11 Steps To Getting The Best Car Lease Deals
Leasing a car is a way to drive a new automobile for a fraction of the price that you would pay with an outright purchase. When you lease an automobile, you have access to the car for a specified period of time and have a set monthly payment until the lease term expires, at which time you return the car – similar to renting a house or apartment.
Leasing a car isn’t difficult, but the key is getting a good lease deal. You want to get the car you’ve had your eye on at a price that makes sense. There are certain steps anyone can take to secure the best terms possible.
Before we get into the tips surrounding getting the best car lease deals, read on to learn about the benefits of leasing and how the process works.
Benefits of Leasing a Car
Owning your own car certainly comes with its perks. However, there are many benefits to leasing cars as opposed to buying them. Here are some of the top advantages that come with leasing a car:
- Access to a new car with reasonably-priced payments each month. Since you aren’t paying money to own the car in the end and will not be working towards ownership, the monthly payments will be less expensive. Not everyone has money in the bank to pay for a high car payment each month and with a lease situation, you won’t have to.
- It’s often easier to lease a car than buy one. With leasing arrangements, there are fewer hurdles to jump over and less paperwork to deal with. You’ll still have to fill out some forms and have your creditworthiness determined, but it won’t be as extreme as it would be if you were buying the car.
- You get to enjoy the added variety of having a new car every two to three years. Some people don’t like to be stuck with the same car ten years down the road. When you have a car lease, you know that you will be able to switch it up in a few years and select a new car to lease.
Is a Car Lease Worth It?
Whether or not a car lease is worth it depends on your individual situation. If you want to drive a new car, don’t mind not having an ownership stake in the car, and are looking for a car payment option where the price is reasonable, leasing a car is a great move to make. In the alternative, if you couldn’t bear the thought of not keeping the car for longer than a couple of years and never having an ownership claim towards it, then perhaps leasing a car might not be right for you.
Process for Leasing a Car
The car leasing process is similar to the car buying process but less timely and less expansive in nature. Here’s the general process for leasing a car:
- Research cars available for lease and find a dealer. When you decide to lease a car, find dealerships near you online and find out what types of vehicles are up for lease – and if there are any current promotions. Once you select your vehicle, you’ll want to take it for a test drive, if you haven’t done so already. If you like the car, enjoy driving it and are ready to sign the lease agreement, the paperwork is next.
- Have funding secured in advance. Some auto leases require a down payment or another upfront fee, so make sure that you have enough money in your bank account to cover all upfront expenses and the first few monthly payments.
- Negotiate the final sales price. When you feel good about your funding situation, you’ll want to negotiate the final sales price with the dealership. This will dictate how much your payments will be based on the purchase price. With a lower purchase price, your payments will be less, so negotiate well!
- Negotiate the lease terms. Once a final purchase price has been agreed upon, negotiate the terms of the lease so that the lease benefits you in the end. Note capitalized cost and inquire about potential capital cost reductions to score the best deal.
- Review the contract. Before you sign your name on the line, review the contract thoroughly and ask about any terms you are unsure of before signing. Once you sign the contract, it becomes legally binding, so be sure to read it over carefully.
11 Steps to Scoring the Best Car Lease Deals Out There
Before you head out to just any car dealership to obtain an auto lease, you want to make sure that the dealership you visit and the car you choose is one which will yield the most favorable lease deals. From doing your homework to knowing how to properly negotiate the sales price, we’ve compiled a list of 11 steps to take in order to score the best lease deals available to you.
1. Do Your Homework and Research Leasing Terms
In preparation for your impending car lease, you want to be sure to do your homework and research leasing terms. Not everybody is well-versed in the area of car leases and some individuals will need to learn the ins and outs of car leasing before embarking on this sometimes confusing journey – and the lingo is also important to understand.
In addition to the helpful hints contained in this article, you can find a wealth of knowledge on the Internet regarding car leases.
