When it comes to entering into a contract hire agreement, many individuals and businesses may be wondering whether such agreements are regulated. The answer, quite simply, is yes.
A contract hire agreement is a type of vehicle leasing agreement, where the lessee pays a fixed monthly fee to use a vehicle for a specified period of time, often with the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease. As with any financial transaction, there are a number of regulations in place to protect both the lessee and the lessor.
In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing all consumer credit agreements, including contract hire agreements. As such, any company offering contract hire agreements must be authorised and regulated by the FCA. This ensures that the company is operating in a fair and transparent manner and that their contracts comply with all relevant legislation, such as the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
The FCA’s rules and regulations aim to ensure that customers are provided with clear and concise information about the contract hire agreement, including the cost of the rental, any fees and charges, and the terms and conditions of the agreement. Companies must also carry out appropriate affordability checks to ensure that customers can afford to make the monthly payments.
One of the key benefits of having contract hire agreements regulated is that customers have access to an independent complaints procedure through the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). If a customer has a complaint about their contract hire agreement, they can raise it with the company directly. If they are not satisfied with the outcome, they can then escalate it to the FOS, which can investigate the complaint and provide a resolution.
Overall, the regulation of contract hire agreements provides a level of protection for both customers and companies. It ensures that companies are operating ethically and transparently, while also providing customers with the peace of mind that they are entering into a fair and regulated agreement. So, if you’re considering a contract hire agreement, take comfort in the fact that it is indeed a regulated financial product.