Who is the owner and registered keeper of a lease car?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked about personal car leasing is: who is the legal owner of a lease car? Who actually owns the car you’re driving? 

The owner of any vehicle is the person who has proof of purchase and holds the vehicle’s DLVA log book. When you walk into a car showroom and hand over cash or pay with a card, the ownership transfers across to you along with the log book. 

But leasing is a little different. When you lease a car, you do not become the owner: you are simply ‘renting’ the vehicle on a long term basis.

Your responsibilities will be laid out in your lease agreement, but they usually include arranging the driver’s insurance and ensuring the vehicle is kept in good condition.


Things to know about leasing a car and ownership:

·         The owner, the registered keeper and the main driver are three separate roles.

·         The finance company is usually both the owner and registered keeper of a lease car.

·         It’s the lease holder’s responsibility to ensure the car is appropriately insured and maintained.

Who is the registered keeper of a lease car?

Usually, the finance company is both the owner and registered keeper of your lease car. This means the main driver doesn't have to be the registered keeper of a lease car. 

It’s their duty to make sure your vehicle is taxed for the duration of your contract. They’re also responsible for keeping the car’s DVLA records up to date and will be the first point of contact for any official police or traffic correspondence.

This means that any parking fines or speeding tickets attached to your car will be sent to them, so check what your finance company’s policy is for this. 

It’s also worth noting that Leap Vehicle Leasing is not a finance provider. We do not own your vehicle - we are the contract facilitators. Your finance company will be clearly stated on your lease agreement – they are who you make your monthly payments to.

When you lease a car do you own it?

No, you do not own your lease car. The whole point of a lease agreement is that you do not own the car, which means you’re free to have it collected by the lease company at the end of your contract – without hassle – and upgrade to a newer model without worrying about its value depreciating.

The only downside of not owning the vehicle is that you must plan ahead if you want to travel abroad in your lease car. You must have proof of ownership to take a car overseas, so you will have to request a copy of the logbook from your finance company.

Some councils will also request a copy of your car’s logbook when you apply for a parking permit. Both finance companies and councils will be used to this process though, so it should be an easy fix.

Differences between owner, registered keeper and lease holder

The below will help you distinguish betwen the owner vs regsitered keeper, as well as the role of the lease holder.

The owner is the person or company who:

·         Has proof of ownership.

·         Holds the vehicle’s logbook, issued by DVLA.

·         When you lease, this is usually the finance company.

The registered keeper is the person or company who:

·         Arranges and pays the road tax.

·         Receives all parking tickets, speeding fines and any other penalties issued by DVLA or the police. These are usually forwarded to the lease holder and can result in an extra admin fee from the finance company.

·         Again, when you lease a car the registered keeper is the finance company.

The lease holder is the person who:

·         Arranges the insurance of the vehicle.

·         Maintains the vehicle on a day-to-day basis.

·         Pays for any damages on the vehicle outside of fair wear and tear.

·         Pays for all parking and speeding tickets, along with any other penalties.

·         When you lease a vehicle, you are the lease holder. 

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact us directly. 


Should I buy or lease a car?

Leasing a car is a great option for anyone who wants to avoid the responsibility of being a car owner, and all that it entails.

However, if you’re still unsure, our blog can help you explore all options and decide the right path for you:

·         What is car leasing? How does it work?

·         Buy or lease a car: which is best for you?

·         What is the best type of car finance: PCH, PCP or HP? 

Get in touch if you have any questions about our car leasing deals.