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Mistakes to Avoid when Leasing a Vehicle

Illustration for article titled Mistakes to Avoid when Leasing a Vehicle

It may be that you want to have a new car, but you don’t want the hassle of a long-term commitment by buying one. A great option for you is to lease a new vehicle. Basically, you are just financing a vehicle for a specified period of time, and then when that time is up, you give the vehicle back to the dealer. This is a great option for several reasons, but there are some drawbacks that you need to think about before signing any lease. There is always a chance that you could end up spending a lot more money than you had initially expected. You can reduce that risk by avoiding these common leasing mistakes.


Not Negotiating

The price the dealer quotes to you is not written in stone. You can negotiate to help lower the cost, get extras, etc. If you don’t negotiate, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars more than it has to. While there are some leases from manufacturers that are very specific, most are negotiable, but the dealers won’t tell you this. You have to initiate the negotiating process. Research the type of vehicle you wish to lease, using the Kelly Blue Book, before you start shopping around. You will have a good idea of what is a fair price. Use this number to begin your negotiating.


Making a Large Down Payment

Many dealers will ask for a large down payment, and tell you that it will help keep monthly payment costs lower. But, if anything should happen to the car within the first few months of leasing it, you are basically going to be out all the money you used for the down payment. It is often better to make the higher payments, and keep the down payment as low as possible. It could save you a lot of headaches in the future. Look for dealers who offer the best deals, such as eAutoLease. They have approval rates around 90%. eAutoLease works directly with multiple financial institutions on your side to find the lowest possible rate on a new car lease. Not ready to commit to a 2 or 3 year lease? Consider taking over the remaining term on someone else’s lease.


Not Reading the Fine Print

No matter what type of contract you are getting into, you must read all of the fine print. Many dealers expect that people won’t read this information, and that is where they can get you with additional fees that you aren’t expecting, as well as other details. For instance, it may say specific things about maintenance, and if you don’t maintain the vehicle as specified, it could end up costing you.


Keeping Vehicle too Long

If you want to have a vehicle for a long time, leasing is not for you. If you choose to sign a lease that is more than three years, it could end up getting expensive. The warranties will run out before the lease period expires, and then you will be the one who ends up paying for any repairs. As we all know, the older a vehicle is, the more repairs it tends to need. You could end up spending a lot more than you ever counted on. One way to avoid this is to buy an extended warranty, but again, you are going to have to spend more.


Underestimating Mileage

In most cases, there is a limit to the mileage you can use when you lease a vehicle (usually 12,000 miles per year, although some are higher). You can also pay for extra miles at the beginning. The higher the mileage, the higher your up-front costs are going to be. But, it is always best to err on the side of caution and get more than you think you will need, just in case. It is a lot less expensive to pay for them up-front than it is later on. The best part is, if you do not use these additional miles, you will refunded what is not used.


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