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When Does It Make Sense To Lease?

Whether or not it makes sense to lease a car is a personal choice and should be considered carefully. If you are wondering if you should lease a car, it really depends on how you are going to use the car. Leasing isn’t right for everyone.

When considering whether to lease a car, you should evaluate your vehicle needs.

One of the biggest considerations is how many miles you drive per year. Most leases have a set amount of miles per year that you are allowed to drive before paying a per mile fee at the end of the lease.

If you have a job that requires you to drive 1,000 miles per week, to lease a car would most likely NOT be the best choice. On the other hand, if you are using the car to bus your children to their events in the neighborhood, leasing a car may be a very good choice.

The next thing to consider when deciding to lease a car is your finances.

With buying a car there are typically more up-front costs than leasing the same vehicle, and your monthly payment is higher on a purchase. There is also the down payment to take into consideration, typically 10 percent of the total price. And, there are the taxes on the vehicle, which will be charged up front.

When you lease a car, you may not be required to pay a down payment and the first payment will not be until the next month. Your credit score will determine if you have to pay a down payment and the first month up front.

Consider the monthly payment also. When leasing a car, you are usually able to save money each month on your car payment. This is because you are typically only paying for the car’s depreciation over the term of the lease along with leasing fees. The taxes are calculated and paid every month on a lease, not up front like on a purchase.

It could be advantageous to use a calculator on such sites, as bankrate.com to determine whether leasing or buying would be a better choice for you when considering your monthly payments.

There are two types of leases to consider when you go to lease a car.

Open Ended Lease: With an open-ended lease you will be required to purchase the car at the end of the lease term. This could be for the person who wants to have a lower payment for the first 2 or 3 years, and doesn’t mind the increase in the monthly payments after the lease term ends. At the end of the lease term, you will purchase the vehicle and it will basically be refinanced. Eventually you will own the car.

Caution should be taken with this type of lease because the value of the car will be evaluated from the beginning of the lease to the end of the lease term. Sometimes this situation can cause you to end up with an upside down loan. This means the car is worth less than the amount of the loan.

Closed Ended Lease: With a closed ended lease, the person leases the car for 2 or 3 years and then turns it in at the end of the lease term. This is a good program for the person that simply wants a new car every 2 to 3 years.

With a lease there will be no reward of eventually owning the car; it is basically like renting the vehicle for a short-term period. Some consider this a little crazy, but to the person that wants a new vehicle each 2 or 3 years, this is well worth it.

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