Common Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing a Car

by Susan Paige on November 1, 2018 · 1 comment

If you want to make the most out of a car lease, you can’t just randomly choose a dealer or a vehicle lease package. You need to be mindful of your choices. You can go to a reputable personal and business car leasing site like but it does not mean you will automatically get the best deals. You have to exert time and effort to study your options and avoid pitfalls.

The following are five of the most common mistakes made when leasing vehicles.

Being too focused on the monthly lease payments

Most car dealers focus their ads on the low monthly lease payments. Apparently, this strategy is quite effective as customers tend to ignore other details, particularly the upfront payment. In most cases, car dealers have to jack up the upfront payment so that they can offer lower monthly payments. Customers have to watch out for this scheme as a high upfront payment is usually disadvantageous.

What if the car is damaged or stolen in the first few months of the lease? If untoward incidents happen, the insurance usually only pays the car dealer. It’s unlikely that you will get a reimbursement for the amount you paid.

Underestimating your driving habits

Leased cars often come with mileage allocations. If you exceed these allocations, the company will charge an additional fee on your lease contract. That’s why it’s important that your lease agreement matches your needs. Most car leases provide a maximum of 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year. If you think you need more, it’s better to negotiate for a higher mileage allocation. This will entail a higher monthly payment, but the overall cost will be lower compared to paying for the excess.

Leasing a vehicle for extended periods

It is advisable to check the car’s warranty period when leasing. The lease term should be equal to or shorter than the warranty period. Typically, warranties extend up to three years or when the mileage reaches 36,000, whichever occurs first. Leasing a car for too long can be expensive mainly on account of the maintenance costs. If you intend to use a car for a long time, it would be better to buy a new or used one.

Neglecting maintenance

Just because you don’t own the car doesn’t mean you no longer have to maintain it. Most car leasing contracts include provisions that allow companies to demand a fee for extraordinary wear and tear. In general, scratches that are not bigger than a driver’s license are considered normal use. No charges may be imposed for them. However, it’s recommended to clarify with the car dealer what constitutes normal wear and tear to avoid problems later on.

The main reason for leasing instead of buying a car is the supposed lower cost of the former. However, if you are not careful with your choices, you may not get the expected cost efficiency advantage. Remember the points briefly discussed above if you are thinking of leasing a vehicle.

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