Sunday, December 25, 2011

Steps to take before leasing a car

Leasing a car is not for everyone. But if you like getting a new car every few years, don’t drive more than 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year, and recognize that your monthly payments are essentially just rent, leasing may be for you. A few things to keep in mind before leasing a car:
  •  Educate yourself. Leasing has its own unique jargon, so check out car leasing guides at sites such as or so the salesperson can’t baffle you with terms like “residual value” and “money factor.” Use an online car lease calculator to estimate your payments.
  •  Check manufacturers’ websites for leasing specials. Then call or email four or five dealers in your area and ask for their best offer on the car you want. To best compare offers, make sure the upfront payment, number of miles allowed (you pay a penalty if you go over), and length of term are the same.
  •  Consider the length of the lease. says that a three-year term is best. “The majority of carmakers offer three-year bumper-to-bumper warranties. If your lease is for three years you will always be under warranty without paying extra for an extended service contract.”
  •  When you contact dealers by phone or email, evaluate the sale person. You want a salesperson who is honest and open, not someone who tries to manipulate you.  “Ask yourself if you feel comfortable dealing with him,” said. “Is he impatient and pushy? Or relaxed and open?”
  •  Watch out for extra costs. When you go to the dealer to complete the deal, Edmunds warns that they may try to sell you extra items such as extended service contracts, fabric protection, alarms or a LoJack vehicle locator. “In most cases, we recommend turning down these extras,” the website said.

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