Leasing a car

For many people, leasing a new car can be more appealing than buying new.
“When we compared both costs, we realized that we were better off leasing, and again, considering the fact that we only wanted it for a short period and then needing a new car after several years,” said consumer Citrana Harmon Forgenie.
Auto experts say a brand new car can depreciate in value by up to 20 percent as soon as it’s driven off the lot.
“Leasing is really back in a big way,” Car Dealership General Manager Jeff Roush said. “We run anywhere right now from 40-50 percent lease of all our new vehicles.”
Lease payments are usually lower than loan payments.
Monthly lease payments can range from $160 to well over $1,000, depending on a vehicle’s make and model.
A typical lease lasts for 36 months, though some dealerships offer them for one to five years.
“Remember that when you are leasing, you’re going to get a new car every few years, but you’re also going to have a car payment even though your car payment is less than if you were buying the car,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “Additionally, remember that if you are leasing there is usually limitations on mileage, so if your office is a long distance from your home you want to be careful you have enough miles on the lease.”
Whether you lease or buy, it’s important to do your research. Never walk into a dealership uneducated. You need to know what you want and what you can afford.
“When leasing a car it’s just like buying a car,” Hicks said. “You should be prepared and understand how much the car is really worth and go in ready to negotiate. Don’t just think about the monthly payment. Also think about the residual value of the car, the price you would pay if you buy the car out of the lease because you might fall in love with the car and want to keep it.”
Angie’s List advises consumers to read and fully understand the lease agreement before signing.
Also, ask the dealership about gap insurance coverage. If you have it and the leased car is wrecked, the insurance will cover the difference between the car’s actual market value and the remaining balance to pay the lease off.