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Proper Guide on How to Lease a Car and Get the Best Deal.
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Proper Guide on How to Lease a Car… A car lease lets you drive a new car without paying a huge sum of cash or taking out a loan. To lease a vehicle, you simply need to make a small down payment less than the typical 20% of a car’s value you’d pay to buy followed by monthly expenditures for the term of the lease.
When the term expires, you return the vehicle. Leasing a car is less difficult than buying one. But to get the top deal on the car you want, you must still follow these steps we will discuss in this article.
How to Lease a Car and Get the Best Deal
1. Get Acquainted With Leasing
Car leasing is really just like a car rental, but for a longer time period and with some extra fees. Numerous people prefer leasing to buy because it allows them to drive a new car for less money than if they purchased it.
You should have a moral idea by now which car to lease.In this first step, it also might be helpful to review some of the other pros and cons of leasing to make sure it is the right financing method for you. Also, if some of the terminologies you encounter are confusing, consult our leasing glossary. Finally, if you’re in a hurry, read our “Quick Guide to Leasing a New Car.”
The next steps will tell you how to locate and negotiate a good monthly payment for the car you want to lease. It will also introduce you to Edmunds special lease offers, which will make the process much faster and stress-free.
2. Design Your Lease Deal
Edmunds.com recommends that people lease for no longer than three years so your car will always be protected by the manufacturer’s three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. Some people are tempted to extend their leases to four and five years to reduce the monthly lease payment. But this means you’re spending more money in a vehicle that will never be yours and might need costly repairs.
You should also know that most lease contracts include 12,000 miles a year. So if you drive more than 36,000 miles in three years, you will be charged 10-15 cents for each additional mile. You can buy extra miles up front, usually for 5 cents per mile and have this rolled into your lease payment.
3. Estimate Your Monthly Payment
It’s a good idea to estimate a possible lease payment yourself so you can spot a good deal as you continue shopping. The formula is complicated, but with a little patience, it is possible to calculate your own lease payment.
To use the calculator, you’ll first need to get the residual amount for the car. Call the finance manager at a local dealership and ask for the three-year residual value of the car you want. Put this figure into the calculator along with the mileage, down payment and trade-in to see your estimated monthly payment.
4. Check for Manufacturer Lease Deals
Many car makers periodically offer highly discounted lease specials. However, the advertised specials might have additional costs in the fine print of the lease ad. You should always check to see if the promised monthly payment includes sales tax and fees and if it also requires high drive-off fees, which are similar to a down payment when you buy a car.
5. Ask About Safety
During your test drive, ask the salesperson whether the vehicle comes with anti-lock brake systems (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and head-protecting side airbags. All are valuable safety features.
6. Find the Exact Car to Lease
If a lease offer isn’t available for the car you want, you can locate other cars to lease by going to the Edmunds home page and selecting the year, make and model. After you click “Go,” the next screen displays several sample cars for sale at local dealers.
In the upper left corner of the screen, click the link that lists the number of cars available, followed by “Cars for Sale” for a much longer list of cars in your area. If you are interested in one of these cars, contact the dealer to make sure it is still available. If there are several dealerships offering the same car, you may be in a better position to negotiate an even better lease payment.
7. Shop the Internet Department
We strongly suggest that you shop through the dealership’s Internet department, which offers many advantages over the traditional car shopping experience. Using Edmunds.com, you can simultaneously send requests for price quotes from the Internet managers at local dealerships.
After you receive the car price quote, you’ll need to follow up with an e-mail or phone call to get a lease quote (using the factors of three years, 12,000 miles per year and $1,000 in drive-off fees) so you can do an apples-to-apples comparison. Now, compare the quotes you get to your own calculated lease payments or the offers you received from Edmunds.
8. Test-Drive the Salesperson
As you call dealerships to locate your car, you should also test-drive the car salesperson. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable dealing with this person. Does he or she return your phone calls and answer your questions in a straightforward manner? Also, you should take a moment to read any available reviews of the dealerships you are considering.
9. Negotiate Your Best Lease Payment
You now have a handful of price quotes and an idea of the level of customer fulfillment at the dealerships you contacted. If you want to try to improve the deal, take the lowest offer, call the other merchants and see if they can beat that price. If no one budges, you are at rock bottom.
Whichever method you choose, it is a good idea to ask the salesperson for a worksheet showing all the numbers in the deal. This will reveal any hidden fees and allow you to compare this offer to the quotes you have. And make sure that the quoted lease includes sales tax to see what your full monthly payment will be.
10. Review and Sign the Paperwork
Whether you close the deal at home or at the showroom, the dealership will ask you to sign a contract and an array of documents. At the dealership, this will probably be done in a separate office by the finance and insurance (F&I) manager, who might offer you additional items such as prepaid maintenance plans, fabric protection, alarms or a vehicle locator.
If you have already seen a worksheet for the lease deal you’ve made, the contract should be a formality. Make sure the numbers in the contract match the worksheet and that no additional charges or fees were added. Understand what you are signing and what it means.
Remember, once you have signed, there is typically no going back to “unwind” the deal. And finally, make sure the lease contract you are signing includes gap insurance to protect you if your leased car is stolen or totaled in an accident.
Finally, it’s time to go out and put your knowledge into action. Don’t forget that the time you take to research your leasing decision will pay dividends over the years. You’ll not only be driving a vehicle that suits your needs, but you’ll be saving some money in the process.
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