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How Long Are Car Leases

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Car Leasing Vs Buying

Why You Should Never Lease A Car? | How Car Lease Works

Whether you lease or buy and finance your next car, you will be obligated to make a monthly payment. In most cases, both will also require some amount of money upfront. When financing, its usually a down payment of some sort.

With leasing, you may have to put up a security deposit, the first months lease payment, a fee for arranging the lease , a down payment, or some combination of those. In either case, there are also car title and registration fees.

Whats Best For You: Leasing Or Renting A Car

No one knows your situation like you, but hopefully this information helps point you in the direction that suits your needs. A lease works well for people who know what kind of car they want to drive and feel confident theyll be happy driving it for a few years. A long-term car rental is ideal if youre not ready for the full commitment of a lease, need a car for a shorter time frame, or have a smaller budget.

If youve settled on a long-term rental, book with Budget today. We have cheap monthly car rentals that can solve your transportation problem in a snap.Submit your rental dates in the form above to start your reservation.

What Are Your Options At The End Of A Car Lease

As weâve laid out, you have essentially three options when you reach the end of a car lease. You can start a new lease and drive home in a brand new car, you can end the lease and leave without a new one or you can choose to buy the car you were leasing. Every option has its pros and cons â letâs look at each of them in more depth.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Leasing

The major drawback of leasing is that you dont acquire any equity in the vehicle. Its a bit like renting an apartment. You make monthly payments but have no ownership claim to the property once the lease expires.

In this case, it means you can’t sell the car or trade it in to reduce the cost of your next vehicle.

However, there are advantages to leasing as well. They include:

What To Look For In A Car Lease

How Long Does A Typical Car Loan Or Lease Last?

While the monthly payment may look affordable, be sure to take into account any upfront money required to sign the deal. A $2,400 down payment on a 2-year lease is the same as adding $100 to your monthly payment. Other things to consider are additional fees like acquisition and disposal fees that may add $500 to $1,000 to your total cost. These payments should be factored into what your equivalent monthly payment or be a point to be negotiated away when closing the deal.

According to Experian, the average monthly car payment is about $550, while an average lease payment is $100 less. A rule of thumb is that a monthly payment of $100 to $150 per month per $10,000 of a cars value is a good deal. Kelley Blue Book data puts the Average Transaction Price of new vehicles at around $35,000. So for an average midsize car or compact SUV, expect a monthly lease payment of $350 to $525.

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Go To The Local Dealership And Test Drive The Car

This gives you a point of contact at your most convenient dealership and, more importantly, confirms that you love the car and it satisfies your requirements. At this point, you dont need to know every package/option you want. If your local dealership isnt all that local, you might need to skip this step.

I went to the VW dealership in San Francisco and test drove the GTI. The plaid interior was cooler than I expected, and the electronics setup was slick. Driving the car made me feel alive; when that turbo kicked in, and I felt myself hugging the bucket seats, I knew this car was the one.

Remember, in practice, you are actually buying the car and then selling it back to the manufacturer at a pre-specified price in a pre-specified amount of time.

Exit A Lease Early With No Penalties

Did you know that if you’re leasing a car and want an early termination, you might be able to let somebody else take over the lease? It’s true. There are websites that will help you with these takeovers, which can save you early termination fees or penalties.

It is possible to transfer about 80% of leases with no strings attached. For a fee, websites such as Swapalease and rival LeaseTrader will post your vehicle listing, connecting you with potential buyers. Agents from these companies will then walk you and the new lessee through the paperwork needed to transfer the lease over.

Note that even after you transfer the lease, a few leasing companies require you as the original leaseholder to retain some “post-transfer liability” for the vehicle. Your name would remain on the lease agreement, possibly leaving you financially responsible for unpaid balances, such as excess mileage charges or lease-end fees if the person taking over the lease exceeds the allocated mileage or beats up the vehicle.

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Choose The Best Final Lease Terms

Now its time to involve your local dealer again. Call the salesperson who helped you with your test drive and ask if he can beat the quote of your internet/email search winner. If he can beat their quote, you should repeat the process and ask the internet/email winner if they can beat your local dealer. As soon as one of the dealers refuses to improve, you should feel comfortable leasing the car from the other dealer knowing you didnt leave too much on the table.

Leasing Advantages And Disadvantages

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Drivers who prefer to lease instead of buy tend to do so for a couple of major reasons. First, they get to drive a newer vehicle that remains under warranty throughout the lease period and, therefore, rarely requires anything more than routine maintenance.