2. Take Advantage of Leasing Specials
Lease deals are all around you and leasing specials are one type of lease deal you need to be on the lookout for in your search. Leasing specials can exist in the form of specific car makes/models and car dealerships will often offer special monthly payment deals if a particular car isn’t selling as quickly as the dealership might like. Just be sure to note any restrictions, such as mileage restrictions, if you decide to take advantage of the leasing special.
3. Select a Car That Holds Its Value
To obtain the best lease deal, you should also be mindful of the type of car. You want to pick a car which holds its value and will be worth the overall leasing arrangement. When you lease a car, you are paying for the costs associated with depreciation in value, as well as interest, costs, and fees. If you choose a car that holds its value, you will find your monthly payments are better overall.
4. Select a Vehicle That’s in Stock
Another way to snag the best lease deal on a vehicle lease is to choose a car that it’s in stock. If you lease a vehicle that is right there before your very eyes, you may grab the best deal as the dealership will be trying to get rid of it as opposed to obtaining a more high-in-demand vehicle that they can’t keep on the showroom floor.
5. Obtain Quotes From Multiple Dealers
It’s tempting to go to the first dealership you find and say, “I’ll take it!” but this won’t yield the best lease deals. You want to shop around and get the best price. Even if you know what make and model of the car you want to lease, there are certain to be many dealerships in your local area that offer the car of your dreams.
When you obtain quotes on the car of your choice from different dealers, you can ensure that the price you are getting is the best one out there. Shopping around for cars is a wise financial decision to make. Keep in mind that patience and persistence will pay off in the end.
6. Know the Fair Market Value Sales Price of the Car
Before you start shopping for your car of choice, know the fair market value of the vehicle. You don’t want to pay more for the car than it’s actually worth and doing so will increase your monthly lease payments. Also, with the knowledge of the vehicle’s fair market value in your back pocket, you can go to the dealership armed with this knowledge, which makes you a well-informed lease customer.
7. Negotiate the Sales Price
Just because your dream car has a set sticker price on it doesn’t mean that you have to pay that set amount. You always have the option to negotiate the sales price…and you should! Never settle for the sticker price, especially when leasing an automobile. In order to get the best lease deal, you have to negotiate the price down to an amount you’re comfortable with paying. This can knock hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars off of the vehicle price.
8. Factor in Additional Charges
Keep in mind that you not only will be paying a set monthly payment plus interest but there may be some additional charges added on to the total payment price. The additional charges are known as drive-off fees and include registration, documentation, and taxation costs. These extra fees will add up so it’s important to note the additional costs when you are leasing a vehicle.
9. Consider Your Mileage Needs
The one aspect of a car lease that you don’t deal with when you purchase a car is the need to stay under a particular mileage number. When you lease a car you must stay under a certain mileage in order to prevent any additional fees from being tacked on at the end.
If you are going to be using the vehicle to drive an exorbitant amount of miles to work each day, you have to be mindful of this fact when signing the contract for a vehicle lease. Make sure that leasing a car won’t be a costly event if you plan on driving the vehicle to a point that takes you over the mileage limit.
10. Say No to Expensive Add-ons
When you lease a car, the dealership representative will most likely try to talk you into some expensive add-ons. Just say no! Unless it’s something you really need in your newly-leased vehicle, it’s best to forego the expensive add-ons, as you will only have the car for two years or so and the resulting price might not be worth it in the end.
11. Make Sure the Documents Show Your Negotiations Correctly
Lastly, before you sign any of the documents for the car lease, read it over carefully. Make sure that what’s in the document accurately reflects your prior negotiations. Once you sign the leasing document, it’s binding, so you have to be certain that the terms in the contract are what you anticipate them to be.
Leasing a New Car is an Affordable Way to Drive in Style
Leasing is an excellent alternative to purchasing a car for many drivers. The lease option provides you with a stylish, new auto for less money than you would pay for a new auto purchase. When you decide to lease your next car, be sure to do your homework and follow the tips mentioned above to grab the best lease deals out there.