Depending on your situation, auto leasing may be a more attractive option than buying a vehicle. If you are looking for a 2-3 year commitment, it may make more sense to lease instead of own. With auto leasing, since almost every vehicle depreciates or goes down in value, you are only paying for the cost of the vehicle’s value that you use when you drive the vehicle, or its depreciation. In effect, you have a long term rental and you can return the vehicle at the end of the lease agreement. In order to make auto leasing work, its key to get the best auto lease rates.
Knowing what goes into your overall lease rate is the first step to getting a good deal. Similar to buying a new or used car, auto leasing rates can vary from dealership to dealership. There are three major components of every auto lease: a finance fee, depreciation fee, and in most states, a sales tax. If you are looking to receive a competitive auto lease rate, its a good idea to figure the overall cost of the lease and the monthly fees.
The depreciation fee is the amount you are paying the leasing company for the loss of the car value, which is averaged over the amount of months in the lease, and also factors in the amount of miles you drive. The finance fee is similar to an auto loan payment you may pay to a bank or dealer. Your monthly payment should accurately reflect these two fees, averaged over the term of your lease, and also including sales tax, if necessary.
Its easy to overpay if the dealer is offering you low monthly payments, but when added up, the payments are way more than the sticker price of the vehicle. The monthly payment can often be manipulated to appear much lower than the overall price would suggest. Your contract should show you a lease charge, which is the amount of all of these monthly finance fees over the term. This will give you a better idea of the actual cost.
If you are thinking of an auto lease, give yourself plenty of time and check your local media. The best auto lease rates are often pre-packaged for you. These are often the deals you may see in the newspaper or on television, and are usually sponsored by both the dealer and the leasing company. They will often have a set package that is unchangeable, but will usually provide a better deal than what you can negotiate on your own. Another option would be to try an online auto-pricing service that handles the negotiations for you, if you fill out an application with several companies, you can choose the best deal being offered.