Second, monthly payments for a leased vehicle are normally smaller than those for a purchased vehicle. That’s because lease payments are based on the depreciation in value of the vehicle over the course of the lease period instead of the vehicle’s full value. As a result, drivers can lease a vehicle that is nicer and more expensive than one they could afford to purchase.

There are disadvantages to leases, too. One is that over the course of a lessee’s lifetime, they will likely end up spending more on their vehicles than a buyer. Another disadvantage is that at the end of the lease period, the lessee must turn in the leased vehicle and walk away without any equity in the vehicle.

So, which option is best? That depends on the driver’s unique needs and preferences.

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Get Key Information About A Car Lease Before You Sign On The Dotted Line

Many new car drivers lease, rather than purchase, their vehicles. Although leasing can be a good deal for some people, for many it’s not. Before the dealership persuades you that leasing is the answer to your prayers, you should have a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of a lease, where to get a good lease deal, how to get all the facts about cost, and what happens if you have to cancel the lease early.

What Is A Lease

Some people think a car lease is nothing more than a long-term car rental. And although that isn’t a completely accurate comparison, it is good enough: A lessee pays money to the lessor to use the car.

The agreement is set for a certain length of time, usually two or three years. During this time, you’re allowed to drive the car for a set number of miles, usually between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year. You can raise those limits, but more miles mean a higher monthly payment.

Your use of the car and the miles you’ll drive will reduce the car’s value. Your lease pays for that depreciation. You also pay lease fees and taxes.

Here is an example, based on a new car with a $20,000 price tag. Let’s say this car is projected to be worth 60 percent of its original value after it is 3 years old and has been driven 36,000 miles. In that time, it would have depreciated 40 percent, or $8,000. So through the lease, you are paying for that $8,000 of lost value, plus lease fees and taxes, spread out over the 36 months you’d have the car.

You’re expected to return the car in pretty good shape when the lease is up. If you return the car with damage expect to be charged for it. If you drive more than the allowed miles, expect to be charged for that, too.

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An Example: Buying Versus Leasing For Six Years

Some people need to see the numbers, so we looked long and hard for a lease deal that would seem to beat out buying.

We found a promotion for a 2014 Honda Accord Sedan 2014 lease deal listed by . After $1,999 down, the lease payments are just $199 a month for a 36-month, 36,000 mile lease. The total cost for three years comes to $9,163. Lets assume you found a similar lease again for another three years. Your total cost comes to $18,326, or $3,054 a year for six years.

The same vehicle had a target price of $20,840 according;to car pricing service . If you put the same $1,999 down and financed the car for 48;months at 2.5%, your monthly payment would come;to $412.88. At the end of the four-year loan, the total cost to purchase the car comes to $21,817. Over six years, your annual cost would come;to $3,636;a year.

So far it seems like leasing is way cheaper by almost $600 a year!

But were forgetting something: After the loan is paid off, you own your car. You have an asset. According to Kelly Blue Book, a 2008 Honda Accord LX in mid-grade condition fetches about $10,000 on the private market. So whether you sell the car or apply the trade-in;value toward your next purchase, your actual cost of ownership is reduced to $11,817 or $1,969;a year. Thats a savings of $1,085;a year and $6,508;over six years.

How To Lease Your Car

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For the most part, the process of shopping for a leased car is about the same as shopping for a vehicle you plan to buy. Research is the key. Other steps to take include:

  • Check your credit score. A credit score under 600 will be a very tough sell. When your credit score is low, the down payment is typically larger to get approved. The higher your credit score, the lower the money factor.
  • Crunch the numbers. Figure out how much cash you can pay upfront. Some deposits and fees must be paid when you sign a lease, and many are not negotiable. The lessor may also demand a down payment.
  • Determine the average annual mileage you drive. Your lease will have an average annual mileage cap of 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Be realistic about your driving habits. You will pay a penalty for every mile over the cap.
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    Not Worth Buying After The Lease

    When you lease a luxury car, you do have the option to purchase it after the lease term is up. This option might look attractive because you would now be able to own the car that youve been driving for a few years and are completely familiar with it. However, considering most luxury cars depreciate very quickly, theres a chance that the car might actually be worth less than its residual amount after the lease term is up, which means that its not even worth it to buy it out. In that case, financing it from the get-go could be a better idea.

    How Car Lease Payments Work

    Just as with any vehicle, your leased car depreciates in value as you accumulate more miles and the vehicle experiences normal wear and tear. To account for the loss in value, your leasing company requires a portion of your monthly payment to be directed towards depreciation.

