If you want lower monthly payments, a low down payment and a new car every few years it might make sense to lease a car instead of buying one. Although car manufacturers are flooding the market with great leasing options, it can be hard to choose one.
Choosing the right car lease deal can save you a lot of money, so pay close attention and review these perks that come with the best car lease deals. Then, pick out the car you want and start the lease application.
How Does Leasing a Car Work?
Lease payments are generally lower than loan payments for buying the same car. When you lease a vehicle you’re financing only the depreciation for the time you drive it, not its total value. In other words, you’re paying for the difference between the car’s initial value and the estimated value when the lease is over, plus interest.
If you make a down payment on a leased car, your monthly payments will go down. At the end of the lease, you can give the car back or buy it. Car leases include conditions — here are some common lease requirements:
- You are typically allowed to put from 10,000 to 12,000 miles on the vehicle a year.
- You must keep the car in good mechanical and physical condition.
- If you do not meet the leasing terms, you might have to pay steep fines.
Explore what types of perks you can get when you lease. Find one that suits your specific financial needs.
1. Zero Down Payment
If you are considering two comparable best car leasing deals and one offers a no down payment option, go with it. Although a zero down payment will translate into higher monthly payments, there are worse drawbacks to making a down payment on a lease.
If you make a down payment on a car it will reduce your monthly payments. If you get into a serious accident during the first few months of the lease and the car is totaled, however, you will completely lose your down payment.
Instead of making a down payment on a lease, consider putting that money in a separate bank account and making your higher lease payments from it. If you choose an interest-bearing account, you might actually earn a few dollars in the process.
Related: Apply for a Car Loan Today
2. Lower Interest Rates
Many car leases come with special offers that provide serious perks. If you can find a lease with low rates, it might be a winner. Below market interest rate offers can really lower your monthly payments. Make sure you find out what credit score is needed to get a low rate. The lower your interest rate, the less interest you’ll pay over the life of the lease.
3. More Mileage
Higher mileage limits can save you a bundle because a lease typically charges a penalty for each mile you go over the limit. If you drive a lot, look for a lease with a high mileage limit to save yourself a lot of money at the end. If you have a consistent commute, estimate your approximate annual mileage and cushion it with extra miles in case you decide to take a road trip or end up driving more than you usually do.
4. Free Maintenance Services
Because car leasing is competitive, dealers often offer customers incentives. To reduce your expenses, look for incentives like free maintenance services. Some leases include maintenance packages you can use for oil changes, tire rotations and more. This can save you trips to the mechanic and hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars over the life of the lease.
5. Roadside Assistance
Look for a lease that includes roadside assistance and drive worry-free. If the vehicle breaks down, you’ll likely be covered for towing, battery, flat tire, fuel delivery and lockout services. If you find a lease with free roadside assistance, make sure to cancel any other existing roadside programs you might be paying for such as AAA or an add-on you bought with your car insurance.
6. Better Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is an important factor in deciding what lease is best for you because gas can significantly increase your monthly car expenses. Gas prices fluctuate frequently so it’s important to take them into consideration and research fuel efficiency ratings of the one you want before you choose an offer.
7. Higher Safety Rating
If a vehicle has a high safety rating, you’ll reap the perks of lower insurance premiums. High safety ratings can also be a perk if you get into an accident with a leased car.
If you have an accident in a leased car, insurance companies pay the manufacturer directly because it still owns the vehicle. If the car is totaled, however, you’ll lose your down payment. The safer the vehicle, the less likely it is that it will get totaled. Check for high safety ratings — or safety recalls — before you sign on a lease.
Related: Pros and Cons of Rent-to-Own Cars
8. Better Terms for Lower-Rated Cars
It can be difficult and expensive to qualify to lease the highest rated cars, which are typically luxury models. If you choose from lower-end vehicles you’ll generally have an easier time qualifying for the lease and be able to negotiate better terms.
Choose Your Lease
Choosing the best car lease deals is not as simple as looking for the lowest monthly payment options — and sometimes you can’t even get the deal that’s advertised. Look for car leasing perks like lease incentives, special offers and even safety ratings. Conducting in-depth research will go a long way in making the process smoother and less expensive.