Leasing a car can be one of the best ways to drive your favourite car conveniently and for a lower price than it might cost on finance. You get the pleasure of using and driving the car, and once done, simply return it and get a brand new car.
How do You Lease a Car?
When leasing a car, there are a few first steps you need to take in order to secure a lease deal.
You start with a car in mind and then try to source a deal through a leasing company that suits you best. You’ll negotiate your initial rental depending on how much money you want to put down – and your credit score – and what add-ons you’d like on the vehicle.
Following this, you’ll decide whether or not you’d like to take out maintenance on the vehicle and your typical annual mileage that you drive a year. All of these will contribute to your monthly fee, that you will then pay every single month to drive the vehicle.
Lease contracts are usually set for a period of months, which is typically 24, 36 or 48 months. During this time, you’re expected to maintain the car to a particular standard, or else you might have to pay extra for repairs and fixes.
Once the contract is finished, you have the car collected by the leasing company and then can either choose to take out a new lease or not.
But, what are some of the best ways to lease a car and save money while doing so? Well, you can find out below.
Do Your Research On Deals And Brokers
Doing your research will open up the door to better leasing deals in a few ways. First, you’ll have a better idea of the types of companies out there, what they offer and the rates that come with these. You’ll want to not only start with a car or a price in mind but also be open to exploring different options as the process unfolds.
For inspiration on different types of leasing deals out there, check here.
The great thing with leasing is that even though you might have a particular vehicle that interests you, you’ll always know in the back of your mind that a lease contract will only last a few years. This takes the pressure off of the idea of committing to a full car purchase.
Secondly, research leasing terms, vocabulary and jargon. This can be often overlooked – but pretty important – step in the leasing process. Knowing what is being referred to and being discussed by your leasing agent will do wonders for your understanding and confidence in your contract – and, will help the process go smoother.
In the end, this can only help you feel more self-assured as a customer.
Ask Your Lease Agent Questions About Your Contract
When you first enquire with a leasing company, you’ll likely be dealing with someone on the other end known as a leasing agent. This person will be the contact person that will guide you through the various cars and deals available, as well as the details behind your contract.
As mentioned before, it’s important to tell the leasing agent what budget, brand and type of vehicle that you have in mind. As they deal with hundreds of cars on a daily basis, they might be able to get you a cheaper lease on an SUV, for instance, that might be a brand that you never considered.
If it’s a customer favourite and many people make the switch, there’s a good chance your leasing agent will know this and will be able to make a good recommendation for you.
Your leasing agent will also have a lot of experience dealing with hundreds of customers and contracts and will be able to assist with the most common questions that are asked. They will also be able to take your through your contract if there is anything that you don’t understand.
Consider Taking Out A Maintenance Package On Your Lease
Many people might not want to take maintenance because it’s slightly more expensive than a regular contract. But, have you taken the time to consider what it might cost you to fix or repair a car on your own?
Even though your manufacturer’s warranty will last a good amount of time – and often a significant portion of your lease – maintenance will help take care of those smaller, unexpected repair costs.
You never know – does your leasing company have better deals on cars with maintenance? Maybe they’re throwing in insurance too? Better to consider asking them, than be left in the dark. Having all that information on hand will allow you to go back and do some calculations.
Try To Avoid Early Cancellations On Your Lease
Like most types of contracts, lease contracts aren’t really designed to be cancelled early.
Doing so can have unexpected costs and consequences, which could range from a specific cost to 50% of your remaining rental payments – depending on the funder who provided your lease.
Therefore, you’ll be wasting money by paying for fines!
If you have to cancel your lease because you’re moving, changing jobs or your lifestyle circumstances changes – this is entirely acceptable. But, you’ll still have to pay a fee.
If you’re cancelling your leasing contract because you’re in debt, this is also a valid reason. However, if you’ve defaulted on a credit score – there might be a chance that you’ll get a mark on your credit record.
In this instance, your loss won’t only be financial. Credit marks can last up to 6 years, and this should be a consideration for you.
Like any contract agreement, it’s always better to be better prepared than not.
In the case of car leasing, however, because it’s quite a large commitment, this could mean the difference between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
As a general rule of thumb, always do your research, be prepared, understand what you’re going into and avoid cancelling if you can and if there are serious consequences to doing so.
Other than that, seek out the best deal and remain flexible! You never know where being curious and open-minded might lead you in terms of a deal.