    Ultimately, your monthly payment will be largely based on:

    • The capitalization cost
    • A money factor in place of an interest rate

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    What If I Want Out Of My Lease Early

    It bears repeating: A car lease is a binding contract. The leasing company sets the monthly payments based on the length of the lease established in the agreement. If for some reason any reason you want or need to bail on the lease early, there will be a penalty for doing so.

    At worst, that penalty may require a balloon payment to cover the remaining outstanding payments. You cant just return the leased car or sell it to pay off the leasing company. Its not your car, and you have no equity in it.

    Brokers with auto lease transfer companies like can also attempt to connect you with a deal that lets you sign over the lease to someone else.

    Before you make any choices, weigh all your options to determine the best option for you.

    Fees And Costs To Lease A Car

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    A lease typically includes additional fees written into the contract, such as:

    • Office administration/paperwork

    And finally, the driver may face additional fees at the end of the lease:

    • Mileage fees charged for exceeding the yearly limit

    • Wear and tear fees

    • Auction fees

    Even without raw numbers to look at, its clear that these fees can add upand you dont even own the car when the bill is paid in full.

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    Pros And Cons Of Car Leasing

    Still unsure if you should lease? There are both advantages and disadvantages to leasing. Some benefits of leasing include:

  • Lower monthly payments: Since you only pay for what you use, the monthly payment can be much lower compared to financing. The monthly payment is calculated by taking the vehicles depreciation amount and total interest charges, and dividing the total by the lease term, then adding taxes and fees.
  • No down payment needed: Leases dont require you to make a down payment whats called a capitalized cost reduction. You can include a cap cost reduction if youd like, but youre just pre-paying the lease, and this doesn’t save you money like it does when financing.
  • Warranty coverage: Leased vehicles are covered by a new car warranty coverage that typically lasts during all or most of a lease term.
  • Leases arent all rainbows and butterflies, as there are cons to it as well:

  • Mileage limitations: You have to stay under a specific mileage limit to avoid extra charges. If you go over the mileage cap, it can cost you 25 cents or more per extra mile.
  • No excess wear and tear: The leased vehicle must be in good condition when you turn it back in if you dont plan on buying it. Youre responsible for keeping up with regular maintenance and repairing anything that isnt considered normal wear and tear.
  • Can I Get Out Of A Car Lease

    You might be able to end your lease early, but youll probably run into high fees for ending the contract early. In some cases, you may even have to pay almost the full remaining balance, which basically nullifies the benefits of getting out of the lease.;

    If you want to get out of a lease, you have a few options:

    • Return the car to the dealer and take the penalties.

    • Transfer the lease to another driver . Your name probably stays on the lease, though, so youll still be responsible for making sure its paid in full.

    • Sell the car and pay off the lease. You may have to come up with extra cash if the car sells for less than the remaining amount of the lease.

    As you can see, it is hard to end a lease early.

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    Can I Rent A Car For 2 Months

    Yes, it’s possible to rent a car for 2 months or even longer for up to a year. Simply enter your dates in our booking form before selecting from the list of vehicles on offer. It’s really easy to book your rental, and with cheaper daily rates the longer you book, it’s a great alternative to a short-term lease.

    Consider How You Will Use The Car

    How long can I lease a car?

    If you havent already got a car and want a reliable newcar every few years, then a standard 2-3 agreement will give you everything youneed. Theres even high mileage options which let you drive the car 25,000miles per year a handy option if you do a lot of miles for work.

    Speaking of driving for work, it may be that you qualify for business leasing, in which case a short-term arrangement wont be as expensive. This is because the monthly rentals will be exempt from VAT charges. However, if you use the vehicle for personal journeys, youll need to make a record of all these miles, they will then be subject to the standard VAT cost.

    To find out if a business lease is right for you, check outour other guide for everything you need to know about Business Contract Hire here.

    Alternatively, you may only need a car for a few months,such as if your existing motor is off the road needing repairs. In this case,consider short-term leasing as a cheaper alternative to regular car rental,which will often charge by the day and will work out more expensive.

    Finally, if you want a bit more time with your new car and want the cheapest possible monthly payments, you may be best considering a four-year contract. These are easier to come by than shorter agreements too, with most providers offering them.

    Ready to configure your ideal new car, with contract terms that suit you? Then start your search now to get prices in minutes on our latest lease deals.

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