Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

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Your Burning Questions About Car Leases…Answered

Finding the right car can be challenging, and sometimes what worked for your lifestyle one year doesn’t work for it the next, and when you buy your vehicle, you may be stuck with it for a while. That’s why many car shoppers are interested in leasing their vehicles because you never know what curve balls life may toss at you, and if you’re riding around in the wrong car, it can make your everyday routine stressful. Whether you’re looking at Ford leases in Louisville or new car deals in Denver, dealerships across the nation offer some pretty enticing lease deals. And if you have questions about leasing a car like, “How is a car lease calculated?” or “Is it better to lease or buy a car?” then let us help you get answers to some of these popular questions. Here is all you need to know about car leases and if leasing a car may be right for you.

Is It Better to Lease or Buy a Car?

First off, the important question…should you buy or should you lease? If you’re researching leasing a car, chances are your mind may be made up, and you’re leaning toward this choice, or you may be on the fence, especially if you haven’t leased before. When you lease a car, you know that you’re always going to have a new car, which means the latest features, upgraded tech, and fewer repairs, making this a popular pick for those who just don’t want to worry about their car. Lease payments are typically lower than buying a car, and so is the down payment, and if you find a lease deal that works for you, you’re able to save even more. Leasing a car is perfect for drivers who don’t want to commit to a certain vehicle for six or so years and don’t want to worry about their car needing costly repairs.

How Is a Car Lease Calculated?

A car lease is calculated based on a few factors, which will vary from vehicle to vehicle and will be influenced by any money put down, the time frame of the lease, and more. Typically, the process starts by getting the necessary information about the vehicle together, like MSRP, lease length, and expected mileage. Once this is settled, the value of the car will be calculated, which will be based on a combination of the original value of the car and the residual value. This value will then be divided by the length of the lease, where interest will be added to this payment, in addition to taxes and fees, which will vary depending on where you live.

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Can You Negotiate a Car Lease?

Yes, car leases are negotiable, but it helps to do your research first. It’s recommended to find a lease deal that you want to take advantage of, as this will be a great way to get money off of your lease right from the start. If you’re looking to negotiate better payments for your lease, it helps to try and get the purchase price down without extending the time frame of your lease, as often, dealerships will work with you on the purchase price, then extend the terms of the lease to compensate for the hit. When you have good credit, you’re able to take advantage of better interest rates, and if you’re not sure the rate provided to you meets your expectations, you may be able to try for a better rate. These are just a couple of ways to get a better, more manageable lease payment.

What Month is Best to Lease a Car?

Not every month is a good month to lease a car, and when it comes to getting a reasonable rate and a good lease deal, when you start shopping matters. Experts recommend sticking to the end of the month when you’re looking to lease, as dealerships want to make their quotas and will be more willing to negotiate to get the sale. A month or two after a new model is released is also a good time to lease a car, as you’re able to take advantage of the latest and greatest features and the latest and greatest deals on a new car. You’ll also be able to better ensure that a vehicle you’re looking for is available, especially if it is new to the market or heavily redesigned, and if you wait too long, you may miss your chance.

Do Your Lease Payments Go Toward Your Purchase?

The great thing about a car lease is that once your lease term is up, you’re able to either level up and get a newer model, or if you fell in love with your current vehicle, you’re usually able to buy that very vehicle. The choice is yours to make, and most leases will have a buyback price, so you’ll know exactly what number you’re looking at if you choose to keep the car you’re driving. Although many who lease tend to stay the course, leasing new vehicles every few years, those who either like that particular vehicle or haven’t treated it the best can opt to buy it. Keep in mind that you may face some fees if repairs need to be done to the vehicle when you turn it in or if you went over the mileage limits.

Is Leasing a Car a Waste of Money?

If you’re looking for a newer model every couple of years, one that you won’t have to worry about and one with all the features you’re looking for, then leasing may be the right choice for you. There are risks associated with buying and leasing, and when it comes right down to it, it depends on your personal preference. Leasing a vehicle typically saves you money with lower monthly payments and little to no down payment. When it comes to repairs, you’ll be thankful that you probably won’t have to deal with any of those since your car is still new and, most likely, still under warranty. So, is leasing a car a waste of money? We don’t think so at all.

A salesman is holding out a set of car keys at a dealership that offers Ford leases in Louisville.

Can You Lease Any Car On the Lot?

You’re able to lease a new or a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle from a dealership; however, most dealerships will not offer leases on used cars that aren’t part of the CPO program. Certified pre-owned vehicles have passed testing and showcase favorable performance, as opposed to some used cars, which have underlying problems and higher mileage. Certified pre-owned cars are also available with a vehicle history report, so you know their exact history, which places CPO cars ahead of the game. It’s important to note that this will vary from dealership to dealership, and some places will have limits on how old a car can be to qualify for a lease, so it’s important to do your research first. However, if you’re looking to lease new, it’s rare that you won’t be able to lease a new vehicle on the lot.

Learning About Leases

As we answered some of the most popular questions regarding car leases, keep this helpful information in mind when it’s time to get a new car. Weigh the pros and cons of buying a car vs leasing and choose based on what is going to work best for your lifestyle and your budget. Although many shoppers choose to lease their vehicles, leasing isn’t for everyone. So, when you’re looking at lease deals in your area, ask yourself if leasing a car is right for you, and then take your time in choosing the best option to suit your needs.