How Does an Auto Lease Work?


Quick Answer

To start an auto lease, identify the vehicle that best fits lifestyle, driving needs and budget, then start setting the framework for insurance, lease longevity and estimated payments. As with buying a new car, leasing a car takes financial commitment and requires some research and negotiation. After choosing a suitable car, search for a vehicle from a reputable dealer and know all terms and conditions of the contract to avoid excess fees, say authors at Edmunds.

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Full Answer

Some car dealerships and manufacturers offer special deals to encourage leases, but those incentives may come with hidden fees and caveats. People should check for drive-off fees tacked onto lease deals, which are similar to down payments on cars, and any sales tax.

Prior to making a deal, get quotes from several area dealerships offering leases on the desired car. Also, it helps to feel comfortable dealing with salespeople at the dealership.

Before agreeing to the lease, test drive the car to make sure it is sound. Based on car value, condition and competing prices, it is possible to negotiate a better deal. People should take care not to enter contracts for more than a 3-year period, say authors at Edmunds, as warranties expire after that time, which may necessitate costly repairs. Lastly, but most importantly, always review paperwork carefully before signing.

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