Nearly seven years ago, I made one of the most extravagant purchases of my life. After a couple of years of saving money, I bought a shiny new silver sedan. This beautiful car was fitted with a luxurious custom grill. For the first several months, I constantly looked at my stunning new car through the windows of my back door. My acquisition was definitely worth the wait. I’m glad I waited to save the money needed to make a cash purchase. Now, I can enjoy my car without having to worry about monthly payments. On this blog, you will learn how to shop for the best car for your budget. Enjoy the ride!
Leasing is a great option for people who want to drive new cars or who don't want to deal with expensive auto repairs — vehicles are typically under the manufacturer's warranty during the terms of the auto lease, which can save you money in the rare event of a mechanical breakdown. Like with any car purchase, however, you'll need to shop around and negotiate in order to find the best deal. What's the best way to secure a strong leasing agreement? To help you get the best deal, here are three things you need to consider when shopping for an auto lease.
1. Consider Your Driving Habits and Lease With Mileage in Mind
As part of the terms of your auto lease, you'll be expected to drive under a certain number of miles over the entire duration. For example, you might be expected to put less than 30,000 miles on the car over the course of a three-year auto lease. When you turn the car in at the end of the lease, you'll be responsible for paying an over-mileage fee for every mile that exceeds this amount.
It's important to consider your driving habits when negotiating a leasing contract, as long commutes or going out of town every weekend can rack up the number of miles on your odometer quickly — you may be required to pay a substantial over-mileage fee the moment you turn the car in at the end of the auto lease. It's better to calculate the number of miles you drive each month and keep that number in mind when negotiating your leasing contract, as you can often raise the mileage limit, and you can often get a better price for the extra miles compared when you negotiate them into the leasing contract compared to paying for them at the end of the lease.
2. Look for a Vehicle That Keeps Its Value Well
One of the most important numbers in a leasing contract is the residual value amount. This number is either a percentage of the retail price or a flat dollar amount, and it represents what the car is expected to be worth at the end of the leasing period. When you lease a car, your down payment and your monthly payments essentially pay for the difference between the retail price of the car and the residual value of the car. This means that a higher residual value will decrease the amount of money that you pay over the duration of your auto lease.
Residual value varies considerably between different vehicles. Economy cars often retain a higher percentage of their value when they're turned in compared to luxury cars, making them a stronger option for leasing. You can also raise the residual value of the car by looking for manufacturer's leasing specials — vehicle manufacturers who need to lease inventory quickly often artificially raise the residual value in leasing contracts, reducing your payments and making them a better deal for you to lease.
3. Shop Around for a Dealership With Low Fees if You Don't Want to Pay Large Up-Front Costs
Up-front fees that you pay for leasing work a bit differently than up-front fees when you finance a car. When you finance a car, these fees are often simply rolled in to the total cost of the car. You'll pay the fees slowly while you make your monthly payments. When you lease a car, on the other hand, you're often required to pay all of the fees in their entirety before you can drive the car off of the lot. If you don't want to pay the fees up-front or don't have the cash on hand, it's important to shop around at several dealerships until you find one with low leasing fees or one who is willing to remove the fees from the leasing contract as part of the negotiations.
When you keep fees low, negotiate a suitable mileage limit into your leasing contract and select a car that retains its value well over the duration of your auto lease, you're ensuring that you receive the most favorable leasing terms. If you're interesting in leasing a vehicle, shop around at several local dealerships to find one who is open to negotiation and who has a strong manufacturer's leasing program. Contact a dealer, like Zak Motor Group, to get started.Share