July 2023
We have relied upon Southern Motor Contracts to provide flexible, cost-effective solutions to our Car and Van needs since 2006. Their customer centered approach makes them a trusted and valued supplier of over 100 vehicles to the Day Group.

Chris Cooling, Group Transport Manager, Day Group Limited

21 September 2023
We have been working with SMC for the last 5 years and has been a pleasure, the team are friendly and experienced. Tracy has been incredible turning our fleet around, we went from an aging fleet to brand new fleet where all the maintenance is taken care of. Their ‘one stop shop’ approach has taken the hassle out of fleet management for us. Highly recommended!

Joanna Karikos, Head of QHSE, Aurora

21 September 2023
Our company is very impressed with the service that we receive from SMC. The team are very friendly, helpful and efficient. We would therefore recommend SMC to anyone looking for help to run their fleet vehicle administration.

Lesley Alexander, PA to Chairman, Carmel Group Limited

29 February 2024
SMC provide us with an excellent and comprehensive fleet management service. They ensure that our fleet of over 100 vehicles are managed and well maintained to meet the ever changing and demanding needs of our business. SMC are innovative, reliable and above all trustworthy. I have no hesitation in recommending their services to others.

Richard Cooper, Group Executive Manager, Comserv UK Ltd

27 March 2024
We have used Southern Motor Contracts Ltd for a number of years for sourcing and supplying our Company vehicles. SMC have always provided us with an excellent service by listening to our needs and we love that they find what we want. Everyone we deal with at SMC is always very professional and their response is second to none. We would highly recommend that you give them a try.

Heather Lunt, Finance Controller / HR & Payroll M Spur Electron

28 March 2024
As one of the world's largest producers of quality wood flooring, with a proud heritage dating back to 1847, it is vital that the partners we work with are able to match our high standards for quality and professionalism. Working with Southern Motor Contracts has been a revelation; their ability to understand our requirements, manage our vehicles and build in the flexibility to change and grow our company fleet has enabled us to concentrate our efforts on developing the business rather than spending time and effort on non-productive activities. With their attention to detail, pleasant attitude and customer focus, I would have no hesitation at all in recommending SMC to other companies and individuals

Harvey Booth, Country Manager, UK & IE Kährs (UK) Ltd

Registered address: Southern Motor Contracts Limited, Unit B2, Endeavour Business Park, Penner Road, Havant, Hampshire PO9 1QN, United Kingdom.

Company House No:02267102. ICO Registration: Z1753133.

We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for credit brokerage. FRN 727319. We are a credit broker not a lender.


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