Car Lease shopping could be a less intimating experience if you pay attention to details before, during and after the process of leasing a car. Here are some useful tips.
Before going to the dealer...
- Be familiar with the options and the model of the car lease deals offer.
- Contact your current auto insurance agency to get quotes for your future leased car, so there is no surprise how much you will be paying for your newly lease vehicle.
- If you have valid auto insurance, ask your insurance company if your policy covers the lease cars for a temporary period until you get its own insurance. Dealers won't let you drive the car off the lot if you don't have insurance. And it will be a good idea to get a quote for the policy required for lease cars so you can set your budget correctly
- Compare car lease prices from multiple dealers of the car you want to lease using sites offer deals comparison.
- Shop car leases using sites like leasecompare.com to gain better ground to negotiate with the dealer.
- While comparing car lease deals, pay attention to monthly payment, lease length, down payment, mileage limit and cost per mile after the mileage limit.
- Normal mileage limits around 10,000 miles to 12,000 miles per year. You could pay a little more in advance to get a higher limit to 15,000 miles per year.
- Knowing what's includes in down payment: 1st month payment, capitalized cost reduction, acquisition fee, security deposit.
- Know your credit score; good credit score could be a requirement to qualify some good lease deals.
While shopping at the dealer...
- Ask about warranty: what it covers and how long it lasts. MINI and BMW offer warranty which covers annual maintenance, brakes replacement.
- Do not lease the car for longer than the warranty period because you'd want to take the full advantage of not paying for maintenance of your lease vehicle.
- Check for Return Fee in the contract.
- Dealers offer many plans or program that come with the lease specials such as paint protection, tire protection, body damages or security system like lo-jack or Phantom, etc and claim to protect the value of your leased car. Some plans do provide good values; you can decide if they suit you. But if the lease contract requires a return fee, do check with the dealer to see if it covers any of the body damage/dent so you would not have to pay additional for those plans/services.
- If you decide to purchase additional plans or programs, it is advised that you pay them off by including in your down payment. Otherwise, the dealers will add them to the total lease amount and increase your monthly payment.
After leasing the car...
- Buy GAP insurance. GAP stands for Guaranteed Auto Protection. The cost is relatively low for what it covers. It insures you for the difference between your loan amount on the car and the actual market value of the car; if you totaled your car in an accident and you would receive market value of your car which was generally 20-30% lower than the loan of your leased vehicle. In another word, you lost your newly leased car and you would still be paying your monthly payment until you pay it off. Check with your auto insurance agency for details.
- Take good care of your car to avoid additional charges when return the lease vehicle.