Posts Tagged ‘auto leasing’


Finding a great car lease

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

There are a lot of car buying tips and almost any car guide will give you tips about leasing, and a lot of people praise the idea of leasing cars vs financing. The jury, however, is still out on leasing: with the industry long on hype and short on detail, it is difficult to distinguish between a genuinely good deal and a downright up-selling exercise.

So how do you spot a good deal?

First, you need to find out if there are any down payments on the auto lease . A down payment refers to the lump sum amount that you pay upfront, either in cash, non-cash credit or trading allowance, to reduce your monthly payment. You should think twice before putting money down on a lease: not only are you getting a rough deal, as you’re essentially forfeiting the general rule of leasing:  not putting any cash upfront, but the money is not recoupable at the end of your lease. There is another big disadvantage: in the event of your car getting damaged or stolen, your insurance won’t cover the loss because of the gap cost .

Mileage Limit

Most leasing companies allow you a limit of 45,000 free miles over the length of a 3-year lease. This may seem like a good deal at first sight, but when you consider it only comes to 15,000 miles over a 12 month period you can see how it would be easy to go over the limit of mileage .

Even people working from home have little trouble putting 15,000 miles on their cars. If you exceed the mileage limit, the penalty for each excess mile can be as high as 20 cents . This can add up quickly over the length of your lease: an additional 4,000 miles a year over the length of a 3-years lease contract, will end up costing you an extra $2,400 in excess mileage charges! Be realistic about your mileage needs , especially if you have to regularly commute over long-distances, before you sign the contract . Consider padding the miles that you expect to use since it is less expensive to contract for the extra before you sign than it is to pay the extra charges at end of your lease .

Sales Tax

This is one of the best car tips we can give you about car leasing : always read the fine print! Sales tax is usually capitalized and added to the monthly payments. However, some dealers choose not to include it in their calculations to drive the advertised lease payments even lower. What they do instead is state in the small print that the monthly payment excludes “sales tax”. Make sure you carefully read the fine print for any extra, hidden costs not included in the advertised monthly payment. Unscrupulous fees that typically slip through the cracks include sales tax, registration and title fees.