For many drivers, leasing is the most cost-effective option in order to ensure that their used car payments are manageable. But how does one get the best deal?
The answer is to comparison shop. Many dealers have standard quotes for leasing, but will lower the terms of the deal when confronted by a better price from a competitor. Drivers who do a little research and head to several different dealers can pick the best deal that works for them.
First up is identifying what kind of car a driver wants. There are many options here, but a good idea is to pick a class and stick to it.
Decide on a midsize sedan, or fullsize SUV, for example, then compare cars in that class across several different brands. Narrow this list down to four models or so before beginning negotiations. A savvy buyer might be able to find a used Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla all within the same price range. These cars are very similar, but after test drives and talking with salesmen, buyers can make a list, ranking the cars from their favorite to the least desirable.
A good idea is to set the terms of the lease ahead of time. Dealers will change up different offers, so set a few key terms, like 36 months, 36,000 miles, 1,000 due at payment. By giving these figures to several different dealers, buyers can then negotiate on the most important figure- the monthly payment.
Some dealerships offer incentives and bonuses for a limited time, and these should be factored in as well. Its worth going to dealers that are offering low interest rates, no money down or are willing to extend the terms of the lease.
One thing buyers might want to consider is that a lengthier lease means that a car may be outside its warranty. Longer leases also mean lower monthly payments.
Once a buyer has quotes for each model with the same lease terms, it’ll be easy to compare. It’s also worth taking the figures from competitors to each dealer to see if they will come down at all in price in order to beat one of the others. Perhaps the dealer who has a buyer’s favorite used car will lower the price in order to beat the cheaper cost of the buyer’s least favorite used car. Or maybe the least favorite car is also the most expensive, and a buyer can cross that model off their list immediately.
Leasing a used car has many benefits. For example, a car may lose its value significantly after three years, and those who buy will be paying more money up front for a car that will have little to no trade-in value. Rather than driving a used car into the ground, buyers who lease a car every three years or so can keep payments manageable and enjoy the variety of changing up their ride every few years.